What does a PR Agency Do? Creative Tactics
Clairemont has had the pleasure of working with Briar Chapel as its agency of record for several years, allowing us a variety of opportunities to put on our thinking caps and get creative with our wonderful clients. As the largest master-planned green community in North Carolina and part of Newland Communities, the country’s most prominent privately held residential real estate developer, we strive to help showcase the beautiful homes and amenities of Briar Chapel. Looking back at the work we’ve done together these past few years, there are two initiatives that Clairemont conceptualized at different times and to accomplish different objectives that we thought would be fun to highlight in one blog post.
The first was born in response to a very smart question from one of our Briar Chapel clients. She asked, “Instead of trying to add fans and followers purely for the sake of building our numbers, how can we increase engagement with our existing fans to encourage them to be our brand advocates?” After careful thought and planning, Clairemont answered the question with a question. “Are you Briar Chapel’s Best Buddy?”
The Clariemont team created a contest and participants were encouraged to get creative in using social networks to earn points to win a Buddy Scooter, with this prize tying into the contest name. The contest encouraged community members to take to the social channels of their choice and post using the Best Buddy hashtags.
In order to reach the target audience of residents and local community members and to engage throughout the six-week long contest, Clairemont focused its efforts on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest and Foursquare. The Clairemont Team was able to increase fan engagement and community awareness of Briar Chapel. The Briar Chapel Facebook page engagement skyrocketed by 400 percent, the fan count increased by 159 percent and the viral reach of the page expanded by nearly 600 percent. Briar Chapel was most pleased with the positive, third party content that directly generating local word-of-mouth advertising for Briar Chapel.
A couple of years later as Briar Chapel neared its fifth anniversary, we found ourselves answering this question: “How can we get media to come out to Briar Chapel to see the progress the community has made in the five years since the grand opening?”
Clairemont used creative thinking to plan a visual event that interested the media. The Clairemont team decided on an aerial media tour. Who could resist an invitation to ride in Big Red, the hot air balloon? Creative and individualized pitches were used to pique the interest of targeted media, and themed media kits were strategically delivered to media contacts in the morning just before editorial meetings.
The aerial tour provided a bird’s eye view of the development’s progress by taking members of the media up in a hot air balloon, while allowing Briar Chapel representatives to talk about accomplishments and future plans. Though the hot air balloon served as the event’s focal point, Clairemont worked with the Briar Chapel community to build in other visual and informational elements to attract media. We strategically scheduled the event to fall just before two of Briar Chapel’s popular, annual events: the Parade of Homes and the Pepper Festival.
The creative, experiential campaign exceeded expectations by rebuilding relationships, engaging 18 target media contacts on-site in a fun, positive way. For many, the event offered their first hot air balloon ride, allowing Briar Chapel to leave a lasting, memorable impression.