Ironworks Social Success!

Dittoe PR recently had the opportunity to assist with organizing the first annual Ironworks Social event at Ironworks Hotel Indy. It was in the high 70s in late October, the sun was shining, and the hotel looked as brilliant as ever. The parking lot was packed with booths offering unique foods and refreshing spirits and a grand stage was set up to host a live performer. Inside the hotel, the Ironworks Hotel staff excitedly awaited the arrival of guests to lead hotel tours and greet VIP attendees.

In addition to the perfect weather, the months of preparation made for a seamless grand opening celebration of the first boutique hotel on Indy’s north side.

From brainstorming event names and coordinating the menus to event promotion around the Circle City, Dittoe PR was responsible for arranging every detail for the big day. While some parts of event planning can be sexy, others, such as studying generators, amps and wattage for electric needs, can be much less appealing. Most, but not all, of Dittoe PR’s efforts for ensuring Ironworks Social was a hit included:

  • Researching and booking bands;
  • Coordinating and creating menus for four different Ironworks’ restaurants and two different alcohol vendors;
  • Renting tables, chairs, tents, a stage, a generator, lighting, port-o-lets, hand washing stations, trash cans, barricades, and more;
  • Booking security;
  • Designing VIP invites and distributing them to key contacts;
  • Securing hotel artists;
  • Inviting guests via Eventbrite;
  • Securing media coverage promoting the event;
  • Creating an hourly run of show for the weekend; and
  • Providing on-site support from sun up until sun down on event day.

Completing all of these tasks and staying within our budget was no easy feat. Our team was determined to work hard and make Ironworks Social an event Hoosiers wanted to attend and talk about afterward.

During the event, which lasted from 5 to 10:30 p.m., attendees were able to purchase small plates from key restaurants at Ironworks at Keystone and Ironworks Hotel including Ruth’s Chris, Sangiovese Ristorante, and Cunningham Restaurant Group’s Provision and Rize, as well as libations from Sun King Brewery and Fountain Square’s Hotel Tango. Guests also enjoyed live music from Indianapolis favorite The Bishops and Wisconsin-based WiFEE and the HUZzBAND, hotel tours, and conversations about the hotel’s exclusive artwork from four different Ironworks Hotel artists. Attendance for the event was free.

More than 550 guests attended the first-ever Ironworks Social, and the Ironworks Hotel team hopes to make it an annual event. Ironworks Hotel and Dittoe PR were thrilled at the positive response from guests, and we can’t wait to begin planning for next year!


Dittoe PR Takes Over Seattle With ‘Strawless In Seattle’ Campaign

It all started with a plastic straw.


Plastic straws seem harmless, but after working with Aardvark paper straws for more than three years, we’ve learned more about the dangers of plastic straws than one can even imagine possible.


Plastic straws pollute our oceans, beaches, and harm our marine life. Fish feed on microplastics, which can then end up on our own plates, and before you know it, humans ingest plastic for dinner. In the U.S. alone, we use 500 million plastic straws daily. By 2050, plastics in the ocean will outweigh the fish.


When Aardvark teamed up with Lonely Whale Foundation and HBO ‘Entourage’ star, Adrian Grenier, to spearhead an environmental campaign to #stopsucking plastic straws in Seattle, Dittoe PR was thrilled for the opportunity to work on something that would truly make a global impact.


And it did.


Through Lonely Whale Foundation’s Strawless in Seattle campaign, 150 Seattle businesses, venues, and restaurants eliminated more than 2 million plastic straws across the city in September 2017 by using Aardvark’s marine degradable, biodegradable, FSC-certified, Made in the USA paper straws. Dittoe PR shared the Strawless in Seattle campaign with local, regional, national, and international media, which resulted in media hits in several major media outlets including PEOPLE, TIME, Fast Company, The Seattle Times, Puget Sound Business Journal, Treehugger, and much more.


The Aardvark paper straws account team also traveled to Seattle for the official Strawless in Seattle press conference, which Dittoe PR coordinated from the ground up. Keynote speakers in the presser included Adrian Grenier, co-founder of Lonely Whale Foundation; Dune Ives, executive director of Lonely Whale Foundation; Ed Murray, former Seattle Mayor; David Young, GM of CenturyLink Field for the Seattle Seahawks, and more influential Seattlites. Dittoe PR handled technical and venue-related logistics, drafted talking points for speakers, developed media kits, invited media to the event, managed media interviews with key spokespeople, and ensured the event was a success!


