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CLIENT: Regional Transportation Agency
INDUSTRY: Public Sector,
GOAL: To Grow Your Bottom-Line, To Implement a Project,
SERVICES: Employee Communications, Market Research, Public Relations, Reputation Management
Day Communications cannot disclose the identity of this client, a regional transportation agency bracing for a potential labor dispute.
After undergoing C-Level management changes, the client faced the prospect of upcoming labor negotiations turning acrimonious with the involvement of national union leaders. The national union sought to influence local negotiations and secure a contract that would raise pay and benefits to national levels for union members. The new head of the agency brought in Day Communications to support management’s efforts to avoid a potentially disruptive labor dispute. In accepting this assignment, Day took on several challenges, including keeping the client abreast of union tactics and neutralizing the national union’s influence over negotiations.
First, Day conducted extensive research into how similar labor negotiations had played out across the country and identified strategies the local and national unions might employ to gain leverage over agency management. We also worked with agency leaders to understand vulnerabilities in their contract positions and prepared them for negotiations by providing research-backed messaging they could use in contract negotiations.
The Day team guided the agency through the minefield of labor negotiation and kept it a step ahead of union tactics that could stall progress. Armed with Day’s strategic research and communications support, the agency:
- Entered contract negotiations with confidence in its position and greater awareness of obstacles
- Disarmed the national union’s attempt to overtly influence direction of local negotiations
- Averted public dialog during contract negotiations
- Thwarted attempts to damage its reputation
- Negotiated a win-win union contract
CLIENT: Major Southeast U.S. City
INDUSTRY: Public Sector,
GOAL: To Build Advocacy, To Implement a Project, To Increase Your Visibility,
SERVICES: Content Creation, Issue Advocacy, Public Relations, Social Media
Day Communications cannot disclose the identity of this client, a major Southeastern city working on plans to ease traffic congestion.
A Southeastern city needed to finalize its comprehensive transportation plan for an integrated mobility network that would alleviate gridlock without building more roads. But the city needed citywide input to fully understand residents’ hyper local transportation priorities. However, community response to a city survey and participation in public meetings were surprisingly lackluster, particularly in areas with severe traffic congestion or with residents highly dependent on public transportation. Looking for greater community involvement, the city’s transportation planning team retained Day Communications and tasked us with revitalizing outreach efforts. The greatest challenges facing Day was residents’ lack of awareness of the plan and getting beyond typical strategies to solicit meaningful public feedback.
Day took a different approach to the city’s outreach program, remaking it into a high-distribution, neighborhood-level outreach campaign. Day’s tactics included:
- Redrafting project Q&A with resident-friendly vs. transportation “planner-ese” language
- Writing compelling messages that resonated with residents’ congestion pain points
- Writing messages that encouraged the public to help chart the city’s future with less traffic gridlock
- Creating memorable messages encouraging people to take the survey and share it with colleagues, friends and family
- Tying messages to high-impact graphics that get residents’ attention
- Focusing outreach in high-traffic locations throughout the city
- Distributing geographically-targeted press releases with messaging tailored to reach the city’s most impacted neighborhoods
- Simplifying information on the CTP’s website and adding surveys to it
- Reaching out to top employers, local chambers and industry groups that are financially impacted by traffic congestion
- Using targeted social media advertising to re-solicit input from neighborhoods that had low participation rates in original outreach effort
Day Communications’ strategies infused new energy into the city’s community outreach program, leading to higher participation rates and measurable data gleaned from community engagement. Among the successes Day scored were:
- City-wide community engagement that influenced city transportation planners
- Greater geographic and demographic representation in project surveys
- More than tripling survey engagement
- Quadrupling social media engagement
CLIENT: Bank of America
INDUSTRY: Professional Services,
GOAL: To Increase Your Visibility,
SERVICES: Public Relations, Content Creation, Reputation Management
Bank of America is one of the largest banks in the world and serves more than 67 million consumers and business clients in the United States alone. While the bank is best known for providing myriad financial services it also operates one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the country, donating more than $200 million a year to worthy causes.
In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, Bank of America came under public and political scrutiny for receiving federal bailout money because it was deemed “too big to fail.” In the ensuing years, the bank sought to repair its reputation and regain trust through an aggressive public relations effort that would highlight philanthropic endeavors in targeted U.S. metro markets. In 2014, Day Communications was retained to carry out Bank of America’s public relations strategy in Central Florida, an area still struggling to recover from a national real estate collapse partially blamed on lending practices by big banks.
As a subcontractor, Day Communications worked with Bank of America’s external national and regional public relations teams on concerted efforts to boost the bank’s reputation. Day was tasked with achieving the following goals:
- Increase visibility of the bank’s philanthropic contributions and volunteer activities in Orlando.
- Promote the bank’s home donations to disabled veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Influence local media to portray the bank as a good corporate citizen.
- Secure media engagements and speaking opportunities for the local market president and other leadership team members.
- Protect local market’s reputation as media continue to report on lingering effects of the financial crisis.
