Cymer, a supplier of excimer laser light sources used in semiconductor manufacturing, was looking for a way to raise its profile in the local community, says Meggan Powers, senior corporate communications manager for Cymer.
"They're a big employer in the San Diego market, and yet very few people know who they are," explains Michael Olguin, president of Formula PR. The company wanted to come up with an approach that could help to change that.
Part of the goal, Olguin says, was to develop an event that could help consumers understand that the laser technology and chips Cymer produces affect most consumer electronics products. "If they have something to do with all electronics products, how can we have a community event that is anchored back in what they do?" Olguin says. Another goal was to establish the company as a good corporate citizen, he adds.
The PR team came up with the idea of Cymer 'Cycle, a one-day event where San Diego residents could bring old, broken, or unwanted household electronics to Qualcomm Stadium to recycle, free of charge. Local media outreach was extremely important, Olguin says, and the team not only targeted print and TV, but also developed a radio PSA. In addition, it reached out to electronics retailers like Best Buy and Fry's Electronics to help get the word out.
Held on September 16, Cymer 'Cycle collected more than 330,000 pounds of electronics waste, clearly exceeding its goal of 10,000 pounds. Cars lined up for hours to wait their turn to recycle their products. Powers says the company was "shocked" by the turnout. "It was overwhelmingly positive," she adds.
Powers says Cymer 'Cycle will now be a semi-annual event, with the next one taking place April 7.
PR team: Cymer (San Diego) and Formula PR (San Diego)
Campaign: Cymer 'Cycle
Duration: August 16 to September 16, 2006
Budget: Approximately $10,000