Dittoe PR began its partnership with Watermark Retirement Communities in February 2020 for the June 2020 launch of Not Another Second. The interactive art gallery would debut during a media event at Watermark’s newest senior living community in Brooklyn, New York. But once the pandemic hit in March 2020, and with New York being the epicenter for COVID-19, Watermark decided to pause on its launch until further notice.
Dittoe PR reengaged with Watermark in November 2020 with the goal of relaunching the campaign. Together, it was decided to have a socially distanced grand opening event and campaign launch in January 2021. However, the challenge remained the same: getting media to attend a grand opening event in the country’s epicenter during a global pandemic. This was on top of a busy news cycle with the upcoming inauguration of President Joe Biden.
After restarting its partnership with Watermark Retirement Communities, Dittoe PR began media relations efforts in early December to drum up as much awareness and interest as possible. Dittoe PR focused on national media reporters who covered LGBTQ+ issues as well as local media and art and LGBTQ+ trade publications. Dittoe PR also proposed having an official Media Day one week before the official exhibit launch on Tuesday, Jan. 16, with daily preview events for other media and influencers the following days throughout the week. This outreach was separate from the team’s other media relations efforts, focusing solely on national writers who lived in the New York area and local media.
COVID-19 Communications Plan
Dittoe PR worked closely with Watermark to create a COVID-19 plan, which included the process of COVID-19 screenings, social distancing, personal conduct onsite, and additional measures. The official Media Day and each following Preview Event was capped at 10 people, which meant the team had to be very detail-oriented with who to invite and for what day/time slot. Dittoe PR also arranged on-site interviews with some of the seniors who were a part of the Not Another Second campaign to secure top coverage and highlight the importance of the campaign.
Other Virtual/Digital Alternatives
For those who still did not feel safe attending the event, RXM Creative created an interactive website where individuals could still watch the documentary and view the portraits as if they were onsite. Dittoe PR assembled a detailed press kit with all campaign assets (participant bios, fact sheets on every campaign partner, portraits, backgrounders, etc.) so reporters could produce stories even without attending the event or seeing the exhibit in person.