The royal treatment benefits Inner-City Arts

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge planned a visit to the Los Angeles nonprofit Inner-City Arts.

Client: Inner-City Arts (Los Angeles)
Agency: Brody Public Relations (Los Angeles)
Campaign: The Royal Visit
Duration: June 15 - July 15, 2011
Budget: about $2,500

The nonprofit Inner-City Arts (ICA) provides arts education for children on its campus in the heart of skid row in Los Angeles. In early June, ICA learned that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wanted to visit the campus during their July trip to Los Angeles.

“It was an incredible opportunity,” says Garmen Shiu, ICA development manager. “We like to believe they chose us because our mission is aligned with their belief in the arts and working with the homeless.”

AOR Brody Public Relations managed media relations for the July 10 visit, driving optimal coverage of ICA and its programs.

Strategy
Space for media during the visit was very limited. The team worked with the British Embassy on credentialing in early June. The visit was officially announced June 15.

“I added outlets we thought were important and swapped a couple of reporters,” says agency president Joanna Brody. “For example, I knew the Los Angeles Times' skid row reporter would write a much better story about ICA than the entertainment reporter the consulate [had chosen].”

The campus was open to additional media immediately after the visit.

Tactics
Numerous outlets visited the campus in early July to get preview stories.

Two press pools – one print and one TV from both the US and the UK, plus one pool photographer and one ICA house photographer – covered the actual visit. About 45 outlets total were on-site for the visit and post-visit interviews with ICA staff.

Brody media trained ICA staff and a few students. Messaging focused on ICA and aligned interests of the royal couple.

The team tweeted during the visit.

A “Royal Visit” section was created on inner-cityarts.org. A captioned slide show of event photos was posted July 11.

All media coverage was also posted on the website and ICA's Twitter and Facebook pages.

Results
The campaign garnered 1,380 North American broadcast hits, including live coverage on CNN, Today, Good Morning America, and NBC Nightly News. North American print and online stories topped 2,500.

Website visits, which Shiu says typically average a few hundred per day, increased by about 10,000 daily after the visit announcement, peaking at more than 111,000 on July 11.

A partnership was established with Centrepoint, The Duke's UK-based charity.

Shiu reports a July 30 summer fundraiser sold out in advance for the first time.

Future
The team is preparing for an October gala, ICA's largest fundraiser.

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