Massage Heights Case Study

For just over a year, we’ve worked with the Massage Heights franchise in Indianapolis to promote their services, manage social media and provide event planning support. Additionally, we’ve positioned owner and operator Cristina Goebel as an expert in her field by securing byline placements and TV segments to share the benefits of massage therapy, how to lead a successful team and more. 

Below outlines a case study for our work with Massage Heights Indianapolis:


When Cristina and Matt Goebel opened their first Massage Heights retreat at Ironworks Hotel Indy in fall 2017, the location was experiencing good foot traffic, thanks to its brand reputation and an influx of hotel guests seeking an afternoon or evening of relaxation. While Massage Heights Ironworks was building a reputation for providing a wide range of customized massages and facials, many of the retreat visitors were either hotel guests or simply one-time visitors, enjoying the discounted rate of their first massage. The Massage Heights team knew they had a high-end, yet affordable service to offer clientele, but struggled to get people coming back. 

Despite a high drop-off rate, the retreat located in Ironworks was performing well and a few months later, the husband-and-wife team opened a second retreat in Carmel, Indiana. Despite the amount of high-end clientele living in this area, this retreat proved to be much more of a challenge when it came to getting even first-time guests in the door. 

Massage Heights needed to increase foot traffic overall at both locations, with a focus on Carmel, and also increase the number of loyal, returning visitors, membership holders and more. 


Our solution was a three-pronged approach that involved strategic social media management, developing relationships with social influencers and localized media relations efforts: 

Social Media 
Developing and executing a social media strategy for Massage Heights’ Ironworks and Carmel retreats was our number one priority.  

Massage Heights had no issue getting first-time customers in the door at Ironworks, but struggled to get customers to sign up for the long-term membership program and despite name recognition, the Carmel retreat struggled with both general foot traffic and securing loyal members. We knew we needed to reach and educate people in the Central Indiana market on the benefits of continued massage therapy. There was no better place to drive this message home than on social media.

Before partnering with Dittoe PR, Massage Heights was mainly sharing sporadic company updates pushed from their corporate team and not much content specific to the Indy area. We knew that in order to organically attract new followers, our content needed to be local and authentic. We began by following real people with real connections to Indy. We also boosted organic content that was performing well and invited the engaging users to “like” our Facebook pages. 

But gaining followers was just part of the battle. We knew we had to develop content that kept new followers engaged. So, we began conducting weekly contests and giveaways, incentivizing people to follow and engage with us, and creating weekly therapist spotlights, allowing followers to learn more about Massage Heights employees and feel more connected to their massage therapists. 

Social Advertising 
To further build brand awareness for Massage Heights and ensure the local community is aware of the range of services offered, we create and manage 4-5 ads per month on each of the Massage Heights’ Facebook pages. 

By identifying our top performing content and leveraging social listening to find out what questions our followers are asking, we deploy a monthly marketing budget aimed at educating our target audience on the importance of continued massage therapy. We also maximize our monthly ad spend budget by seeking insight from the retreat teams on which services are getting the most attention at each location.  

To get more first-time visitors in the door, we also promote the monthly specials offered by Massage Heights, as well as ongoing contests to encourage more entries. From gift card sales to free services and discounts, these promotions make users in the Central Indiana market more aware of the value-add Massage Heights provides customers on a daily basis. 

But keeping Massage Heights at top-of-mind for consumers in a market that is so saturated with content, we deploy advertisements and boosted posts to people who already like our page, allowing us to communicate with them directly about the benefits of continued massage therapy. 

Social Media Growth

  • Instagram: Started at 454 followers. Currently at 2,012 followers (343% growth)
  • Facebook: Meridian and Main 197 page likes when they started; Currently at 406 page likes
  • Facebook: Ironworks: 524 page likes when they started; Currently 768 page likes

In total, Dittoe PR has: 

  • Shared 1,381 posts across all social accounts
  • Gained a total of 2,003 new followers
  • Earned a total of 1,335,930 impressions and 11,330 engagements 
  • Directed more than 4,740 clicks to the Massage Heights Indy landing pages

“Knowing our initial priority was to increase traffic at our Carmel location, Dittoe PR developed and executed a comprehensive social media plan that created real business results. As our goals and initiatives evolve over time, Dittoe PR is right there, developing new ideas and strategies to ensure we are always reaching and engaging our target audiences. They have truly become an extension of our team.
– Cristina Goebel, Franchise Owner, Massage Heights 

Social Influencers
We can talk about how incredible Massage Heights is all day on our own social media platforms, but getting third party credibility is crucial. So, to help us further connect and engage with Massage Heights’ target audiences in an authentic and real way, we identified and partnered with key local influencers. We manage approximately 10-15 influencer relationships at a time, and levels of engagement can vary from offering a single service to a six-month partnership. We focus on four different groups of influencers; moms, lifestyle, fitness and students, enabling us to tap into the different types of clientele Massage Heights typically works with. 