We took on the above objectives with fervor, using our expertise with media engagement and reputation management as tools for repairing negative views of the bank. Over a yearlong period, Day sought recognition of Bank of America’s community involvement either through media engagement or speaking opportunities, award presentations or news releases. Furthermore, Day prepared the bank’s local market president for media interviews, home-donation events covered by television and newspaper outlets and speaking opportunities before community groups.
Day leveraged media relationships to the bank’s advantage. We were successful in drawing TV and print coverage of multiple home donations to disabled military veterans, with the local market president delivering key messaging about the bank’s commitment to helping vets transition to civilian life. Day also secured several earned media placements that highlighted the bank’s philanthropic contributions to local nonprofits.
By orchestrating a steady barrage of positive news about Bank of America’s community involvement, Day Communications was successful at helping the bank rehabilitate its image.
CLIENT: IMAGEN Magazine
INDUSTRY: Retail / Consumer,
GOAL: To Grow Your Bottom-Line, To Increase Your Visibility,
SERVICES: Brand Positioning, Market Research, Public Relations, Content Creation, Technical Copywriting
Casiano Communications was a Hispanic-owned publisher of periodicals, magazines and websites in the United States. The company merged with Latin Media House LLC in 2015.
Casiano planned to launch its highly popular Puerto Rico-based, Spanish-language fashion and women’s lifestyle magazine, Imagen, in Central Florida, seeking to tap into the area’s Hispanic market. The company enlisted Day Communications to help it develop business and community relationships that would bring exposure and advertisers to Imagen. Launching a magazine is tough under the best circumstances but Casiano entered Central Florida as the U.S. economy faced the worst economic downtown since the Great Depression.
Aiming to help the publisher position itself for advertising sales for the magazine before the economy’s slide worsened, Day Communications identified businesses that would stand to gain from reaching a Hispanic female readership. Day then introduced Imagen’s leadership team to local organizations with promotional opportunities that could be beneficial to the publication’s marketability.
Within a few months, Day arranged for Imagen and Simon Property Group, one of the largest shopping destination operators in the world, and United Way of Central Florida to partner on a promotional event at Simon’s Florida Mall, a popular retail center for Hispanic consumers. The partnership gave Imagen visibility at United Way’s “Three Kings” weeklong, gift-giving event and religious celebration specifically targeting the local Hispanic community.
Day successfully connected Casiano Communications to business interests and partnerships that proved vital to the Central Florida launch of its Hispanic women’s lifestyle magazine:
- The Three Kings event at The Florida Mall brought valuable market exposure to Imagen and increased traffic to the retail center.
- Imagen went on to boast a monthly pass-along readership of 400,000 for its combined Puerto Rico and Central Florida markets.
CLIENT: Best Foot Forward Social Media
INDUSTRY: Non-Profit / Education, Public Sector,
GOAL: To Build Advocacy, To Manage Your Brand,
SERVICES: Issue Advocacy, Social Cause Marketing, Social & Digital Media, Content Creation, Graphic Design
Founded in 2012 as a program for Bike/Walk Central Florida, Best Foot Forward (BFF) for Pedestrian Safety is a coalition of civic leaders, public safety officials, engineers, educators, transportation planners, advocates and concerned citizens seeking to reduce the number of vehicle-pedestrian collisions in Central Florida. BFF raises awareness of Florida’s driver yield law protecting pedestrians using crosswalks, advocates for walking-friendly street design and advises walkers to be more cautious and observant when crossing streets.
In 2011 and 2014, the Orlando metro area bore the dubious distinction as the most dangerous region in the United States for pedestrians, according to Smart Growth America. Studies blamed the Orlando area’s ranking on vehicle-centric road design, lack of awareness and enforcement of Florida’s driver yield laws and unsafe walking habits. Freshly created to tackle Central Florida’s pedestrian-safety crisis, BFF brought in Day Communications to implement and oversee a social media campaign aimed at influencing behavior change and educating drivers and walkers alike. Day took on the assignment knowing full well that bad habits are hard to break, particularly when they’re done unconsciously.
Day Communications customized a social media engagement plan for BFF and targeted Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as the best channels for building an audience. Day created BFF pages on the three platforms and began to connect them with a wide variety of influencers, including local media outlets, community advocacy groups, government officials, partners of the organization, and other pedestrian-safety groups. We used and continue to use BFF’s social media feeds to inform and educate with the intention to bring greater awareness to pedestrian safety and Florida’s driver-yield law. Day keeps up a highly active social media campaign that seeks to engage audiences with content and visuals that complement BFF’s mission. Our outreach work also includes promoting events, education advocacy opportunities, and partnership and sponsor recognition. Because success is often measured by numbers, Day produces documentation that corroborates the ROI our efforts bring BFF.
Through social media channels, Day has been successful in spreading BFF’s message of pedestrian safety. Slowly but surely over time BFF’s social media engagements have raised awareness of Florida’s driver yield law regarding crosswalks and spurred conversations about changing road-design policies to be more sensitive
Day orchestrated steady growth for BFF’s social media sites. For example, from June 2013 to June 2018, BFF’s Facebook page grew from 197 to 846 followers and recorded more than 200,000 engagements and nearly 9 million organic impressions. On Twitter, BFF followers grew to 1,410 from 173 over the same six-year period and counted 2.6 million organic impressions. Meanwhile, BFF’s Instagram page, developed August 2013, has attracted 500 followers.
