Geronimo wanted their Wisconsin properties to be as successful as Ironworks Hotel Indy, but the rest of their properties reside in cities much, much smaller than Indianapolis. If you’re not from Beloit, Delafield, or Janesville, you might not realize what these Wisconsin cities have to offer. In fact, in the past, Beloit has been included in national lists of the worst cities to live. But the team behind Geronimo Hospitality Group has been hard at work for years to change that. Geronimo has intentionally developed these cities to deliver original, contemporary brands that provide memorable experiences to local residents and tourists who visit for business or pleasure.
These Wisconsin cities are also smaller media markets and securing consistent, quality media coverage can be difficult. Larger Milwaukee and Madison television stations and print and online media outlets sometimes cover the cities, but sometimes they are a hard sell because of the distance.
So how does Geronimo tell the story of its unique properties outside of its own small city?
Dittoe PR worked closely with the Geronimo team to prioritize and identify 10 businesses to focus on for 2019 PR efforts. Our goal was to generate media and social influencer coverage that would lead to increased brand awareness as well as more foot traffic to the following Geronimo Hospitality Group properties: I.d., Velvet Buffalo, truk’t, Hotel Goodwin, Delafield Hotel, Beloit Club, Ironworks Golf Lab, Bark River CrossFit and be FITNESS.
Dittoe PR worked closely with Geronimo’s account specialists and each property’s general managers to ensure we stayed ahead of all upcoming events hosted by each property as well as seasonal happenings and holidays we could leverage to secure ongoing, consistent media opportunities for the properties. This included monthly calls (and often more) with Geronimo’s executive team.
Dittoe PR proactively pitched multiple story angles on a weekly basis to TV, print and digital media in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin; Rockford, Illinois; and hyperlocal outlets in Beloit, Delafield and Janesville, Wisconsin. Dittoe PR also identified and secured national and trade media opportunities for Geronimo on an ongoing basis.
Some of the top media hits in 2019 included:
- Chicago Tribune
- PGA Magazine
- Milwaukee Business Journal
- Madison Magazine
- FOX6 Milwaukee
- Hotel News Now
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Dittoe PR also identified award opportunities for Geronimo and handled the entire award nomination process. This included local “Best Of” list opportunities, regional awards, hospitality trade awards, as well as various “Best Places to Work” awards.
In 2019, Dittoe PR secured 300 pieces of media coverage, resulting in more than 294 million impressions and more than $2.9 million in total ad value. In contrast – in 2018, before Dittoe PR began working with the properties – they received less than 20 pieces of media coverage. That’s a more than 190% increase year over year.
In addition to traditional media relations, Dittoe PR worked with local and regional social media influencers to further build brand awareness for Gernomino and its Wisconsin properties.
Dittoe PR identified social influencers in local and regional cities, including Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago. When selecting influencers, Dittoe PR researched their following, engagement, rates, how often they travel, the types of brands they’ve worked with in the past and more. Dittoe PR handled all influencer outreach and developed guidelines and terms influencers must agree to before partnering with Geronimo. In addition to research, outreach and coordination, Dittoe PR planned the entire “Geronimo experience” for influencers, which typically included a complimentary weekend stay in one of their hotel suites in both cities as well as complimentary meals at their Instagrammable local restaurants and fun activities at the gym and golf properties.