The day after the presser, the Strawless in Seattle announcement went totally viral. While our team had already secured some national stories about the campaign, and of course, local stories in the Seattle market, 50+ local media outlets across the nation, ranging from New York City to Texas to Nebraska, shared the news of the Seattle campaign.


Strawless in Seattle was one of our most successful campaigns yet, as Dittoe PR came out of the month-long campaign with 248 media hits, 290,946,957 media impressions and a total publicity value of $2,896,547! It was one of the most rewarding PR experiences we have ever had, as we helped spread the word about why plastic straws “suck” and garnered media attention of such high value in just one month.


Dittoe Public Relations Aces Third BMW Championship

At Dittoe PR, we pride ourselves on truly becoming an extension of our clients’ marketing teams, and that’s why so many of our clients have partnered with us for numerous years.


The Western Golf Association (WGA) is one of our favorite examples. The organization conducts the BMW Championship, the penultimate event in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs, and oversees the sole beneficiary of the prestigious event—the Evans Scholars Foundation, which provides full college tuition and housing scholarships to students with financial need and strong caddie and academic records.


Every other year, the BMW Championship is played in the Chicago area. In off years, it rotates between a handful of different cities across the U.S, including Indianapolis. The WGA has always been strict about its policy to partner with a local PR agency in each market to promote the tournament.


Our team was fortunate to handle the public relations for the BMW Championship in 2012 and 2016—the only two times the tournament was played in Central Indiana (Carmel, to be exact). We were responsible for securing local media coverage, producing content to drive consumer interest, and planning and running Media Day as well as other promotional events leading up to the tournament. In addition, our team was on-site at the golf course at all times throughout tournament week.


In 2013 and 2014, the WGA also contracted Dittoe PR to handle media relations for the Hotel Fitness Championship, a Tour event in Fort Wayne, Indiana.


Our PR campaigns for the BMW Championship and Hotel Fitness Championship were such a success that the WGA selected Dittoe PR to lead its PR efforts for the 2017 BMW Championship in Lake Forest, Illinois. This marked the first time the organization selected a firm outside of the local market.


Of course, we were beyond thrilled and honored for the opportunity, but we also knew we had our work cut out for us to achieve the same results in Chicago that we did in Indiana. For one, Chicago is a much larger media market, ranking No. 3 on the Nielsen Designated Market Areas list compared to Indianapolis, which always hovers around No. 27. Chicago is also home to more professional sports teams and organizations than Indianapolis. And, the city’s North Shore hosts the BMW Championship every other year, while the tournament has only come to Central Indiana twice.


One of Dittoe PR’s primary objectives was to secure media coverage for the tournament several months leading up to the event, which can be especially difficult when you’re competing with the Chicago Blackhawks and Bulls during their playoff seasons, the kick-off of the Cubs season and constant Bears coverage.


One of our ‘secrets’ to our success in the Indy market are the strong relationships we have with local media members. At the very onset of our PR campaign for the 2017 BMW Championship, we decided to take our account team’s networking talents to the Windy City! We set up brief meetings with top producers and media personalities at the local TV and radio stations as well as reporters at the local print and digital publications. We introduced ourselves and learned how we could best accommodate their tournament coverage and help with any golf-related content throughout the spring and summer.


Our in-person meetings paid off. Throughout the spring and summer, we were able to consistently secure media coverage and new opportunities to promote the tournament. We used a number of story angles to get the word out. From highlighting local tournament volunteers in their community newspapers to touting a Father’s Day ticket package on morning radio talk shows to promoting a week-long interactive event at Riverside Plaza in downtown Chicago on local TV newscasts, our team worked tirelessly to keep the BMW Championship in the news throughout the six months leading up to the tournament.


In addition to media relations, we planned and executed the 2017 BMW Championship Media Day at Conway Farms in mid-August. We handled nearly every aspect of the event, including creating and sending invitations, drafting talking points for each speaker, producing a multimedia slideshow, coordinating a Skype interview with PGA TOUR player Paul Casey, facilitating on-site media interview requests, developing media kits, organizing gift bags, and working with the A/V company on all technical needs.


Months of planning resulted in a seamless Skype interview with Casey, well-prepped speakers, a flawless presentation, and ultimately, an incredibly successful event promoting the tournament’s return to Conway Farms.


In total, 78 members of the media attended Media Day and we secured 26 pieces of coverage within 24 hours.


From Media Day through tournament week (Sept. 12-17), our PR push never slowed down, and we were able to achieve the same results in Chicago in 2017 that we did in Indianapolis in 2012 and 2016.


From April to mid-September 2017, our team secured 249 local media stories, resulting in 176,936,443 media impressions and a publicity value of $2,659,466.