California Academy of Sciences
Landis Communications/PRGN, San Francisco/USA, 14.03.2011
Jak mówić o nauce, jak ją promować i jak współpracować z placówkami naukowo – ekspozycyjnymi. Jak budować przez kilkaset dni napięcie tak by kulminacja nastąpiła w dniu wielkiego finału. O tym opowiada przykład z działań naszego amerykańskiego partnera z sieci PR GN – Landis Communications inc. Zapraszamy na historię otwarcia nowej siedziby Kalifornijskiej Akademii Nauk.
California Academy of Sciences
To launch the new California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park as a 21st century museum, the only building in the world to feature an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, 4 story glass-domed rainforest and scientific research center, all under one “living” roof. Scheduled to open in September of 2008 after 4 years of construction, the Academy’s goal was no less than to become the world’s greenest museum.
With a look to the future, the Academy hired LCI in August of 2006 to help design and execute a long-term media relations strategy that would promote the noteworthy events at a temporary venue while the new building was under construction – and launch a campaign for the new $484 million dollar building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano.
The opening of the new California Academy of Sciences on September 27, 2008 was the culmination of a 2-year public relations campaign designed to build momentum and excitement locally, while earning significant attention from top-tier media outlets on a national and international scale. LCI developed and executed a multi-faceted campaign to provide maximum outreach to the press, but was also a strategic player in regard to media and visitor events, speaking opportunities for Academy leaders and scientists and visibility for green/sustainability issues.
LCI identified the need to earn the attention of influential New York media and executed a press tour in February of 2008, a full eight months in advance of the Academy’s opening. Included among the events was a luncheon at New York’s Morgan Library (re-designed by Renzo Piano). This event introduced major media outlets including Time, Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal to renowned architect Renzo Piano, the Academy’s executive director, Greg Farrington, artist Maya Lin and top Academy scientists. LCI also coordinated a series of desk side meetings with Piano, Farrington and Chris Andrews, director of Academy exhibits, to introduce the Academy to press with story angles that ran the gamut from architecture and design to science and sustainability. By raising visibility among national publications, the Academy was not only positioned as a San Francisco landmark, but as a world-class destination.
A second and equally important tactic in the campaign was to identify and provide outreach to print, broadcast and online outlets that covered green issues and/or sustainable building. From traditional magazines such as Travel and Leisure, which included the Academy in a 2008 list of Ten American Green Landmarks to high-profile online outlets such as Wired.com and ZDNet, the key messages about commitment to green practices became one of the most newsworthy elements of the campaign.
And lastly, LCI recommended strong local and national media sponsorships that would provide not only advertising support but would invest top outlets in an ongoing relationship with the Academy. We identified local/national targets and initiated the conversations that resulted in positive partnerships with WIRED Magazine, San Francisco’s ABC affiliate, KGO-TV as well as KGO Radio, 7x7 Magazine (which targeted a young urban demographic) and San Francisco Chronicle.
Attendance at the new California Academy of Sciences has far exceeded visitor projections and continues to draw-record breaking crowds to Golden Gate Park. Working with the Academy’s communications team over the course of 2+ years, LCI garnered significant coverage from almost 100 top U.S. print, broadcast and online outlets. Good Morning America broadcast live from the Academy during opening week, featuring four segments from various locations of the building including the South African penguin tank, the coral reef tank and the rainforest. Among the notable publications that offered uniformly positive reviews were the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. Ongoing pre-and post-opening coverage included such top tier media outlets as Associated Press, Vanity Fair, USA Today, Newsweek, Travel and Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Sunset Magazine, Metropolis, Popular Science, Spirit Magazine, Smithsonian, National Geographic, San Francisco Magazine and 7x7 Magazine, among many others. National Geographic Channel also produced a documentary program about the Academy’s living roof as well as the “great migration” of animals to their new home in Golden Gate Park.
Locally, the San Francisco Chronicle coverage for a local museum was unparalleled, with substantial coverage of the construction phase, ongoing reporting about the ambitious and challenging move of live animals and scientific specimens throughout the year and significant coverage of the events leading to Opening Day. Additionally, media partner KGO-TV produced a one-hour documentary that took viewers behind the scenes to experience both the history and evolution of the new museum.
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