Challenge: In the late 1970’s a legal adoption took a unique twist after paternity laws in the State of New York were changed. That laid the backdrop of a dramatic twist to a legal adoption, when the court ordered the child returned to the biological father. The custody battle took a twist when the adoptive parents fled with their son, not to be heard from for 20 years. Their silence, whereabouts and story came to light when their son Matthew Propp reached the legal age of 21 years, when they turned themselves into authorities to face kidnapping charges. The Garrity Group was retained to work with the legal team to develop messaging and field local, national and international media requests on behalf of the adoptive family and their son.
Approach: Facilitating public relations counsel as an attorney work product, The Garrity Group coordinated a national media campaign to help share the story and motivations for the adoptive parents and the actions they took. We also worked extensively with Matthew to help him tell his story about his normal childhood and sacrifices made by his adoptive parents that helped make him the man he is today.
Results: Our team’s national media campaign resulted in multiple interviews on programs and networks that included: Larry King Live, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS Early Show, NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, Cable News Network (CNN), Fox News Network, CNBC, People Magazine, New York Post, the Associated Press and countless other local and niche media outlets.
Comcast – Digital Media
Challenge: With a blog platform that welcomes thousands of writers every day, Examiner.com is an online news aggregate that encourages a focus on hyper-local content. The Garrity Group introduced the Comcast New Mexico team to Examiner.com to meet two goals: Provide an additional outlet to share relevant Comcast news, and increase Comcast New Mexico’s presence on digital media.
Solution: The Comcast New Mexico Examiner.com page serves as the official blog of the Comcast New Mexico team, and is leveraged to share relevant news and provide an additional online resource for current and future customers. The Garrity Group identifies topics and drafts articles in partnership with Comcast executives.
Results: Working with the Comcast New Mexico team, TGG produced 32 blog articles in 2012 that generated 12,056 article page views and 3,853 slideshow page views. Articles covered Comcast focus areas including project innovations, community investment news, business services and customer experience.
National Fiery Foods & BBQ Show
Challenge: The National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show (FFS) is the largest and most visited show about spicy foods and barbecue in the world. Attended by an average of 15,000 guests each year, the show features over 200 exhibitor booths filled with more than 1,000 different products. The 24th Annual FFS took place March 2-4, 2012 in Albuquerque. The Garrity Group (TGG) is responsible for all media relations for the show, including traditional and online media.
Solution: The backbone of the Fiery Foods Show centers on the public’s growing fascination with shockingly spicy foods. True devotees are known as “chileheads” within the industry. By focusing on media outlets catering to this demographic, our team developed a target media relations approach that leveraged an existing base while building interest among the general public.
Results: The Garrity Group generated more than three million media impressions in print, broadcast and online media, including more than nearly 40 unique TV stories and interviews with NBC, ABC, Fox and CBS channels. Our team’s targeted approach to media relations helped the Fiery Foods Show achieve an attendance increase of 3,500 guests from the previous year.
Challenge: In the autumn of 2018, the Garrity Group was charged with three tasks regarding consumers’ understanding of health insurance and purchasing it. Task one was raising awareness that people still were required to have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare, as it is also called. That law was passed by Congress to increase access to affordable health insurance.
In New Mexico, the ACA is carried out by beWellnm, also known as the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange and/or Marketplace. Using the Exchange, New Mexicans can compare health insurance plans and enroll. BeWellnm’s mission is to educate and enroll New Mexicans in affordable health insurance coverage.
The Garrity Group also was challenged with the tasks of promoting the advantages of buying health insurance through New Mexico’s beWellnm marketplace of plans and their affordability.
Complicating these challenges was consumer confusion about the ACA. Before fall 2018, Congress moved to undo the ACA and did revise the law that year. The Garrity Group’s consumer awareness program also needed to advise customers about changes to the law.
The Garrity Group, working in collaboration with a larger marketing and advertising team, developed and implemented a traditional media relations program that focused on increasing customer understanding about:
- beWellnm and its mission;
- that customers are still required to have health insurance; and
- the advantages of health insurance through beWellnm.
The Garrity Group and its partners launched the traditional media relations program during the annual insurance Open Enrollment period from October to mid-December. The public relations program targeted community education through radio, print and television statewide. The Garrity Group’s goals were to inform community members that beWellnm offers affordable health insurance, preventive care, annual checkups and peace of mind for the entire family.
Results: The Garrity Group understands that measurable results illustrate effort and effectiveness. The Garrity Group exceeded its required deliverable of two earned media placements in print publications for the Open Enrollment period.
