Touring, blogging bug helps Terminix to generate a buzz

Terminix partnered with New Orleans' Audubon Nature Institute to sponsor the Audubon Insectarium, the first museum to open in New Orleans post-Katrina and the largest institute of its kind.

Terminix partnered with New Orleans' Audubon Nature Institute to sponsor the Audubon Insectarium, the first museum to open in New Orleans post-Katrina and the largest institute of its kind. Working with Archer Malmo, the company launched an effort to promote the launch and Terminix's position as its largest corporate sponsor.

"[The partnership] only seems natural, since we've always been aware of promoting the educational aspect of insects and the role they play in the environment," says Valerie Sherman, VP of communications at Terminix.

Strategy
Terminix worked with the agency on an effort in which Bill Sims, a Terminix employee and Hurricane Katrina evacuee, embarked on a week-long, multi-state journey with Harry, a preying mantis selected by Terminix as the final insect to be delivered to the Insectarium. The PR team worked to give Harry a personality by choosing venues and markets for his journey, such as the Children's Museum of Memphis, TN.

"We wanted to take Harry and turn him into a star," says Clint Briscoe, account lead and SAE at Archer.

"We selected the mantis because it's a tough, hardy, and resilient bug," he adds. "We felt those qualities personified the people of New Orleans... because of what they've gone through."

Tactics
Each day, the PR team conducted daily broadcast and newspaper outreach. The team created a blog - linked to the Audubon Institute and Terminix Web sites - in which Harry documented his travels.

Results
Nearly 2,000 people saw Harry on the journey and his blog registered approximately 200 hits per day. The campaign also generated about two million impressions. According to Sherman, the Audubon PR team received "an insane amount of calls from people wanting to know the exact time Harry would arrive on opening day."

Future
Harry will continue to blog about his adventures around New Orleans.

PR team: Terminix and Archer Malmo (both Memphis, TN)

Campaign: Harry's Big Adventure

Duration: June 6-13, 2008

Budget: $30,000

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