To drive interest in memberships and express the importance of continued massage therapy, we work with several influencers on a long-term basis, allowing them to share their own personal journeys with massage therapy and the benefits they were experiencing with a long-term membership. Several influencer partners were also invited to demonstrate newly offered services, including Dynamic Cupping Therapy, to build excitement and interest among their followers. 

Influencers also conducted giveaways through their Instagram and Facebook pages.

In addition to working with individual influencers, we also secured partnerships with local groups and organizations. We plan and coordinate an average of 2 on-site events each month with groups such as local bloggers, Yelp and theCityMoms. By getting these influential groups in the door, we were able to educate them on the benefits of massage therapy and the various services Massage Heights offers. These types of events take the mystery out of massages and helps creates a personal relationship between influencers and massage therapists. Event attendees who book a massage while in-retreat are also offered free “elevations” (such as adding Hot Stone Therapy to their massage) to thank them, in addition to receiving membership pricing discounts on services and products. These partnerships have resulted in countless new memberships for Massage Heights and creates a buzz on social media about the company and its services. 

To date, we have managed 23 influencer partnerships for Massage Heights, resulting in 33 influencer posts, 11,210 likes and 1,154 comments.

Media Relations 
While the majority of our efforts were focused on social media and social influencers, we also worked to secure traditional media coverage for Massage Heights that we knew would be most impactful. A lot of our media relations strategy was focused on leveraging holidays and seasons. For example, we secured local TV segment opportunities surrounding holiday shopping and stress, New Year’s resolutions and seasonal allergies, as well as digital coverage in the form of local holiday gift guides and more.

We also helped set Cristina apart from other local business owners in the industry by securing thought-leadership opportunities in reputable local publications, such as Inside Indiana Business and Be Well Indy, discussing topics like the benefits of continued massage therapy and building a strong company culture. 

In one year, we have secured more than 26 pieces of media coverage resulting in over 5 million media impressions and more than $162,000 in publicity value. 

As both Massage Heights locations get busier, our goals and priorities have shifted. We now work to help the organization attract and recruit great employees. This includes posting new job openings on LinkedIn and Facebook, creating a massage therapist spotlight segment once a week on Facebook and Instagram, and constantly developing and promoting new content highlighting company culture and the benefits Massage Heights offers its employees. 

One year ago, Massage Heights came to us to help them build brand awareness and increase foot traffic. Today, they’re consistently booking appointments 3-4 weeks in advance now at both locations and have doubled the number of full-time therapists they employ to meet the increase in demand. 

Massage Heights continues to grow and is currently looking to hire new therapists to keep with demand. In fall 2019, Massage Heights will open its third location in Central Indiana – in Fishers – and Dittoe PR will provide social media, influencer and media relations support for the new location. 

Signs a Career in PR Might Be for You

I wasn’t one of those kids who knew exactly what they wanted to do when they grew up. Some kids want to be doctors or veterinarians or teachers from the first time they’re asked that question until they graduate from college with a job lined up. What I wanted to be when I grew up had something to do with reading and writing and books – and to be a princess, of course.

Skip to college admissions time, and I just knew I wanted to be a music teacher… but you can’t be a music teacher if you aren’t accepted to the school of music. Then, I just knew I wanted to be an English teacher… until I realized I didn’t actually want to teach at all. One English literature degree, graduate certificate program, and internship later, I knew what my career was going to be: non-profit marketing.

As I write to you on a PR agency’s blog, it’s clear that non-profit marketing was indeed not my forever career. However, my education and experiences did lead me to public relations, and I can trace the breadcrumbs of my interests and skills that make PR the perfect career for me – and maybe for you, too. Here are four signs a career in PR might be for you:

1. You like to write.
Writing is a rewarding, if challenging, pastime. Ask any author on Twitter and they’ll let you know how much of a challenge it can be to get the right words on paper. When you get to tell a compelling true story, though, and it results in national media coverage, it’s hard not to be delighted to write every day. Whether it’s a press release for a client’s latest capital fund raise, a blog post for a product that’s changing kids’ lives, or even an award nomination so a client can receive deserved recognition for the amazing company culture they’ve built, the reward for touting all the amazing things our clients do far outweighs any challenges.

