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With global supply lines still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, Phantom Fireworks found itself looking at a potential fireworks shortage for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. This probable shortage, coupled with Phantom’s focus on spreading safety focused messaging, led to challenges for the nation’s largest consumer-based fireworks retailer about how to best incentivize consumers to purchase fireworks ahead of the major holiday. Additionally, Phantom was opening three new stores located in Lansdale, PA, Great Bend, PA, and Orlando, FL.  


For the Phantom campaign, Sinclair PA recommended a comprehensive earned media approach coupled with social media. This earned media campaign consisted of press releases sent to various media outlets intended to build an overarching message regarding the potential shortage and safety protocols ahead of the Fourth of July holiday. The Sinclair team assisted Phantom in digital content creation by creating themed social media messaging ideas for Phantom’s communications team to adapt and post, in order to complement and relay the press release messaging to their digital audience.  

The primary tools utilized for this campaign are as follows:  

  • Press releases The Sinclair team crafted and distributed two press releases, relaying the news of the potential shortage coupled with tips regarding safe firework operation. These releases aimed to highlight global supply. The first release was created to encourage consumers to shop for fireworks early. The second release was centered around safety, with links to safety videos from Phantom about how to properly operate the fireworks and prevent any accidents from occurring. 
  • Media outreach– The Sinclair PA team coordinated with Phantom to bolster the earned media push by sharing social media posts that coincided with messaging from the releases. A key messaging document was provided to help Phantom draft social content that would complement and reinforce the information relayed in the two news releases. Sinclair PA followed up with individual reporters in key markets- including targeted locations with new store openings- resulting in over 1300+ mentions, including national coverage from outlets such as Yahoo!, USA Today and People. 
  • Social Media- Sinclair complemented Phantom’s existing social media presence by providing suggested key messaging, language, and graphic content to share on social media. The social content not only reinforced the information shared in the two releases, but increased overall engagement as well. 

Final Outcome  

Amid the wave of initial COVID-19 shutdowns and trepidation last spring, Phantom Fireworks was facing potential stagnant firework sales in 2020 due to canceled shows and social distancing laws that prohibited traditional holiday get-togethers. With Sinclair’s help and implementation of the strategic earned media push, the 2020 summer Phantom campaign was a resounding victory, despite a global pandemic and nationwide protests. The campaign resulted in Phantom sales increasing 115% from the previous year, resulting in one of the best years the company has seen. The strategic earned media push elicited over 700 total mentions regarding Phantom. Mentions from CNN, Yahoo, various local news outlets, and even Web MD on a national level came directly from the earned media push.

The Summer 2021 Phantom campaign was also a resounding success- receiving consistent positive media coverage throughout the duration of the campaign. 

Phantom was more than satisfied with each summer’s outcomes, as each customized campaign helped gain brand awareness, as well as preserved and improved their important holiday revenue. 

2020 MarCom Awards

The 2020 Phantom campaign also one Sinclair a prestigious MarCom award! The Platinum Award, in the category of top tier Public Relations Program, recognized outstanding excellence for quality, creativity, and resourcefulness was awarded for the firm’s work with Phantom Fireworks, the country’s largest firework distributor based in Ohio. 

“As a result of the comprehensive media relations effort that included home and personal safety firework use directions, Phantom Fireworks had their strongest sales season in years and received broad coverage in key markets and national publications.”

Sinclair MarCom news release, November 2020

For a snapshot of the 2020 Phantom Fireworks campaign, visit here.

If you are interested in updating your campaign, earned media, or media relations efforts, our trained staff at Sinclair is here to help. Contact Sinclair Public Affairs at [email protected]

Sinclair Public Affairs

Author Sinclair Public Affairs

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