St. Croix Food & Wine Experience
Goal
To increase awareness and participation in the annual fundraising event. WPR is responsible for recruiting chefs, working with media, assisting with sponsorships and much more.

Strategy
WPR recruits talented chefs who are from major tourism markets for the US Virgin Islands, have won awards, been on television, and most importantly, believe in philanthropy. WPR issues press releases, creates partnerships with local hotels, helps with sponsor outreach and helps develop programs and concepts for the fundraising series. In 2011, Watkins PR pulled together, designed and printed a cookbook celebrating the event, sharing the history of the island and promoting the past participating chefs and the destination. The cookbook is sold in local stores, restaurants, on Amazon and used by the St. Croix Foundation as well as the Department of Tourism to promote the island, and the event.

Results
WPR successfully recruits top celebrity and award-winning chefs to participate in the event. Chefs include Govind Armstrong, Sam Choy, Leah Cohen, Paula DaSilva, Tiffany Derry, Rocco DiSpirito,
Todd Gray, Anita Lo,Tim Love,   Kevin Rathbun, Gabriel Rucker, Sue Zemanick, as well as Josef DeSimone, Tony Castellucci and Dean Spinks - the culinary team from the corporate headquarters of Facebook. The event is regarded by many media outlets to be one of the top ten food and wine festivals in the world. Thanks to a strong and strategic relationship with the team at Tourism, dozens of media have experienced the event. Every year, the number of hotel packages sold for the event increases. And, new programs, including a program where local high school culinary students earn an internship opportunity in the US-based kitchens of guest chefs, continue to be developed to benefit the community. The cookbook is a huge success and a second edition is planned.


Hot Metal Mama
Goal
To secure coverage in targeted publications for metal artist, Teresa Thompson.

Strategy
Pitch Teresa’s favorite print media outlets and others that reach a high-income coastal audience. In the pitches, we focused on the unique aspects of an attractive woman using welding equipment, plasma torches, and heavy metal to create beautiful art décor.

Results
WPR secured coverage in Coastal Living Magazine, Lexus Magazine, and a feature article ran in the Miami Herald. Teresa received over 10,000 unique hits on her web site the week the Coastal Living piece appeared. The first art show she appeared in following the Lexus article, people were calling Teresa “The Lexus Lady”. (Florida is the number one market for Lexus) The Miami Herald article produced at least two orders the day the article ran. Within the first year of the coverage received, the demand for Teresa’s product grew at such an incredible rate that she was able to double the average selling price of her work, went into mass production of one of her more popular pieces, and moved into a larger production facility.


Wet Wedding
Goal
Our client, Hotel Caravelle in St. Croix, needed fresh publicity. They wanted local and international attention.

Strategy
WPR decided to leverage the fact that the world’s largest underwater wedding had been held in the waters off St. Croix. We developed the concept of a “Wet Wedding” package for the hotel and organized an underwater wedding and reception to introduce the concept to the media.

Results
The event made a splash! The wedding itself was broadcast on a Tampa, FL television station, and SCUBA Radio. WPR secured a partnership with Ocean Reef, a provider of underwater recording devices, which enabled us to provide live sound of the ceremony. The wedding reception following the ceremony attracted more than 60 members of the media and guests. The reception was broadcast via web cam, and website visits more than tripled. The “Wet Wedding” package has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, numerous consumer publications, on TV, and a variety of websites.


Steckley Designs
Goal
Establish the Steckley brand through comprehensive public relations and targeted marketing.

Strategy
We focused on pitching select journalists and publications with an environmental edge. Museums, interior designers, retailers and builders with the same philosophy were also targeted. They were pitched on Steckley’s unique designs and his eco-sensitive approach to collecting materials to build the furniture.

Results
WPR began working with Steckley in May 2005. By July of the same year we secured a feature article on Steckley in the Miami Herald, coordinated an HDTV interview of Steckley for a piece that will be viewed in 500,000 US homes, and were able to get one of his coffee tables selected for a celebrity suite in a Kimpton Hotel in New Orleans. As a result of other WPR efforts, HGTV used three Steckley’s designs in their “Small Spaces” program, he has been invited to exhibit in an art show with renowned photographer Clyde Butcher, he has been asked to judge a Miami area design competition, and Steckley was contacted by a reader who subsequently purchased his most expensive piece.




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