On behalf of the entire Haute in Texas team, we are thrilled to share that we are the recipient of a Del Oro Award from the PRSA San Antonio Chapter for our work in Media Relations! Below are some details from our submission, and we would love to execute an award-winning media relations campaign for your brand.
Beginning in July 2020, our team researched, planned, and executed a media relations campaign on behalf of DOCUmation, a full-service technology solutions company based in Texas that provides IT, print and software-managed services. DOCUmation came to our agency with a problem: they were about to launch a brand-new product into the market to assist their clients during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they needed to ensure this cutting-edge technology would be interesting and enticing for media coverage.
As soon as the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic became apparent, DOCUmation was working diligently to be one of the first in Texas to offer contact-less thermal scanner technology to Texas. These small yet mighty thermal scanners were helping to keep workplaces and communities safe as tracking temperatures was one of the first recommended solutions to preventing the spread of COVID-19. Arica Espinoza, Director of Marketing for DOCUmation, quickly connected with Aquila Mendez-Valdez, owner of Haute in Texas, for media relations assistance in this multi-faceted marketing campaign.
Amid the confusion and panic of the early days of the pandemic, it would be a challenge to cut through the noise and generate coverage across the entire state.
Among our first steps in researching the needs for this particular campaign, we took some time to investigate each market, spanning from DOCUmation’s headquarters in San Antonio, to Dallas, Houston, and all the way to the Valley and the West Texas area. How could we partner with the sales staff in each market to identify potential partners for each market’s release, thereby increasing the odds that local media would be interested in the story? We quickly identified schools, non-profit organizations, sports arenas, and senior living facilities in various markets that all had different yet equally pressing needs for the thermal scanners. DOCUmation made it clear that their target market was not the general public, but fellow businesses and potential clients who would be interested in purchasing these thermal scanners for their organizations to keep their employees or communities safe.
With a growing need for this type of technology, we also made sure to do our due diligence in researching the effectiveness and usage of these thermal scanners in other countries and states, in order to avoid exposing the client to any liability for a product that would be seen as untrustworthy or unproven. Finally, constant research was conducted to stay up to date with the CDC’s ever-changing recommendations on preventing the spread of COVID-19, of which fever was one of the most common indicators early on.
Once our team felt confident in our research, we began to strategize for the statewide media relations campaign. Based on our research that multiple markets would require customized approaches, we contacted the strategic partners we identified during our research to create individualized press release materials for each market indicating additional information and quotes from each of the strategic partners.
With our goals and objectives in mind, we set a strategy to release details pertaining to the launch of DOCUmation’s thermal scanners to the public, we decided to break up the release into two parts: the first, to announce the launch. The second, at a later date, to announce a specific partnership with the San Antonio Food Bank, a large client and well-known non-profit organization in DOCUmation’s hometown. For the first set of releases, DOCUmation donated a scanner to a local San Antonio charter school and included their story in the initial press release. The City of Pleasanton also purchased several for their city offices and that story was captured as well. For the additional Texas markets, the halfHelen Foundation of Austin, Pillar Stone in Houston, and Dickies Arena in the Fort Worth/Dallas area served as our strategic partners. The secondary benefit to the press coverage was offering each strategic partner a chance to speak publicly about their own initiatives as well.
Our tactics for media relations during the extent of this two-month campaign included extensive follow-up with media contacts in each of the relevant markets over the course of several weeks. We were in constant communication with both DOCUmation staff and the strategic partners on the ground to determine if any new story angles were developing in real-time that might further develop interest. Since sales were one of the largest goals for the client, we were prepared with B-roll footage of the thermal scanners in action in case media were not comfortable filming on-site for a segment, and had photography available as well. In one fast-paced interview, a Houston news outlet wanted a live demonstration of the thermal scanner on air, which required the Haute in Texas team to media train the DOCUmation staff on the ground for the unpredictable nature of live television. We also pitched and landed a feature on a nationally syndicated business consulting website to integrate with the client’s B2B prospecting goals.
Together with Arica of DOCUmation, Haute in Texas spearheaded a dynamic PR and marketing campaign that brought over 100 interested prospects for the company. The press releases and subsequent media outreach cumulated in over 20 different spotlights on television, print and digital media outlets with total estimated unique views at 38.4 million. Finally, during the first and second press releases, we were able to document a 50% increase in the Google Trend Report “Interest Over Time” metric. Our team worked seamlessly with the DOCUmation staff and identified areas for improvement for future campaigns. Overall, we are proud to have met or exceeded every objective and have been thrilled with the positive feedback from the client.