Connecticut Innovations – Economic Impact Study Media Launch
Connecticut Innovations (CI) is the state’s quasi-public authority responsible for technology investing and innovation development. GBPR’s ongoing public relations support for CI included the 2010 announcement of findings from a newly completed Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) study which documented the significant positive economic impact of CI’s portfolio on the state’s economy. To highlight the findings, GBPR designed and executed a robust plan, including a press conference to reveal study findings, pre- and post-event media outreach, and a subsequent rollout of the study to Connecticut print and broadcast media. In addition to drafting key messages, press materials and an executive summary highlighting the most relevant study findings, GBPR targeted a select group of priority journalists and sent an embargoed study to these contacts in advance of the press conference. The advanced release of the study allowed these reporters to file stories promptly following the announcement, and built anticipation surrounding the study launch. Coverage in Connecticut outlets resulting from pre- and post-event media outreach for CI’s press conference included the Associated Press, Hartford Courant, Hartford Business Journal, The Advocate (Stamford), Republican-American (Waterbury), New Haven Register, WNPR-FM, WTIC-TV and C-TN (Connecticut Network). Coverage from the Hartford bureau of the Associated Press resulted in subsequent pick-up in major daily newspapers including the New York Times, Washington Post and Newsday; and national business and financial news outlets including Forbes, BusinessWeek and MSN Money.
Tomasso Brothers, Inc. – Robertson Airport Referendum Campaign
One of GBPR’s more recent projects for Tomasso Brothers, Inc. involved the sale of Robertson Airport in Plainville, CT to the Town of Plainville. As the owners of the airport, Tomasso Brothers, Inc. needed the proposed airport sale to pass a town-wide referendum, so they turned to GBPR to develop and execute a communications strategy that would lead to a successful outcome. With the citizens and town officials of Plainville in mind, GBPR worked with the owners to develop key messages within the context of historical preservation of the 100-year-old airport, and its value as an asset for the town. GBPR organized a grassroots coalition of business and community leaders to support the town’s purchase, and developed and executed a successful campaign including production of brochures and mailers, drafting and distributing letters to key decision makers, composing and placing op-ed pieces in local daily newspapers, and designing and strategically placing advertisements supporting the purchase of Robertson Airport. As a result of GBPR’s comprehensive grassroots and media campaign, the purchase was successfully approved at town referendum, allowing the Town of Plainville to take ownership of Robertson Airport.
Connecticut Water Works Association – Media Campaign to Defeat Proposed Streamflow Regulations
The Connecticut Water Works Association (CWWA) is an association of investor-owned, municipal and regional water utilities, including two of GBPR’s clients. When new regulations on streamflow were issued by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), CWWA’s members and their 2.5 million customers throughout Connecticut stood to face serious adverse impacts including increased costs and potential interruptions in water supply. CWWA retained GBPR to help raise the profile of this important issue and balance the information in the debate. GBPR worked with CWWA to prepare key messages, develop collateral materials and organize a press conference highlighting concerns over the detrimental impacts of the proposed regulations, which failed to strike a balance between ecological and human needs. As a result of GBPR’s efforts, significant media coverage was achieved, particularly in the markets where the regulations would prove detrimental to residents and businesses. Feature stories in several of Connecticut’s major daily newspapers included the New Haven Register, Republican-American (Waterbury), News-Times (Danbury), The Day (New London), Record-Journal (Meriden), Register-Citizen (Torrington), Middletown Press and Norwich Bulletin. Additionally, broadcast coverage was secured on WTNH-TV (ABC) and C-TN (Connecticut Network). GBPR also arranged for interviews with CWWA’s Executive Director on WNPR-FM’s “All Things Considered” and WTIC-AM’s “Mornings with Ray Dunaway.” The resulting increase in awareness of the issue among journalists, legislators, business leaders and the general public was highly successful, contributing to the rejection of the proposed regulations by the Connecticut General Assembly’s Regulations Review Committee.
Propark America – Media Launch of Neon Garage
Propark America, one of the nation’s leading parking companies, regularly counts on GBPR’s services to raise awareness of its cutting edge green initiatives and new partnerships, both nationally and throughout Connecticut. When Propark was planning to hold a press conference to announce the installation of electrical car charging stations and other environmentally-friendly retrofits at Neon Garage in New Haven, CT, the company’s principals leveraged their ongoing relationship with GBPR to promote the event. GBPR developed and executed a targeted media relations plan which included crafting press conference materials and outreach to a wide range of media outlets including: environmental bloggers and journalists, industry trade magazines and business reporters at Connecticut-based newspapers, radio stations and TV affiliates. In addition to issuing a media alert to encourage journalists to attend the press conference, customized pitches were sent to GBPR’s network of media contacts, offering advance interviews with Propark executives if they were unavailable to attend the event. As a third layer of outreach, a post-event press release was sent out with photos to media who were unable to attend the press conference. Propark’s Neon Garage event was covered by influential environmental bloggers such as Jim Motavalli, writer for the New York Times and the Mother Nature Network. Several major New Haven and Connecticut–based news outlets attended the event including the New Haven Register and the New Haven Independent, along with four major network affiliates in the state: WFSB-TV (CBS), WTNH-TV (ABC), WVIT-TV (NBC) and WCTX-TV (My Network TV).
Dr. Energy Saver – Media Launch of “Boot Camp” Training Program
Seymour, Connecticut-based Dr. Energy Saver is a national franchise that helps its customers conserve energy, save money and contribute to a better environment. Shortly after the company’s launch, Dr. Energy Saver contacted GBPR to assist in establishing the company’s brand among the media, state energy regulators and elected officials. To increase awareness of the company, GBPR focused on promoting Dr. Energy Saver’s week-long “boot camp” training program at the company’s 40,000 square foot, state-of-the-art training facility/headquarters, which saw over forty people from across the country participate in the program designed to educate prospective Dr. Energy Saver franchisees. GBPR’s aggressive media campaign secured significant coverage statewide, including feature stories in the Hartford Courant, Connecticut Post and Republican-American (Waterbury), as well as stories on WNPR-FM, WVIT-TV (NBC) and WTNH-TV (ABC). Additionally, GBPR arranged tours and briefings with a number of elected officials and state regulators, further increasing awareness of the new company among a key audience.
Connecticut Production Coalition – Advocacy and Media Campaign for 2009 Legislative Session
GBPR’s long-term relationship with the Connecticut Production Coalition (CPC), a group of companies and individuals dedicated to establishing a strong film, television and digital media sector in the state, began during the 2009 Connecticut General Assembly session, when the economic benefits of the state’s film tax credit program were called into question. The goal of this specific campaign was to raise awareness among legislators and the public of the positive economic impact that film, television and digital media productions have on the state’s economy, in an effort to refute criticism and preserve the film tax credit. In order to do this, GBPR carried out a three-prong public affairs campaign, consisting of outreach to business reporters at daily newspapers throughout Connecticut; creation and submission of opinion editorials (op-eds) to newspapers on behalf of film industry executives; and outreach to editorial page editors offering meetings with CPC members. Coverage included op-eds placed in The Advocate (Stamford) and the Norwich Bulletin; an editorial in the New Haven Register and feature stories in the Hartford Business Journal and The Day (New London). Every placement secured was provided directly to state legislators to ensure their awareness of the positive stories present in the media about this important industry. As a result of GBPR’s public relations efforts and participation from CPC members, the film tax credit was preserved during the 2009 legislative session, encouraging several new productions to locate in the state, and allowing Connecticut’s film, television and digital media industry to continue to flourish.