Campaigns: Buckeye workers taste PR success - Community Relations

Client: Crescendo Pastaria (Dublin, OH)

Client: Crescendo Pastaria (Dublin, OH)

Client: Crescendo Pastaria (Dublin, OH)



PR Team: Buchanan & Associates (Dublin, OH)



Campaign: Community relations event surrounding bridge opening



Time Frame: July to December 1999



Budget: dollars 6,500 (including food)





It’s not often that you see construction workers eating an elegant lunch

onsite, complete with fine china. But as construction on the

long-awaited Emerald Parkway Bridge spanning the Scioto River in Dublin,

OH neared completion, Crescendo Pastaria decided to reward the

workers.



The restaurant was happy to do this since the bridge would provide

access to it for nearly three-quarters of Dubliners, who were previously

unable to reach it. Crescendo turned to Buchanan & Associates, which had

worked with the company for two years, for ideas on celebrating the

bridge opening.





Strategy



The PR program for Crescendo included a number of community-related

activities during the year, and Buchanan & Associates decided that the

bridge opening was the perfect opportunity for another one. ’Our goal

was to develop something imaginative to reach our audience, so that the

moment the bridge opened, we were doing something to create high

impact,’ says Buchanan & Associates account executive Laura Hemsworth.

The agency decided that an elegant lunch on the bridge for the workers

would be the perfect way to draw attention to the crew that made the

bridge possible.





Tactics



The luncheon was scheduled for December 10, as the workers were putting

on the finishing touches. The agency issued an advisory to local print

and broadcast media, but as the date drew closer, the weather was

expected to be cold and rainy, and the luncheon had to be moved up to

December 9.



The day of the event, the bridge was transformed into an elegant dining

room as Crescendo brought over tables adorned with linen, china,

stemware and candelabras. Workers were served lunch - salad, panini

sandwiches, lasagna, baked penne, gnocchi and Christmas cookies - by

Crescendo’s waitstaff. Nearly 60 workers participated.





Results



While the event did not generate a lot of publicity, it caught the eye

of the local press, which was important to the restaurant. The day after

the event, an article and photo appeared on page one of The Columbus

Dispatch, the largest daily in central Ohio. A few days later, The

DublinVillager ran a photo. According to Timothy Miller, owner of

Crescendo Pastaria, the restaurant had a 20% increase in customers in

the following weeks.



Miller says that TV journalists originally slated to attend on the 10th

were unable to rearrange their schedules.



Despite this, the event boosted the restaurant’s profile and employee

morale. It was also a hit with the workers. ’We were pretty impressed,’

says Larry Lyons, project superintendent for Complete General

Construction Company. ’We don’t get too much gratitude or appreciation

from businesses - they’re usually growling at us more than anything

else.’





Future



Crescendo is gearing up to break ground for restaurant additions and an

outdoor patio within the next month. Buchanan & Associates principal

Susie Buchanan says the additions will provide the agency with

additional PR opportunities.



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