CLIENT: YMCA of Central Florida
INDUSTRY: Health and Wellness, Retail / Consumer,
GOAL: To Build Advocacy, To Grow Your Bottom-Line, To Increase Your Visibility,
SERVICES: Brand Management, Media Buying, Marketing Plan Development & Implementation
The YMCA of Central Florida operates 22 fitness centers and other recreational and developmental facilities. It is one of the largest nonprofits in the region and provides services in more than 150 neighborhoods.
The YMCA of Central Florida felt the pain of the Great Recession as consumers cut back on gym memberships or joined cheaper fitness clubs. Concerned with losing members and market share, the Y brought in Day Communications to develop a marketing blitz for the month of January, an optimum time for health club recruitment. The Y’s goals presented Day with formidable challenges, considering the economic climate and fierce competition in the fitness market.
Before marketing a product, in this case a well-known health club operator, it helps to know what consumers think about the product. With that thought in mind, the Day team collected information on members’ sentiments about the Y. We wanted to know why they belonged to a local Y rather than a competing fitness club. And they told us, saying the Y:
- Is more than a place to work out; it’s a social gathering place.
- Invests in its communities by helping the less fortunate.
- Makes them feel like they’re supporting programs that help at-risk families and children.
Our consumer research also uncovered another telling anecdote: Joining a fitness club is intimidating, many not knowing how to use some equipment and being unfamiliar with gym etiquette and a facility’s layout.
Day’s next step was to create a wide-ranging marketing plan based on members’ feedback and targeted opportunities. Our plan of action recommended:
- Offering free gym classes to lure new members.
- Creating videos that familiarize potential members with YMCA family centers, classes and equipment.
- Training membership directors to better articulate the Y story.
- Enlisting current members as brand advocates.
Day’s month-long integrated media plan harnessed television, radio, print, outdoor, customized direct mail, Google ads, social media and a campaign microsite to drive potential members to Y family centers. The outdoor component involved using digital billboards for advertising time-sensitive morning, afternoon and evening messages.
Meanwhile, Day led sales training of membership directors and provided them with talking points for telling the YMCA’s unique story to potential members. And finally, Day sent out an e-blast to current members, encouraging them to invite friends to try out a Y. The e-blast contained free guest passes.
The YMCA of Central Florida saw record new membership signups on the heels of Day’s marketing campaign. One of the highlights of the marketing blitz was the YMCA microsite, which exceeded expectations. Its online click-through ads led people to print out free guest passes and visit a Y, fueling interactions with membership directors who were better prepared to tell the Y story.
Day’s marketing techniques set the Y apart from its competition, attracted 9% more potential members year over year and lured them in to see what the Y experience is all about.
INDUSTRY: Public Sector, Transportation / Infrastructure,
GOAL: To Grow Your Bottom-Line, To Increase Your Visibility,
SERVICES: Brand Positioning, Public Relations
VHB (Vanasse Hangen Brustlin) is a Watertown, Mass.-based firm of engineers, planners, scientists and designers with an office in Orlando. The company provides consulting services to clients in the transportation, real estate, institutional and energy industries, as well as to federal, state and local governments. VHB employs more than 1,300 professionals at 24 East Coast offices.
VHB’s Orlando team provided key environmental and design services to the Florida Department of Transportation during the early planning stages of a proposed $1.2 billion commuter rail project in Central Florida. But while VHB played an important role in the birth of SunRail, including helping FDOT secure Phase 1 funding for the commuter train, the firm’s work was mostly done behind the scenes. VHB leadership sought visibility for its Orlando office as part of the project team, hoping acknowledgement of the firm’s contributions to SunRail would lead to new opportunities with the rail service or with other big transportation projects. Enter Day Communications, which took on the challenge of elevating VHB’s work on SunRail.
Day Communications knew media would not be interested in the kind of preconstruction work VHB performed on the SunRail project. Besides, the official grand opening of SunRail was coming up. Seeing an opportunity to leverage the ceremony as a springboard for our client, we leveraged our creative and influential resources, including political and industry relationships, to secure a visible role for VHB. Day quietly maneuvered VHB into the grand opening ceremony, initially as the sponsor of an exhibit table with VHB-branded water bottles for guests.
But we didn’t stop there. Day was able to place a VHB representative as a speaker in the opening ceremonies, and we provided him with talking points that would resonate with transportation officials in attendance.
VHB was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was the only private-sector representative sharing the podium with public officials and transportation leaders. By being on stage, VHB was seen as a partner in SunRail, and the company’s message and brand were exposed to more than 500 people, including many clients and prospective clients. The event drew extensive media coverage, which Day repurposed for internal and external communications.
VHB increased its transit work in Florida by at least threefold within a year following the event.
