you

Success Stories

Public Relations

Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Bureau and Office of Economic Development

Challenge

After the Waldo Canyon Fire in 2012, when Manitou Springs was evacuated, two years of severe flooding during tourist season undermined the town’s retail sales, forcing some businesses to close. The Manitou Chamber hired us in 2013 to develop a strategic marketing program that would increase customers for local businesses and boost attendance at major community events by putting Manitou front and center as a destination for events and shopping.

Strategy

In the autumn of 2013, our marketing campaign, “We’ve got Manitude,” and two weekends of We’ve Got Manitude Block Parties let people know the streets were clean and dry, and the restaurants, shops, galleries and attractions were open for business!

To build on the success of that campaign, we followed with a strategic event in the spring of 2014, before tourist season and the summer heavy rains began. We staged and hosted a Media Roundtable, with the police chief, fire department, mayor, city administrator and public works director presenting evidence to the media of extensive flood-mitigation work that had been done in and above Manitou that would eliminate the hazard of debris careening downstream during thunderstorms.

Results

The We’ve got Manitude kick-off received extensive local media coverage, attracted thousands of visitors, and simultaneously reinvigorated and showcased the can-do spirit of Manitou Springs, a resilient, funky, historic tourist town.

We followed the Manitude effort with seasonal campaigns and special events that kept the town front and center in people’s minds and helped stabilize and improve economic activity in the town.

In addition, at the Media Roundtable, all of the local print media outlets and TV stations sent reporters or editors, who wrote or broadcast details of the numerous improvements, garnering widespread positive media coverage for Manitou.

Digital – Example 1

Conspire!

Challenge

An American franchise offering employment screening services for a number of industries across the nation, Conspire!’ learned its biggest challenge was to build a strong online presence and stay competitive in organic searches. After auditing the existing website, we determined what technological and optimization needs had to be resolved before the client could start growing its online presence.

Strategy

The Conspire! SEO campaign consisted of four parts:

  • Modernize website platform.
  • Perform SEO audit and competitive analysis.
  • Develop and continuously optimize SEO strategy.
  • Implement SEO strategy and monitor success.

Results

During the first three months of the campaign, organic traffic to the Conspire! website increased by 1,798% , while ranking improved by 2.6%.

SEO efforts also included social-media recommendations to further increase traffic and awareness. As a result, traffic to the website from social media increased by 200%.

Digital – Example 2

The New Winslow BMW of Colorado Springs

Challenge

The New Winslow BMW of Colorado Springs wanted to celebrate a Grand Opening while creating awareness – with current and prospective customers – of its new location at 5845 North Nevada Avenue, near Interstate 25. This rebranding was especially crucial, as they’d been at their former location for 51 years, with many loyal customers. But as the city had grown and changed geographically and demographically, Winslow realized it needed to relocate along the I-25 corridor for convenient access for all customers.

Strategy

Grand Opening Week included a Drive for Team USA kick-off and a VIP Gala Evening, which included the ribbon cutting, professional photography of all guests in front of a Winslow BMW-branded wall, and announcement of the winner of its BMW i3 contest.

As part of the event organizational efforts, The New Winslow BMW of Colorado Springs Grand Opening had a strong social media component, including lively and dedicated real-time posting during each event. Our strategic efforts included organic posting and interaction with fans.

Results

All of that strategic and organic social media paid off, increasing the Winslow BMW Facebook community by 10% and reaching a total of 4,269 people in those specific days.

During the period of promotional events, Winslow BMW’s Twitter channel reached over 2,400 impressions.

Following the events, additional behind-the-scenes materials were posted throughout the following months to continue generating engagement and growing Winslow BMW’s social-media communities.

Promotional

Colorado College Hockey

Our Creative Director has been working on the Colorado College Hockey account for 20 years!

Challenge

Colorado College has a Division 1 collegiate hockey program. However, the college of only 2,500 students competes against schools throughout the U.S., with up to 120,000 students.

Yet, CC doesn’t have an on-campus stadium or a large student body, which usually creates a built-in audience.

In 1995, the challenge was to create local and regional awareness that the college even had a hockey team – much less a highly ranked one. Many residents in the region are transplants from states that are completely unfamiliar with hockey. There was a new, public 8,000-seat stadium to fill, now known as the Broadmoor World Arena, and we were competing against the nearby movie theaters, restaurants and shopping for weekend entertainment.

Strategy

Keep in mind this was long before the Internet and social media: We strove to create an experiential perspective in our marketing – focusing on what people feel, see and hear – rather than making hockey itself the showpiece or using cliché-driven sports terminology.

