CASE STUDIES

Chester Engineers

BACKGROUND

Chester, which celebrated its centennial in 2010, is the largest African-American-owned environmental engineering and engineering design firm in the United States.  Headquarters are in Pittsburgh, PA with offices throughout the country and operations in strategic international markets.

TASK

The goal was to achieve enhanced recognition of the Chester brand and differentiator. I C Linkages, now the Patricia Green Group, developed a communications plan inclusive of heightened media exposure in the home office market and regional offices, a new website, copywriting and design of promotional and sales materials, a billboard campaign, the centennial, and other pertinent PR activities.

RESULTS

Content analysis indicators showed enhanced media space in Chester’s home market.  Media gatekeeper cultivation in regional offices was paramount to increased local coverage.  An airport billboard campaign, coinciding with the Pittsburgh G-20, achieved favorable feedback and calls of inquiry.  Speaking opportunities showed the president’s unique qualities while introducing him to new audiences.  He continues to be a noted recipient of awards owed to engineering excellence and Chester Scholars, his commitment to university students studying engineering.  Media, from mainstream to industry related, were primary transmitters of messages pertinent to the brand as well as newsworthy activities in which the president and key staff participated.

Kanye West Foundation Fundraiser

BACKGROUND

Dr. Donda West retained Patricia Green to project manage the Kanye West Foundation fundraiser, August 2007, in Chicago, where Kanye was raised and where Dr. West had been a university professor. The setting was a series of red carpet celebrity events, all in one day, with a culminating concert featuring Kanye West.

TASK
Patricia led a team that included the Executive Producer and varied consultants in areas of sales, sponsorships, gifting suites, design, video, red carpet, stage production, and volunteer recruitment. Patricia managed media relations, responded to queries, disseminated press releases, and arranged interviews and camera time. Local media outlets were ubiquitous. National media presence included Access Hollywood, MTV, BET, NBC, and CNN. Journalism students from a Chicago high school had interview time as well as urban music and hip-hop publications. There was tight coordination with prime strategic vendor partners, the Hotel Sax, site of the VIP reception, and the House of Blues, where Kanye appeared in concert.
RESULTS
Media coverage was extensive, with local, national, and international pick-ups via print, broadcast, and the internet. Close to fifty members of the local and national press corps attended the press conference. CNN captured footage of Kanye, behind-the-scenes, as he prepared for his concert, and with a room full of more than 300 excited Chicago schoolchildren. Microsoft donated Xboxes and Zooms to the children. Strong American Schools, another sponsor, filmed a PSA, featuring Kanye. Celebrities, including Mos Def, Shaun Robinson, David Alan Grier, Dwyane Wade, and America’s Top Model winner, Jaslene Gonzalez, added glitz and glam to the VIP reception. Quincy Jones, Tom Cruise, and the mayors of Chicago and LA wrote testimonial letters. A tribute to Chicago entrepreneur, John Rogers, Chairman and CEO, Ariel Capital Management, for his philanthropy, reinforced the reason why Kanye founded the foundation. An integrated communications approach, including strong media angles, celebrity appeal, strategic partners, and goodwill, all for a good cause, yielded great publicity, sponsor support, a sold out concert, and critical dollars to support KWF programs and initiatives for youth.

