April 7, 2010 12:01 pm | No Comments
As part of my integrated marketing communications independent study, I am reading and writing about case studies. See the other cases I’ve written about, including The Heart Truth and Thrivent’s Retirement Campaign. The cases are from the textbook, Public Relations Cases, written by Hendrix and Hayes. This case was shorter than the other two, so this post will be shorter as well.
“Rediscovering Kansas City’s ‘Cowtown'”
KC Area Development Council (Bayer Animal Health with Fleishman-Hillard, Inc.)
Kansas City wanted to be a recognized leader in science and technology, but felt held back by its “Cowtown” nickname. With potential to grow in the animal health and nutrition sector, KC Development Council and Fleishman-Hillard worked together to redefine the city’s image and brand.
- Research showed that Kansas City was a great place for the fast-growing animal health industry to call home.
- In addition to media coverage, influencing policies and legislation were considered as part of the strategy.
- Bayer Animal Health was a key player.
To help attract companies focusing on animal health, they created the Animal Health Corridor (there is a video here about it). There are many benefits to animal health companies who become a part of this corridor, such as research collaboration and legislative advocacy.
The site linked above was launched as part of this campaign to help with branding and recruitment. A network related to the corridor also was created, and ambassadors advocated for the industry and attended meetings/trade shows. This also helped with recruiting companies to move to the Kansas City region.
Meetings with leaders, press tours and media pitching helped gain coverage and community support was garnered with meetings and involvement with leaders and organizations.
- 80 million media impressions
- Companies interested in relocated to the corridor increased 125 percent
- Within articles about the corridor, Bayer Animal health was cited as an initiative leader
This case was much different than the other two I read. Rather than focusing on consumers, this case focused more on businesses. Therefore, it required a different approach.
I believe their Web site is effective. The first thing you really see is their video about the corridor. But, even if you don’t watch it, you still get the message through the banners on the page. The banners tell which top-tier veterinary schools are nearby, the number of livestock produced in the area, how many animal health companies are head quartered there, and more. As a site visitor, you get the message that Kansas City knows animal health.
I didn’t see much in terms of social media, but they do encourage you to connect via their LinkedIn Group. The group currently has 130 members, which doesn’t sound like a lot but I think in terms of this industry, it is probably great.
Their annual homecoming event is listed on the Web site and I thought it was really interesting to see that John Grogan, a CMU alumnus, was their celebrity speaker. It’s a great idea to have animal health industry CEOs and other leaders gather at a conference right in the corridor.
On the site, there is an archive of news and a newsletter that is available.
I don’t know if they already do this, but I would suggest permission marketing. By reaching out the leaders in the animal health industry, they could keep these people informed about legislation, potential issues, research and more, demonstrating through leadership and credibility. This could be effective in reaching audiences that know about the corridor, but have businesses elsewhere. If a company is looking to set up another location, the corridor will be in the forefront of their mind.