CLIENT: VHB – Merger
INDUSTRY: A/E/C, Professional Services,
GOAL: To Grow Your Bottom-Line, To Increase Your Visibility, To Manage Your Brand,
SERVICES: Merger Communications, Strategic Planning, Brand Strategy & Positioning, Reputation Management
Founded in 1979, VHB (Vanasse Hangen Brustlin) is a Watertown, Mass.-based firm of engineers, planners, scientists and designers. The company provides consulting services to clients in the transportation, real estate, institutional and energy industries, as well as to federal, state and local governments. Fueled by a spate of mergers and acquisitions, VHB expanded its market presence along the East Coast, growing to more than two dozen offices with more than 1,300 employees by 2018.
With organic growth no longer keeping pace with demand for its services, VHB began to seek strategic acquisitions in key markets along the Eastern Seaboard. In doing so, the company retained Day Communications to develop and execute a scalable communications program that would create enthusiasm and cooperation among employees and customers before, during and after each merger. The scope of Day’s support included taking on the challenge of merging corporate cultures and brands of VHB with the five acquired companies in New York, New Jersey, Virginia and Florida. More challenging yet was the added task of ensuring that VHB realized the anticipated ROI value of each acquisition with employee and client retention.
Working with VHB leadership, Day Communications identified communications and marketing challenges facing each merger, such as employee retention and clients’ concerns over level of service and fee changes. To address those issues, Day created an internal communications plan (Phase I) and an externally-focused marketing program (Phase II), with each setting clear objectives. Phase I would seek to boost confidence and enthusiasm among leadership and employees of acquired firms while Phase II would promote each merger as a marriage of complementing resources, making the combined entity better prepared to solve clients’ challenges.
Phase I – Internal: Day Communication’s internal communication program began with a joint leadership charrette that documented opportunities of the merger and facilitated agreement on its benefits. Day translated the charrette input from both firms’ leaders into key messages and materials that would be used in all communications to build momentum and optimism.
The internal communications program included:
- Creating a merger microsite for connecting with employees throughout the transition.
- Holding a series of leadership and employee events to share HR information.
- Surveying employees to gauge effectiveness of communications.
Phase II – External: Day Communications prepared and executed a six-month external promotions campaign to introduce each merger to clients, the regional business community and the architecture, engineering and construction industry. This external outreach effort included advertising VHB mergers in industry and business publications.
Day took on many other duties to help facilitate the transitions. For example, we:
- Consolidated the databases of each firm’s current and past clients and referrals.
- Shared marketing and communications content and case studies that collectively communicated the enhanced value of the merged entity.
- Handled client communications — optimally-timed mailers, emails, receptions and open houses — to introduce new staff and leadership and to assuage concerns.
- Surveyed clients to measure whether the merger met their expectations.
- Scheduled speaking engagements with leaders of both firms.
Day’s communications and marketing efforts produced bankable results on many levels:
- Leadership of both VHB and each acquired company expressed greater confidence going through the merger process and were united in communicating the transaction’s benefits to employees and clients.
- The merged entity experienced fewer initial employee losses than anticipated.
- Clients’ felt they would benefit from the merger.
Our overall marketing effort opened doors for new prospects, led to more business opportunities, and gave VHB a stronger market position and talent pool in each territory.
Furthermore, Day’s successes helped drive the ROI VHB had hoped to realize in two to four years after each merger.
CLIENT: Central Florida Expressway Authority: E-PASS
INDUSTRY: Transportation / Infrastructure,
GOAL: To Grow Your Bottom-Line, To Manage Your Brand,
SERVICES: Brand Strategy & Positioning, Marketing Plan Development, Public Relations, Strategic Planning
E-PASS is an electronic toll collection service operated by the Central Florida Expressway Authority. It was introduced in 1994 as the first toll transponder in Florida. With an E-PASS sticker or portable transponder mounted on vehicle windshields, drivers automatically pay tolls while passing through toll collection sites without stopping. E-PASS is accepted on all toll roads and most toll bridges in Florida, plus on toll systems in Georgia and North Carolina.
The Central Florida Expressway Authority sought to increase E-PASS subscriptions and compete for market share with the state’s toll-transponder service. CFX tapped
Day Communications to take on the challenge of developing and directing an E-PASS marketing effort that would yield measurable year-over-year results while keeping down new customer-acquisition costs.
Day’s action plan called for implementing a multi-faceted but cost-efficient approach to marketing E-PASS to commuters who rely on CFX roads to get around Central Florida. Key to Day’s strategy was raising consumer awareness of the benefits and conveniences E-PASS offers. Working with a very tight budget, Day launched small campaigns that highlighted a central message: E-PASS saves time and money.
Day’s initial marketing action steps sought to make consumers aware that with E-PASS they’d save, on average, 23% on tolls compared with CFX drivers who pay with cash or use the state’s toll transponder, and they also could get loyalty discounts based on frequency of travel on CFX roads. Day placed media buys in print, billboard, radio and social media to spread the customer benefits of E-PASS.