Jon’Ric International

BACKGROUND
Jon’Ric International is synonymous with beauty and wellness. The company is a global leader in the upscale spa market. Producing an eco-friendly fashion show that introduced the Jon’Ric brand to Richmond, in consideration of opening a spa in a high end shopping area, required unique collaborations. To produce the event, the Patricia Green Group teamed Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Fashion Design and Merchandising with Aloft Hotel and April Tucker, mother of R&B recording star Trey Songz.
TASK
The Patricia Green Group hired a VCU School of Fashion Design and Merchandising student who worked with a faculty member and students to create a natural fabric collection. The student also recruited models, and the Patricia Green Group recruited April Tucker. The agency secured donated space from Aloft, a modern, fresh, and naturally fun hotel. A nearby restaurant donated Asian-inspired cuisine. Guests received invites by email. Local merchants donated gift bag items, and several artists donated silent auction pieces. The Jon’Ric brand and event partners were prominent in all publicity and expressions of goodwill.
RESULTS
More than 100 guests attended the event; feedback was overwhelmingly favorable. Celebrity mom, April Tucker was a huge draw and the fashions placed VCU and its students in the spotlight. Jon’Ric founder, Dr. John Rando, gave brief remarks on his company’s eventual expansion to Richmond. Silent auction proceeds benefited VCU’s School of Fashion Design and Merchandising. Bringing individuals and institutions of different purposes together around a common theme, “being eco-friendly,” resulted in print media coverage and enhanced awareness of Jon’Ric International in the Richmond market.

Raising Kanye Book Tour

BACKGROUND

Dr. Donda West, mother of hip-hop superstar, Kanye West, retained Patricia as her publicist to promote her book, Raising Kanye. The book was new to market with a Mother’s Day, 2007 release. Dr. West desired to build interest in her book’s message among African American women, mainstream women, and educator audiences.

TASK

I C Linkages, now the Patricia Green Group, planned domestic and international book tours, forging a teaming relationship with Adornment, a London-based culture and lifestyles organization. Several events occurred in London. MTV Europe sponsored a special signing, inviting a select group of professional women to a reception at Waterstone’s Bookstore. There was strong media interest, including the BBC and other popular print, radio, internet, and TV outlets. Paparazzi were in large numbers at a second Waterstone’s signing, where Kanye appeared with Dr. West.  Additionally, Dr. West addressed teen mothers at a group home. She also signed copies of her book at an evening reception hosted by Adornment.

I C Linkages planned several talks and signings for Dr. West in Washington, DC, Baltimore, and Richmond, Virginia. Venues included the Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference Authors Pavilion, the Baltimore Book Festival, and Virginia Union University. The Baltimore Sun, the Richmond Times Dispatch, Radio One, and Clear Channel were among media that provided coverage.

RESULTS

Media summaries showed Dr. West had star power and I C Linkages was beginning to establish her brand independent of that of her son. Plans were to leverage the signings and demographics reached: largely professional and working class women, teens, college students, and educators, to secure sponsorship of a nationwide tour. Sadly, with Dr. West’s November 2007 passing, this did not occur. Yet, the Raising Kanye book signings showed the marketability of her brand.

UK Trade Mission

BACKGROUND
Patricia spent two years researching the feasibility of offering trade missions for African Americans to the United Kingdom. The first one occurred in September 2006. Timing was important. Jamestown 2007, the 400th anniversary of the founding of the first permanent English colony, at Jamestown, would increase traveler segments to Virginia. Patricia’s goal was to add African Americans to the story of why Virginia is a great place for trade relations and cultural tourism. Patricia met with Alex King, MBE, Chair, Jamestown UK Foundation Ltd, during his spring 2006 visit to Virginia. Mr. King invited her to speak in Kent, England at the Virginia Indian Festival Seminar, July 2006. Her presentation enhanced awareness and understanding of Virginia’s African American heritage. Patricia also had meetings in London where plans for the 2012 Olympics were stimulating teaming opportunities. She forged relations with London Black businesses and governmental concerns whose constituents desired connections with African American entrepreneurs.
TASK

Patricia cultivated key business and government contacts prior to the September mission, some US-based, who provided written endorsements, including President George W. Bush, former Virginia Senator George Allen, and former Virginia Governor, now Senator Tim Kaine. She also arranged meetings and contacts with the following: UK Trade & Investment, the London Development Agency, London Trade and Industry, the Olympic Delivery Authority, the African Caribbean Business Network, and the European Federation of Black Women Business Owners. Cultural events and tours and a business reception at the US Embassy, which then US Ambassador to the UK, Robert Tuttle hosted, gave access to diverse companies. One group member traveled with Patricia to Rotterdam, Holland, where they spoke at a conference for businesswomen, at the invitation of the European Federation of Black Women Business Owners’ Holland affiliate, Zwarte Zaken Vrouwen Nederland [ZZVN].

