Campaign/Issue ManagementIntegrated Situation Management

Case Study: Navigating Safety and Sales in 2020 America

An overview of Sinclair’s campaign for the leading fireworks distributor in the country built around safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sinclair Public Affairs boasts a broad range of clients, ranging from those in both the political and corporate spheres. Our team recently wrapped up an earned media campaign for the leading fireworks distributor in the country, Phantom Fireworks. This campaign was built around fireworks safety and sales amid the COVID-19 pandemic leading into this year’s unique Fourth of July celebrations. 

Challenge 

The end goal for the Phantom Fireworks team was to generate awareness for overall safety during this unique Fourth of July season during the COVID-19 pandemic. When Sinclair was first approached by Phantom, it was unknown how reopening and the pandemic would affect the fireworks industry and its important holiday revenue. Due to our experience helping other clients in a rapidly shifting environment, Sinclair suggested building a specific, strategic earned media narrative that established a message about safe personal firework use while adapting celebrations to a post-pandemic America.

Strategies and Tactics 

We collaborate with our clients to develop the methodology necessary to achieve their goals, and the means of communication we use to break through the noise. For the Phantom campaign, Sinclair recommended a comprehensive three-step outreach to various earned media outlets that would build overarching messages leading up to the Fourth of July. Sinclair also assisted in social media content creation by working with the Phantom social media team to build a comprehensive messaging strategy using data and analytics from studies and existing social networks.

 Our primary tools utilized for this campaign are as follows: 

  • Earned media is an effective way to gain publicity through promotional efforts other than paid advertising. This strategy maximizes outreach because it encourages organic conversations and buzz within the public. Sinclair used our existing realtionships with reporters, and experience in rapidly shifting news cycles to reach out and generate interest about firework safety amid the pandemic and protests. 
  • Press releases are an effective way to get your story or message into the public eye. For the Phantom campaign, Sinclair released three strategic press releases to various news outlets and publications across the nation. We were able to deliver a broad and comprehensive message in Phantom’s key markets across the country via a blend of television, print, and blogs. Of the 700+ mentions that came as a result of the releases, many were quality, high profile stories that reached extensive audiences nationwide.
  • Media relations can be a very effective way to build trust with your audience using your social media platforms. Unlike other platforms, social media allows for two-way communication between your company and your audience. For the Phantom campaign, Sinclair advised Phantom to coordinate the earned media push with shared social media to strengthen their message. Our firm assisted in Phantom’s media relations by building suggested social media content and graphics that would complement the narrative of ‘pandemic firework safety.’ The Phantom team focused more heavily on marketing and promotional efforts, so Sinclair was able to help them build the narrative and disseminate the overarching message of ‘pandemic firework safety.’

Final Outcome 

Amid the wave of initial COVID-19 shutdowns and trepidation this spring, Phantom Fireworks was facing potential stagnant firework sales 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 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. As a result of the three releases published throughout the duration of this campaign, our 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 client was more than satisfied with the outcome as it helped gain brand awareness, preserved and improved their important holiday revenue. 

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