The response was so encouraging that CFX increased its E-PASS marketing budget the following fiscal year. While it wasn’t enough for year-round promotion, Day still managed to boost E-PASS sales by executing intense, integrated marketing campaigns during periods when regional travel volumes were traditionally high. Day also planned and executed a series of campaigns, negotiating the most cost- and results-effective media buys with online, radio and outdoor outlets, as well as community publications. Additionally, Day identified community events where CFX could market E-PASS directly to potential customers.
As E-PASS subscriptions grew exponentially, Day led a consumer-based research project to garner more input from area drivers. Day’s survey yielded valuable information that was used to finetune new outreach programs.
In 2017, Day launched E-PASS college-branded transponders GatorPass, KnightPass and NolePass. Emblazoned with a school’s sports team logo, the college pass stickers were marketed to UF, FSU and UCF students, alumni and fans who wanted to “drive with pride.”
Day’s integrated E-PASS marketing campaigns produced outstanding results for CFX:
- Monthly new accounts tripled within three years.
- Customer acquisition costs went down year over year while sales volumes and customer retention improved at record highs.
- E-PASS Partnerships with three major Florida universities
- Entry into an affinity market
By developing innovative approaches and smart marketing solutions specific to the client’s goals, Day Communications delivered bottom-line results that continue to pay huge dividends for CFX.
CLIENT: Central Florida Expressway Authority: Designated Texter
INDUSTRY: Transportation / Infrastructure,
GOAL: To Build Advocacy, To Implement a Project,
SERVICES: Market Research, Media Buying, Public Relations, Social Cause Marketing
The Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) is responsible for the construction, maintenance and operation of a 118-mile limited-access, tolled expressway system. The CFX system serves more than 3 million residents in five counties — Brevard, Seminole, Lake, Osceola and Orange — as well as more than 72 million annual visitors to Central Florida. Created in 2014 to provide the region with a world-class, integrated mobility network, CFX is empowered to incorporate multimodal corridors and intermodal facilities within its right-of-way.
CFX was concerned that distracted driving was endangering motorists on its expressway system. And it had good reason to be: Distracted drivers were estimated to be 23 times more likely to cause an accident than non-distracted drivers. CFX wanted to discourage drivers from texting while driving, but instead of using scare tactics, it sought to reinforce responsible behavior. The agency retained Day Communications to propose and implement an out-of-the-box public service campaign aimed at curbing texting while driving. The challenge Day faced was daunting, considering the pervasive influence mobile phones have on human behavior.
Day’s first step was identifying which demographic would be the best target audience for an anti-texting campaign that promoted personal responsibility. Young drivers were chosen not only because of their texting habits but also because they could influence their peer networks through personal interactions and social media. With those thoughts in mind, Day created a highly focused and widely promoted “Designated Texter” (DT) PSA campaign that was meant to spur a conversation on responsible texting. DT’s message was simple and direct: Drivers should hand their mobile phones to passengers for texting.
Day also produced a multi-tiered media campaign that included:
- Inviting residents to take the DT pledge online and share photos of their Designated Texters on social media platforms.
- PSAs for TV in English and Spanish.
- Placed ads on local transit and social media.
- Communications outreach via newsletters, events, speaking engagements, press releases and promotional materials.
A few months into the campaign, then-Orlando Magic basketball player Tobias Harris offered to be a celebrity spokesperson for CFX’s Designated Texter campaign. Tobias and a local high school’s “Always Wear Your Seatbelt” club collaborated with Day on a public service announcement that ran during Magic home games over the 2013-14 season. Day also produced and distributed posters and promotional materials with Harris’ image.
The Designated Texter campaign raised awareness of young drivers’ personal responsibilities and offered them an alternative to texting while driving. The campaign:
- Touched more than 240,000 Central Floridians in its first year.
- Garnered more than 2,100 online pledges through events and partner outreach.
- Led CFX to partner with the Orlando Magic, reaching their 100,000+ fans and followers via radio, social media and events.
- Leveraged Tobias’ social media following to reach his 43,000+ followers.
INDUSTRY: Transportation / Infrastructure,
GOAL: To Manage Your Brand,
A regional transportation agency experienced a series of public reputation threats over the course of several years and was under extreme public scrutiny by area media, public and private stakeholders. A major, decisive incident involved board member that was indicted and sentenced to prison on bribery-related charges. Local, state and industry media stayed on top of the story for nearly a year. After a state-level investigation closed, the governor dissolved the organization and created a new and expanded replacement agency. Meanwhile the agency had to continue to operate, design and construct roads and collect funds with an impugned reputation.
The newly formed agency needed a fresh start and to shed its past with a newly established reputation. Public scandals of this magnitude required fast and effective crisis management skills and an intense, intentional public relations program. With leadership transitions and other changes, Day’s strategy included a refreshed brand identity and proactive communications that recast the new organization as a more transparent and community-focused entity.
Intense reputation management was vital with each of the organization’s audiences: employees, customers, local and state governments, its thousands of contractors and the media.
- Every day for one solid year, Day Communications managed the media frenzy with timely proactive and reactive media outreach.