RESULTS
The UK trade mission was successful in building awareness of the value of international business exchange beneficial to small, minority, and women-owned businesses, a unique first time effort for Virginia minority-owned businesses. A member of the first delegation invited several businesses to Hampton Roads, Virginia to speak at a conference in August 2007 resulting in two returning to the US for additional presentations. I C Linkages coordinated visits for several London entrepreneurs to meet with business and governmental concerns in Virginia, DC, Maryland, and New York City, the latter during World Trade Week.

Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center Fundraiser featuring Trey Songz

BACKGROUND

The Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC) is a statewide organization, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia that provides support to parents of children with disabilities. The Virginia Icon, a vocal music competition for high school students, was a PEATC fundraiser local to the Falls Church area.  PEATC retained the Patricia Green Group, then known as I C Linkages, to project manage the second Virginia Icon, which also marked the organization’s 30th anniversary.  The event occurred in October 2008.  I C Linkages proposed a larger scale event, drawing talents from throughout the state, in consideration of PEATC’s statewide presence and longevity. Fifteen teens were selected from auditions to enter the final competition.  I C Linkages proposed inviting R&B recording artist,Trey Songz, a Petersburg, VA native, to receive the Virginia Icon Trailblazer Award and perform a mini concert.   Trey scored high with the targeted demographic and his was a compelling story of talent and community service.  Richmond’s Landmark Theater, a popular concert hall for local and national acts, was selected for the finals.

TASK

PEATC did not have a large budget to staff an event of this scale. However, I C Linkages had a strong network of individuals in different specialty areas who donated services. A volunteer coordinator assigned tasks and helped I C Linkages recruit judges. A music instructor prepared the teens for their performances. The emcee, a well-known radio personality, donated her time and gave air time to April Tucker, Trey Songz’s mom; print media covered the event. A caterer reduced her fees. Volunteers prepared gift bags and ensured the green room accommodated Trey’s needs. A vendor made four plexiglas stars for the three top winners and Trey, discounting the price. I C Linkages prepared the event script and program book; ads offset print cost. Negotiations with Trey’s management team went smoothly and within budget.

RESULTS

More than 300 teens and young adults, Trey’s primary demographic, attended the event. Parents and other relatives of the performers, as well as PEATC’s board members and friends, were also among guests. Trey surprised the audience with a full concert. His mother expressed their gratitude for the award. Recruiting performers beyond Falls Church gave some of Virginia’s best youth vocal talents significant exposure, raised funds, and broadened awareness of PEATC’s purpose.

YWCA National Capital Area Centennial Celebration

BACKGROUND
The YWCA NCA desired to use its centennial year as the catalyst to enhance its profile and membership.
TASK

The YWCA NCA retained Patricia Green to manage all aspects of public relations and event management.  She secured Dr. Dorothy I. Height, Chair and President Emeritus of the National Council of Negro Women, for a centennial kick off event during Women’s History Month.  Dr. Height was a leading figure in the YWCA’s history.  Patricia obtained TV anchor Maureen Bunyon to emcee the affair. Other activities during the year included a chocolate chip cookie bake off and competition, the “Voices” [of women] art exhibition and reception, and a program and reception tribute to three DC Metro Area women, including Olympic Gold Medal champion, Dominique Dawes.

RESULTS

Media was extensive, from Willard Scott giving a birthday greeting on the Today show to a front-page story about the chocolate chip cookie’s revival in the Washington Post Food Section. TV anchor Kathleen Matthews emceed the awards program. Other noted celebrities, including Emmy-award winning journalist, Cokie Roberts, contributed to the media buzz. Stories appeared on network TV, a PSA ran on the Hispanic network Telemundo, and radio, internet, and Hispanic and African American newspapers carried stories. Media impressions and high attendance at each event were measurable indicators that the campaign reached its goals.