A recent article in PR Week
documented a unique Trylon campaign that received quite
a bit of attention and worked well for our client. The
key was using creativity to make a point and to raise
your organization above the clutter.
The case in point was New
York City’s drive to be selected by the U.S. Olympic
Committee (USOC) as the U.S. candidate city for the 2012
Olympic Games. A close race had developed between New
York and San Francisco, and Trylon had been tasked with
demonstrating the large level of grassroots support for
the Olympics in New York.
Due to previous scandals
involving selection processes, cities were not allowed
to directly contact the selection committee. Instead,
they had to rely largely on public relations and media
reporting to demonstrate their level of commitment to
the Olympic games.
What better way to show the
level of grassroots support than to use actual grass?
The city and Trylon agreed that a prominently displayed
lawn “sculpture” could prominently create a stir.
A 50,000 square foot lawn in
Bryant Park would be perfect for this sculpture, as
several large skyscrapers surround the park and traffic
helicopters routinely fly over it. The park needed to
be re-sodded anyway, so the event would cause no trouble
in that regard.
Media and guests were
invited to a rooftop overlooking the park a week before
the decision was to be made in October. While
originally planned as a local event, the media coverage
expanded to include national audiences as well.
The marketing and
communications manager for NYC 2012 was quoted as saying
that the publicity received from this and other Olympic
Fever events may have helped turn the scales to New
York, as the committee ended up selecting NYC as the
U.S. candidate for the 2012 games.
The success of a PR campaign
involves many things besides a simple creative idea.
The idea drives the campaign, but execution of the
details surrounding the campaign is crucial to total
For instance, if there had
been no media coverage of the park event, the committee
would never have known of the grass sculpture. Finding
a good company to design and create the sculpture
resulted in an appealing design. Coordinating the
activities with the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation
was also essential. Tying together all of the loose
ends and meeting the goals of a campaign can be the
biggest challenge to any marketing group.