We wanted to present hockey as an action-themed, live event to attend, more like a rock concert than sports.

Fortunately, the design of the stadium ensures that everyone has a good seat. But we needed to tell the story of a live sporting event – one where spectators can feel the vibrations when players slam into the boards right by them – the story of an intense, intimate experience that makes people want to buy season tickets and experience the energy again and again.

During those early years, we went with a new one-word campaign each season to convey the simplicity, joy and fun that spectators would experience at a CC Hockey game. The first year, it was: “Believe.” Another year, the word was “Grit.”

Back then, this was fresh – unheard of. And it worked. For more than a decade.

By 2007, CC Hockey had long-since garnered the name recognition it deserved, and we strategically segued to marketing hockey as a product.

Results

Today, CC Hockey is ranked 4th in the nation for attendance in D1 hockey – quite an achievement after an inauspicious start. Recently, for a few seasons, CC Hockey was the #1 collegiate winter sporting event in Colorado. Average attendance at home games hovers around 6,800 attendees. And we don’t mind saying we’re very proud of that.

Events

City for Champions event at Library 21c

Challenge

In December 2013, Colorado Springs received a $120-million tax credit award from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade to help fund four major tourism projects – the U.S. Olympic Museum, Air Force Academy Visitor Center, UCCS Sports Medicine Facility, and a downtown, multi-use stadium.

We were hired in early 2014 to develop and implement a strategic public relations plan to build community support. The program included PR, social-media management, event coordination, website development and maintenance, video production and collateral development. In addition, City for Champions held monthly public meetings, and they wanted us to build excitement around them and increase attendance.

Strategy

We decided to shift the public meeting format from a presentation style to an interactive style – and we planned to make the atmosphere festive, more like a celebration than a generic public meeting.

To that end, we planned to begin the meeting with a musical performance, followed by a skit, and an illustrator drawing the suggestions people made on a huge canvas. Stations were set up, so attendees could mingle and speak one on one with representatives from each of the four projects, offering their own ideas for growth in conjunction with the City for Champions projects.

Other stations offered information on our Sister City, Ancient Olympia, Greece, the United States Olympic Training Center (with athletes signing autographs), a general table where people could hear about funding, plus a station for kids to create art showing their vision for our city.

Also, we sent out a news release, placed ads, and promoted the event on social media and community calendars.

Results

Beginning with a spirited rendition of “City for Champions,” performed by talented Colorado Springs Conservatory singers, the high-energy Public Meeting on August 19, 2014, at Library 21c, attracted the largest crowd to date.

In an open-house format, nearly 300 people energetically collaborated on ways our community could benefit, including the economic and revitalization potential following C4C projects.

During the event, local artist Matt Rebel drew a large illustration of the multiple ideas for Colorado Springs offered by attendees, including a downtown trolley, elevated solar-panel roadway, Science Center, Children’s Museum, enhanced and dedicated urban bike lanes and more.

Local businessman Justin Burns had the audience laughing with his live skit, “A Day in the Life of a Young Professional,” a fictitious and futuristic account of what it would be like to live in Colorado Springs after the City for Champions projects and resulting restaurants, downtown apartments, more retail and other developments were built.

This event and City for Champions received widespread positive media coverage – even from media outlets that had formerly taken a negative stance toward the projects and publicity efforts.

Also, our social media efforts were highly successful. On Twitter, the number of impressions jumped from a couple of dozen to 520 just before the event and 1, 132 during the event. Facebook impressions jumped from an average of 1,000 to 4,635 and 5,353 during and shortly after the event.

Research

Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership

Challenge

In 2013, the Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership needed evidence that would point them in the right direction for a rebrand of the downtown shopping and dining core.

They wanted to increase visitors and residents to downtown for shopping, dining, entertainment and to live.

Strategy

Our deliverables included research, brand strategy, message development, a revised logo and tagline, plus an annual marketing plan.

The research included seven focus groups, 33 one-on-one interviews with board members and stakeholders, plus 200 shopper-intercept interviews (100 Downtown and 100 in a competing shopping area).

Based on our research, we developed a brand strategy and updated identity, plus we implemented quarterly shopping events that included coordination with business owners who wanted to participate.

Results

Downtown Colorado Springs has seen a marked increase in visitors. Numerous new businesses have opened, and additional residential development is under construction, with even more units planned for the near future.

Downtown is back on the map as the place in Colorado Springs to live, shop, work, dine and play.

In June 2014, Downtown Colorado Springs was designated a Creative District by Colorado Creative Industries, a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade. We’d like to think our strategic research gave momentum to Downtown, on its way to that coveted designation.

us