The Ehrhardt Group Earns Top Honors from PRSA NOLA for Compelling Campaigns in 2019-2020
February 4, 2021
The Ehrhardt Group was recognized last week by PRSA New Orleans for 12 campaigns that generated awareness, educated and inspired audiences to take action.
“At the Ehrhardt Group, we craft compelling campaigns that successfully amplify conversations, bring awareness and move people to act on issues that are important to the citizens, business and organizations of the Gulf South,” said Marc Ehrhardt, president and partner of The Ehrhardt Group. “These awards are a tribute to our team of professionals giving their time, best thinking and best effort to our clients every day.”
Public Affairs Campaign– Award of Excellence
In spring 2020, The Ehrhardt Group partnered with New Orleans City Park leadership to craft messaging for the media and public on how the Park has responded to its severe revenue loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic while laying out a case to encourage public support for the Park through donations, volunteerism and advocacy. The campaign also sought to demonstrate the need for additional funds from the state legislature ahead of the special session. