Case Study

Case Study: Building Buzz for Hilton Baltimore Opening

Post by
Karen Robinson

Hilton Baltimore

Hilton Baltimore charged Clapp360 with its local public relations efforts, as well as ribbon cutting and grand opening events coordination. Clapp360 had been given the task of handling public relations across all local, regional, national, and trade mainstream media.  

Image result for hilton baltimore

The opening of Hilton Baltimore was a coup for the city, as it is the official hotel of the Baltimore Convention Center and boasts the greatest number of guest rooms and the largest ballroom in Baltimore.  Additionally, the project was a joint effort of the Baltimore Hotel Corporation (Baltimore City), Baltimore Development Corporation, and Hilton Hotel Corporation, and opened to great anticipation from the local corporate community, as it was slated to boost tourism and exposure for Charm City.  With its quasi-public status came increased scrutiny by the community and the media.  Clapp360 branded and launched the hotel into a pool of preconceived perceptions, both positive and negative.

Challenges:

  • Introduce the facility to the local and national social and corporate communities to build awareness and Hilton Baltimore brand recognition.
  • Combat any negative press/public opinion developed during public debates on funding.
  • Capture the interest of the local and national media across print, electronic, and web vehicles.
  • Create buzz amongst Hilton Baltimore target markets to ensure a successful soft and hard opening.
  • Conceptualize, plan and execute all components of the ribbon cutting and grand opening events.

Solution/Plan:

  • Create a brand for the venue, one which would combat any negative perceptions formed by opponents to the public funded hotel, and one which will frame the hotel as a world class venue, attached to a major convention center.
  • Implement Clapp Communications’ comprehensive database of local and national media contacts and relationships to garner press coverage.
  • Produce and disseminate consistent messaging and keep the community abreast of the facility’s happenings via press releases, media alerts, and media events.
  • Work in tandem with Hilton Baltimore key stakeholders and vendors to plan, refine, and execute high profile ribbon cutting and grand opening events.
  • Consult on local media planning and buying.

Results:

  • Significant public relations coverage across all major local, regional, national and trade print, electronic, and web media regarding hotel construction progress, key personnel, and events.
  • A ribbon cutting event which drew Maryland’s Governor, Baltimore Mayor, Baltimore City Council Members, and numerous other dignitaries as well as community members, bringing acclaim to the new facility.
  • A succinct grand opening event planning process which drew nearly 2,000 guests, high profile entertainment including Michael Phelps, Haute Chile, and DJ Erok, as well as additional entertainment from all over the United States.

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