As a goodwill effort to show appreciation to Florida first responders and healthcare heroes in the wake of the global pandemic, COVID-19, 7-Eleven® franchisees decided to offer free lunches to them on May 7, 2020. On May 1, 2020, PTE was contacted to provide publicity services to generate awareness of the one-day, Florida-only community relations effort and provide as many meals as possible to frontline heroes.
OBJECTIVES & STRATEGIES:
Due to the short timeframe, limited budget, and wide geographic coverage of 10 key focus areas around the state of Florida, PTE decided that the best strategy would be to leverage effective media relations and community relations/grassroots efforts to generate advance coverage/reach. (Note, social media was also suggested but handled in-house). PTE used both the media (print, online, radio, and TV) and healthcare organizations to reach first responders and healthcare workers as well as those who could pass along the information to them. The media would be supplied with the information they could share via their channels with their readers/viewers/listeners. This would effectively blanket the key focus areas. Along with working with local chambers of commerce, PTE also focused on working with local healthcare organizations and hospital networks’ human resources departments to distribute the information directly to their employees, which were all targeted for the event.
The objectives were:
- Raise awareness of the event among target audience members in the geographic focus area by garnering 30,000 media impressions from print and television media before May 7, 2020.
- Expand the reach to target audience members in the geographic focus area by garnering free PSA coverage on at least 10 radio stations.
- Generate enough interest through effective publicity/media relations and grassroots efforts to ensure at least 5,000 target audience members visit a participating location on the event day and pick up a free lunch.
In just six days:
- An estimated 57,300 media impressions in the focus areas were earned, as well as ten shares on Chamber websites or social media platforms to their sizeable audiences.
- A total of twenty-six radio stations put the PSA in their rotations and/or mentioned it live at no charge.
- Participating locations provided more than 6,000 free lunches in one day, and the business organization received positive and grateful responses from all contacts (media, chambers, etc.) effectively creating goodwill between those organizations and the business organization. Multiple hospital systems relayed their thanks and promised to pass along the offer/invitation to their staff.