- Day led a six-month organizational and community-wide visioning and strategic planning process for the new organization, wrote and produced its first publicly-supported strategic plan.
- Day trained its executives for improved communications and media relations.
- Day initiated a community outreach program to prevent distracted driving on its roads.
- Day initiated more consistent robust customer communications.
- Designed and executed product marketing campaigns to increase revenues.
Day’s reputation management, communications and marketing skills helped the organization heal and re-establish trust within its community and its industry. Today, with a highly-detailed and full-scale communications and marketing program designed and executed by Day Communications, the organization has:
- Been granted authority to expand its service area to four additional jurisdictions.
- Attracted over 300% more customers within four years.
- Been recognized by regional media and business organizations for quality leadership and a caring working environment.
CLIENT: AV Homes
INDUSTRY: Real Estate,
GOAL: To Grow Your Bottom-Line, To Increase Your Visibility,
SERVICES: Public Relations
AV Homes (now Taylor Morrison per an October 2018 merger) is one of the largest homebuilders in Central Florida, and it is the biggest in Osceola County. Its communities include Solivita and Vitalia at Tradition, 55+ active adult communities located in Kissimmee and Port St. Lucie, respectively, Solstice, a new transit-oriented development situated near a SunRail commuter train station in Kissimmee, and more than a dozen other residential projects spread across Central Florida.
In 2017, the new president of AV Homes’ Florida division retained Day Communications to drive interest in its new and established developments to sell homes, and to elevate the company’s brand to give AV Homes a competitive edge for future land acquisitions and talent. Despite its strong market position, AV Homes was not a household name like the many national production homebuilders it competed against in Central Florida. Thus, the Day team faced the challenge of making the client stand out among better known brands. Additionally, the Day team would need to engage and place stories in out-of-state and retirement-focused media in the Northeast, Midwest and Florida.
The Day team recommended and implemented an integrated public relations program that began with a deep dive into understanding AV Homes’ homebuyers’ profiles and home origins for its 55+ communities. Armed with scads of data, we created a dot matrix map of the U.S. to see the densest origin markets of its buyers. Next, we built and executed a media outreach program that was both national and hyper local to expose its target homebuyers to Solivita and Vitalia through editorial coverage that would drive referrals to its sales offices.
To build awareness about AV Homes’ strong market position and product offerings in traditional homebuilding, Day initiated unique opportunities to elevate its reputation with media and community relations. That included:
- Promoting its new transit-oriented development near a SunRail commuter train stop leading into the high-profile SunRail expansion into Osceola County
- Sourcing AV Homes’ new leader to media as the top homebuilder in several of the fastest growing counties in the U.S.
- Making personal introductions to local public officials who have interests in AV’s dominant markets.
- Elevating awareness about its regional ranking in the media and among elected officials.
The Day team’s public relations efforts for AV Homes have been successful in achieving the client’s goals with specific achievements within 8 months including:
- Delivering nearly 100+ direct sales leads to Solivita and Vitalia sales centers through targeted media relations about its Discovery Days stay-and-play program
- Securing nationwide and international media coverage about the unique lifestyles at Solivita and Vitalia with coverage on CNBC, Where to Retire magazine, 55+Places.com, on target market news channels and other active older adult media
- Driving more than 4200 unique visitors to Solivita and Vitalia web pages through strategic media placements
- Creating prime media sourcing opportunities for AV Homes’ executives in business and industry media that led to new land positions
- Earning timely print and digital media placements and promotional events for AV Homes’ Solstice in advance of the opening of the SunRail line in Osceola County and that led to immediate homes sales leads.
- Secure features about Solivita homeowners in their former hometown newspapers in primary markets for potential homebuyers
CLIENT: The Christ School
INDUSTRY: Non-Profit / Education,
GOAL: To Grow Your Bottom-Line, To Manage Your Brand,
SERVICES: Brand Management, Employee Communications, Marketing Plan Development & Implementation, Market Research
The Christ School is a faith-based, private K-8 school located in the heart of downtown Orlando. The school opened its doors in 1996 on the campus of the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando and serves 348 students.
The Christ School wanted to increase enrollment in a highly competitive private school market. Through a referral, the school retained Day Communications to help it develop a growth strategy. Among the challenges the Day team faced were identifying The Christ School’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities, and determining how best to differentiate the school from competitors.
The Day team set in motion a plan to achieve the school’s goals, first by gaining a better understanding of the parents of enrollees. After all, they were willing to bear the expense of providing their kids with a faith-based, private school experience and had chosen The Christ School.
Day researched the profiles of student families to be able to create an accurate potential customer profile:
- The vast majority of enrollees lived within a 5- to 10-minute radius of the school
- Parents were highly engaged in their children’s education
- One parent likely worked downtown
- One or both parents held college degrees
- Parents with one child were more likely to choose private education than parents with two or more children
Next, Day evaluated the marketplace by sending “parents” to secret shop four competing schools. This field research yielded a common theme among the schools: They all marketed themselves as offering an academically rigorous, Christ-centered education that built character in children.
