Charlie Bird campaign goes down easy with critics and consumers

Sommelier Robert Bohr and chef Ryan Hardy joined forces to open Charlie Bird, an Italian restaurant in the New York neighborhood of SoHo.

Client
Charlie Bird (New York)
Agency

Mfa Marketing & Public Relations (New York)
Campaign

Charlie Bird opening
Duration

February-October
Budget

$25,000

Sommelier Robert Bohr and chef Ryan Hardy joined forces to open Charlie Bird, an Italian restaurant in the New York neighborhood of SoHo.

Strategy
Mfa Marketing & Public Relations were immersed in the planning of the restaurant from interior design to menu layout to staffing. The team sought to differentiate Charlie Bird through media buzz and social media dialogue.

Tactics
In the months prior to opening, Mfa met with Hardy, Bohr, and architect designers to embody the restaurant's distinctive vibe in external communications.

Mfa created and ran all social media platforms for the venue, handled Web development, and managed the site's content.

On Facebook, Mfa shared news of the restaurant opening, posting photos from the construction phase and links to articles about the establishment.

Instead of the typical press release, a short letter was issued, signed by Bird, describing influences, atmosphere, and menu. Interviews were set up with Bohr and Hardy with traditional media and foodie sites.

Results
Charlie Bird secured more than 100 placements, including five features in The New York Times, as well as coverage in Food & Wine, Forbes, and the Immaculate Infatuation site. Large influxes of diners credited the website article for their awareness of the restaurant.

On NBC's New York Live, it was listed as one of the top new restaurants in the city.

Hardy says Mfa "brings so many journalists, diners, and friends to the restaurant" that they almost cover their fees in sales on a monthly basis. "Mfa staff was literally there moving tables on opening night," he adds.

Future
Mfa has plans to do an Instagram video series in hopes of retaining social media buzz.

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