2. You are addicted to NPR, morning radio shows or evening news programs.
I used to have a 45-minute commute around Indy. On the fifth day in a row where I heard the same three songs and 10 commercials in a 20-minute window, I had to do something to stimulate my brain during rush hour. I found Indy’s local NPR station, WFYI, and I haven’t changed my radio since. I feel lost if I don’t know what’s going on in the world, in the US and here in Indiana.

In PR, this is a huge asset. “Newsjacking” is an opportunity we take advantage of often. If we hear an interesting story and one of our clients has a timely counterpoint to share, we can reach out to that reporter with our client’s unique viewpoint. And newsjacking doesn’t only apply to serious news. If a client has a fun event coming up and you know that your favorite morning DJ would love to attend, reach out! It could be a win-win for the client and the station – not to mention all the people who will want to check out the event when they hear about it during their own commute.

3. You’re bored by cyclical or repetitive projects.
Non-profits are ruled by the fundraising calendar cycle: Spring drive, summer event, fall drive, Giving Tuesday, holiday giving, repeat. Finding new ways to spruce up fundraisers can be a fun exercise, but once you’ve done it three, four, five times, the repetition can be draining. Hands down, my favorite thing about working at a PR agency is that no two projects look the same – even if you think they are on the surface. Creating a strategic social media plan for two clients may sound like the same project, but when one is for a hospitality client and the other is for a utilities company, those plans are going to look completely different. Having clients from multiple industries located in multiple states all with varying needs means every day at Dittoe is different, and so is every project.

4. You’re results-driven and tenacious.
I wouldn’t say I’m the most competitive person in the world – or in the Dittoe office, for that matter. But I do strive to exceed my clients’ expectations when executing projects. When a client hires Dittoe to secure coverage, I am driven to ensure they get the coverage they want, and then some. This can mean sending more emails in a day than I could have dreamed or spending time researching topics I don’t know much about. At the end of the day, though, when all that research and all those emails result in national coverage, stellar social media metrics, or a really great story, every minute is worth it.

These are by no means the only skills necessary to work in PR. If you’re entering the workforce for the first time, or looking at changing up your career, take stock of your interests in addition to your skills and education. You never know when having a favorite “All Things Considered” host or a penchant for local business newsletters might come in handy.

Four reasons why your company needs PR

“Thank You for Smoking.” “The West Wing.” “Wag the Dog.”

These are all movies and TV shows that revolve around public relations. Now, if you notice, most of these involve some sort of crisis or needed “spin.” Flashback to more than a decade ago, and there was a slight stigma surrounding public relations. Often times PR was viewed as just “putting out fires” and only used when there was an emergency.

While we still help with crisis communications, utilizing a PR agency can provide great value for your company in many other ways.  

It can increase your brand’s credibility.
One of the biggest things PR can do for your business is help improve your overall brand credibility. Not only can secured media coverage be used as sales collateral, but it also shows readers that you are considered an expert in your industry. Media coverage in top-tier outlets or even specific trade publications shows others that your brand is worthy of recognition. With the right messaging and strategy, PR can increase your credibility as an established and potentially profitable investment target.

It can help create new business leads.
When done correctly, public relations can help improve business outcomes by generating new leads. When your brand or product is strategically placed in targeted or niche media outlets, you are becoming more visible to your target audience(s). At Dittoe PR, we focus on pitching the right publications – while you might not get the fancy national media hit every month, we can guarantee correct placement in the best publications for you.   

It can save you a buck or two.
If you haven’t checked how much it costs to advertise in a publication…don’t. Kidding. But it can be extremely expensive. That’s why we focus on earned media coverage and creating relationships with reporters. When we send over an ad value for a piece of coverage, that’s how much it would have cost to purchase an advertisement. Yes, you’re still paying an agency for their services, but it’s at the fraction of the overall advertising cost.

It can let you focus on your business at hand. 
Media relations is a full-time job (believe us, or else we’d be jobless). That’s why hiring a PR agency can help alleviate the pressure of running a business while building brand awareness (this is especially true for startups). While you’re working on the mechanics of the company, an agency will focus on media outreach, drafting content, submitting awards and more on your behalf.

We love hearing from new businesses who want to add PR to their queue. Think your organization could benefit from our assistance? Be sure to check out our full list of services and reach out to Lauryn Gray at today!