Armed with its research of the school and its competition, we recommended The Christ School highlight the following unique benefits of enrollment:
- Parents were welcome to visit the school and were encouraged to be involved in their children’s learning experience
- The school’s urban campus put it in close proximity to unique field-trip destinations as a history museum, library and courthouse
- Graduating students often went on to become high achievers in high school, college and professional life
Our recommendations led us to take the following action steps to drive bankable results:
- Create print and radio ads and social media content that would resonate with parents who were highly engaged in their children’s education.
- Train school staff to personalize The Christ School experience — parental involvement, urban setting and future success of students — when talking with parents at open houses.
- Implement a streamlined format for open houses so the school could manage prospects more effectively.
Day Communications helped The Christ School better understand its strengths, weaknesses — as well as those of the competition — and opportunities. This knowledge led Day to create fine-tuned messages staff could relay to prospective parents in person and in writing, ensuring they emphasized the benefits of enrollment. With staff hyper-focused on the school’s unique offerings for children, the school saw an increase in parent tours and referrals.
CLIENT: Healthy Central Florida
INDUSTRY: Health and Wellness, Non-Profit / Education,
GOAL: To Build Advocacy, To Increase Your Visibility,
SERVICES: Public Relations, Technical Copywriting
Healthy Central Florida (HCF) is a community-based partnership initially created to make three cities — Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville — the healthiest in the nation. HCF works with community leaders on implementing policies that promote healthy habits while encouraging residents to eat healthier, quit smoking and live active lifestyles. It was founded in 2012 by Florida Hospital and the Winter Park Health Foundation.
HCF commissioned the University of Central Florida Institute for Social and Behavioral Sciences to conduct an in-depth study of the physical, emotional, and nutritional health of residents in Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville. The 2013 State of Our Health report covered a wide range of factors that contribute to a community’s well-being, from smoking rates to access to healthy foods and transportation to social structure. HCF brought in Day Communications to edit and produce the State of Our Health report and take on the challenge of drawing attention to its findings, among them the startling revelation that 24 percent of all Eatonville residents had been diagnosed with diabetes.
Having produced State of Our Health, Day Communications was intimately familiar with its key findings and HCF’s Florida’s call to action in response to the report. Day leveraged the HCF’s “Health Week” as an opportune time to maximize awareness of the study. Day planned events during the week and secured a nationally renowned advocate of healthy communities, Dr. Richard Jackson, as the keynote speaker. Jackson’s appearance created media buzz, which led to coverage of the report’s discovery of Eatonville’s high rate of diabetes.
Day’s efforts to raise awareness of HCF’s 2013 State of Our Health succeeded in setting off an alarm over Eatonville’s health crisis. The YMCA, RDV Sportsplex and Hungerford Community Center responded by offering support groups and educational classes to Eatonville residents to make behavior changes for better health. More than 500 Eatonville residents joined HCF’s health initiatives and programs.
And, Day Communications, Healthy Central Florida and a team of community leaders raised more than $1 million to address Eatonville’s health issues.
CLIENT: Simon Property Group
INDUSTRY: Retail / Consumer,
GOAL: To Grow Your Bottom-Line, To Increase Your Visibility,
SERVICES: Public Relations
Simon Property Group is the largest shopping mall operator in the US. The company currently owns or has an interest in 325+ retail real estate properties in North America and Asia, including the Florida Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in the state.
The company successfully partners with television networks including the popular television show, Food Network. To create a high profile culinary event within their larger malls, Simon hired Day Communications to handle all of the publicity for the Super Chefs Event at the Florida Mall in Orlando. The task was to generate buzz, drive traffic and increase retail sales
The research phase of the project included locating and securing local celebrity chefs from the area’s top restaurants to complement some of the culinary world’s most popular talents. Day created a sponsorship program, and recruited prospects in an effort to bring in additional revenue for the events.
Day Communications built events around such well-known chefs as Giatta de Le Renta, Alton Brown, Chef Lidia Bastianich, and Chef Lartin Yan.
Our team developed and distributed press packages regional media, set-up interviews with celebrity chefs with local broadcast media, captured and distributed video b-roll for post-event local and national publicity.
Over 50,000 people attended the first Super Chef’s Event at the Florida Mall with similar numbers at subsequent events. Day’s publicity success included a front-page feature in the Orlando Sentinel, coverage on every regional television station, many live radio talk shows and national food channels. Simon expanded the program to other malls after a proven ROI with Day as their promotional partner.
CLIENT: Seminole Towne Center
INDUSTRY: Retail / Consumer,
GOAL: To Grow Your Bottom-Line,
Simon Property Group is the largest shopping mall operator in the US. The company currently owns or has an interest in 325+ retail real estate properties in North America and Asia, including the Florida Mall and Seminole Towne Center in Central Florida.
Simon Property Group hired Day Communications to develop a partnership program and increase sponsorship revenues for its regional malls in Central Florida. Day Communications isolated a target list of Central Florida companies with national reach and with potential synergies and logical brand alliances. NASCAR at Daytona International Speedway was an excellent match. Day Communications used its knowledge and connections to the organization to pinpoint mutual beneficial opportunities.
