A ‘How to Get Visitors to Richmond’ story

Sail America moved their annual Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show from tourist hub Jack London Square in Oakland to Craneway Pavillion in the industrial district of Richmond in 2016. What a transition. Once you drove down through the blighted area wondering if you were going the right way, you were already worrying about where to eat afterwards. 

The show was not bustling with folks per the usual JLS venue, but it was a great display of exhibits and boats despite the April storm. However, there was no information about where to eat in Richmond! So, in collaboration with SF on the Bay, we created a Richmond Trail Guide depicting where to dock, eat, drink, stay & play in Richmond – to be distributed the next year.

SF on the Bay (Working Images & Malaga Corp.) were then hired to handle the public relations program the next two years. We noticed the audience was graying so we did giveaways, coupons and social media outreach to attract the younger crowd. We filled up the seminars (e.g.,Women & Sailing) through the giveaways, with a strategy to stay in touch with winners when they were at the show via text.

We brought in environmental nonprofits to enhance the learning experience on the water with knot-tying and kayak lessons. Much more family oriented and a chance for the youth to sign up for classes. Media impressions resulted in successful numbers with every targeted online sailing, power boat, and yachting magazine capturing our releases, as well as local broadcast and radio due to strategic pitches. The show was mentioned every half hour on local radio one day of the show each year.

What we did:
  • Strategic PR plans to increase attendance among non-traditional audiences in NorCal
  • Media Relations Plan/Execution with production of digital & print press packets, writing, quotes, photos/video
  • Created seven press releases (ea. yr.)
  • Distribution to strategic email lists
  • Pitched reporters on stories
  • Select advertising and distribution of posters
  • Outreach to specific Bay Area audiences to build awareness of this year’s show and create the buzz for cross promotion with Richmond businesses – marine, restaurants, breweries, wineries
  • Social media plan. Social strategy includes story writing for SFOTB sites and SA sharing our stories along with show strategy shared with SA ad agency
  • Created free giveaways program
  • Targeted outreach to City of Richmond officials, VIPs and more

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