The Garrity Group delivered by:
- generating 30 total media placements from Oct. 1, 2018 to Dec. 15, 2018;
- reaching radio audiences statewide with 450,461 impressions; and
- reaching print audiences statewide, including the state’s biggest markets, with 383,777 impressions.
Albuquerque Public Schools
Challenge: Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) is the 27th largest school district in the United States. After losing its first capital funding election in 12 years, the district tapped Tom Garrity’s expertise to earn the community’s trust and secure approval of the needed funds.
Solution: Tom Garrity created messages and developed an approach to earn the right for the district to be heard among its harshest critics. Consistent messages and transparency helped to earn the trust of 14,500 employees and community stakeholders including parents, grandparents and community leaders. We hosted a listening tour and developed a seven-step strategic plan to manage the process. Our team established a task force, composed of supporters and detractors, to provide insight on key issues.
Results: Public opinion surveys of community attitudes showed improved perception about APS among all target audiences. Most importantly, the capital funding election was approved by the largest margin and highest voter turnout in New Mexico school district history.
Challenge: When Google prepared to bring their small business website program, Get Your Business Online, to New Mexico in 2012, they partnered with The Garrity Group to create widespread event awareness and generate media coverage. Part of Google’s national effort to get more small businesses online, New Mexico Get Your Business Online offered small businesses a free Intuit website, free customized domain name, free web hosting for one year and free online tools and training. The Albuquerque launch event included a free website class for small business attendees to learn the process of building a website and promoting their business online.
Solution: The Garrity Group helped create event and program awareness by generating significant pre-event media coverage, placing the event on appropriate online and news calendars, distributing media advisories to the targeted media list and booking interviews for preview pieces. The Garrity Group also identified small business attendees for media interviews. On-site and last minute event interviews were coordinated with local media and the Google spokesperson. The Garrity Group also identified and contacted local elected officials and community opinion leaders to engage via HTML and phone invite. With help from the local chamber of commerce The Garrity Group placed an emphasis on identifying and raising awareness among New Mexico’s small businesses.
Results: The Garrity Group’s strategic timeline and approach generated significant media coverage of Google’s New Mexico Get Your Business Online event, and resulted in:
- Full capacity small business attendance at both the morning and afternoon training sessions
- The event was promoted on more than 10 online and news calendars
- Pre-event media coverage by local print publication New Mexico Business Weekly
- On-site media coverage from the local NBC and CBS television affiliates
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
Challenge: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts needed a trusted partner to generate awareness, excitement and positive buzz about the franchise’s return to the Duke City.
Solution: The Garrity Group developed and implemented a comprehensive communications approach that included a social media plan and traditional media relations outreach. Our social media approach focused on a Facebook fan page and a local Twitter account, both utilized daily to build anticipation for the grand opening event. Our team helped to establish unique partnerships between Krispy Kreme and local non-profits by pairing leading radio broadcasting companies (Citadel, Clear Channel, Calvary) and a national cable corporation (Comcast) with nonprofit organizations on a Doughnut Cake Competition.
Results: Our team generated awareness and social media buzz that included:
- Five million media impressions and 76 unique news stories
- $145,628.00 in relative media value
- Growing Facebook “likes” from zero to over 2,500
- Increasing Twitter followers from zero to over 350
- Securing record turnout, including over 100 people in line for the 4AM grand opening
Western New Mexico University
Challenge: The Garrity Group provides public relations, marketing strategy, community relations and communication process counsel to the largest employer in Silver City and Grant County, Western New Mexico University. The University needed an integrated campaign that would increase enrollment and raise awareness of the institution through regular and consistent media coverage.
Solution: To help Western New Mexico University (WNMU) develop a successful communication process, TGG conducted a public opinion survey of Grant County residents to benchmark impressions, perceptions and identify new opportunities to connect with WNMU stakeholders. Using the research gathered through this survey and meetings with WNMU faculty, staff and students, our team helped implement a multi-phase state-wide strategic communication approach. Tactics included reporter meetings; messaging and branding development; incorporation of key messaging into collateral pieces, website and news releases; creation of a style and identify manual; and development of a marketing communications plan.
Results: Over a one-year period, the strategic marketing and public relations campaign yielded measurable results including:
- 475 unique media stories (75 percent generated from WNMU news releases)
- Five percent increase in in-state enrollment
- Seven percent increase in out-of-state enrollment
- 200 additional students enrolled in online classes