Day Communications secured the initial meeting, created the sales presentation and mediated an agreement between the two organizations. A partnership was set-up with both Seminole Towne Center and Florida Mall and NASCAR at Daytona International Speedway to create kiosks within each mall, with the potential for more kiosks within other Simon Malls in the future.
Day Communications mapped the locations of NASCAR’s national speedways with Simon Malls near them, and developed a rationale for a national partnership expansion.
For the publicity aspect of the assignment, Day Communications promoted this new partnership to the local media and local consumers with significant coverage and marketing value. A follow-up analysis was completed to establish steps for building a long-term working relationship between Simon and the NASCAR organization.
At a time when Seminole Towne Center was experiencing customer erosion due to a new mall in the market, the NASCAR partnership sparked much needed new visitors and customers to the mall with more gift cards sold and tenant sales increases. The Florida Mall kiosk program created promotional outcomes that surpassed NASCAR’s expectations in helping broaden its brand presence among consumers. The partnership concept went to corporate levels and supported additional partnerships between Simon and NASCAR.
CLIENT: Progress Point Mixed-Use Community Engagement
INDUSTRY: Real Estate,
GOAL: To Build Advocacy,
SERVICES: Public Relations, Content Creation
Progress Point LLC was a real estate entity that owned a prime property near downtown Winter Park, FL, valued at $4.9 million with an existing 48-year-old, 17,833-square-foot office building.
The property owners hired Day Communications during the planning stages of the project to overcome an extreme anti-development sentiment within the community. At the time, the City of Winter Park’s political environment was in high gear.
The proposed large mixed-use development drew attention from vocal camps “for” and “against” area development. Studies showed a strong “not in my backyard” culture within the community. At the same time, the City had numerous idle highly visible and unproductive properties it was anxious to turn into tax-generating assets. The owner needed to convert the opponents into supporters for the proposed mixed-use development.
Early resident engagement was important to the overall community outreach program. Day Communication planned and organized several neighborhood charrettes to gather feedback, assess opposition, and to get ahead of the potential concerns of residents and key community leaders.
Because property owners had several options in mind for the plan for Progress Point, Day recommended involving the community in fine-tuning the plans versus dueling out specific plans.
Day designed and led visioning process with brainstorming charrettes whereby groups in the sessions presented their concepts and ideas for Progress Point to the rest of the attendees. The most popular ideas – generous green space, large setbacks and restricted high-rise buildings – were passed along to the architect for inclusion in the design phase.
Invitations to the charrettes were distributed to local stores, government buildings and homes within a 3-mile radius of the development area. Media were invited to each of the events. Day Communications videotaped the charrettes and provided the video to the City as evidence of the cooperative planning process.
The community outreach campaign succeeded in garnering public backing for the development. Voices were heard and public opinion in support of the new community was unique in the wake of eight other planned redevelopment projects that died from active opposition from the same voices.
CLIENT: T&G Constructors
GOAL: To Grow Your Bottom-Line, To Increase Your Visibility,
SERVICES: Brand Management, Marketing Plan Development & Implementation, Public Relations
T&G Constructors is a commercial general contractor with offices in Dallas, Miami, Houston, Orlando.
T&G Constructors sought to increase market share and build stronger brand recognition as part of an expansion plan to open new offices across the country. The company hired Day Communications and tasked us with the challenges of raising T&G’s profile in a crowded industry space and help it bring in new business.
Day led owner strategy sessions, employee focus groups and online surveys in English and Spanish to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of the culture and communication within the company. Day also interviewed clients to garner their perceptions of T&G’s value proposition and evaluated leading competitors.
Armed with a mountain of data, Day recommended T&G take the following steps to increase the company’s bottom line:
- Train employees to be brand advocates and give them specific job descriptions that include marketing responsibilities
- Offer employees rewards for corporate advocacy and marketing
- Improve internal communications through regularly scheduled conference calls with all employees and a company newsletter
- Join targeted industry associations and boards
- Encourage field offices to seek community involvement opportunities that could raise corporate visibility
- Sponsor events
Furthermore, Day developed a multidimensional visibility program that included revamping the company’s RFP process, its brand standards and website, and business communications templates.
Day also created regional marketing plans for T&G offices in Dallas, Miami and Orlando, with a focus on recommendations to enhance positions in specific market segments based on corporate strengths and potential revenue growth.
Day’s initial marketing effort accomplished everything it set out to do and more. Employees were more informed and better equipped to provide premium service to new and existing clients. T&G leadership became more focused on overall goals and newly evaluated markets delivered improved ROIs.
“The Day team works beside us to fully understand what we do, who our clients are and the internal operations of our firm. Our important things are important to them."Diana Gibson
Marketing Manager, VHB
Whether you call it employee engagement, public relations or media outreach, it begins with the steadfast belief that bankable communications is a powerful thing. With just the right combination of business intelligence and creativity, we’ll find the best way to drive results to your bottom line.