Text and the City
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Holmes Report

Text and the City

In order to build awareness of Text 100 New York, the company needed more than just a creative approach, it needed something catchy, relevant and clever.

Paul Holmes

Text 100 is an international technology PR firm with offices located in 15 countries, including the US.  In June 2000, the company announced intentions to open a New York City location, its fifth office in North America. Despite having operated in the US for five years, Text 100 was virtually unknown in the New York market. In order to build awareness of Text 100 New York, the company needed more than just a creative approach, it needed something catchy, relevant and clever to capture the attention of sophisticated New York PR, journalism and technology professionals. 
Due to a limited budget and short time frame prior to the launch party, which was to be held on October 4, the company had to develop a hard hitting but creative campaign quickly. Text 100 launched an intense thirty-day campaign to make a maximum impact in the short period of time available. A focused teaser campaign would build interest and excitement around the pending launch event and also concentrate impressions in a short period of time, thus reducing the likelihood that the impact of the campaign would be diluted. Also due to the level of sophistication to which New York audiences were accustomed, Text 100 knew that it needed to create a visually compelling, relevant campaign.
Objectives for the New York office launch campaign were multi-fold:
  • Build awareness of Text 100 New York among technology companies – the prospective clients that would help Text 100 build its business there
  • Build awareness of Text 100 among competing agencies to facilitate recruiting efforts in the highly competitive New York market
  • Position Text 100 as a world-class agency among the PR community, PR trades and recruits
  • Ensure that the Text 100 New York launch party would be well attended and serve as an opportunity to begin establishing relationships with influencers in the New York community
After deliberation around several creative approaches (yes, including big apples) Text 100 decided to create a take-off campaign of the scorchingly hot and critically acclaimed HBO television series, “Sex and the City”. The series takes place in NYC and documents the dating exploits of four successful, single women. Text 100’s campaign, affectionately dubbed “Text and the City” was comprised of weekly “episodes”, utilizing “scripts” and “characters” (real Text 100 staffers) as well as symbols taken from the HBO series; cosmopolitan cocktails (a major theme of the show), phone numbers on match books and the New York skyline, the scene that begins and ends each episode. The campaign centered on a different episode each week, utilizing a common script and visual representation across both print and digital mediums including editorial and recruiting print advertising in PRWeek, postcards, digital e-shot teaser mails and invitations, print invitations and banner ads, all driving visitors to the specially designed “Text and the City” microsite which expanded upon the episode theme. Because Text 100 is a technology PR specialist agency, it was important that the campaign demonstrate Text 100’s understanding of digital marketing techniques and immersion in the digital world. 
Text 100 partnered with sister company BrandX Online for the digital portions of the campaign, including mail serving both html and text versions of the teasers and invitations, and development of banner ads and the microsite. In addition, Text 100 developed logo’d premium items of “little black books” and cocktail shakers that were available to guests at the party. The premier party was held at Guastavino’s, the venue where the “Sex and the City” season premier party was held.  Text 100 developed a target database of 400 influencers including technology trade press, business press, PR industry trades, competing agencies, technology company executives and other friends of Text 100. The digital and print teasers, postcards and invitations were sent to this database and followed up with phone calls or emails to gauge interest in event attendance. 
The program delivered the desired results including:
  • Nearly 200 in attendance out of 400 invited at the launch party on October 4th, 2000
  • More than 20 incoming new business leads for the New York office in the four weeks post-launch
  • Approximately 90 incoming resumes and inquiries for employment during the five week period post campaign
  • Approximately 200 hits to the Text and the City microsite during the four weeks of the campaign
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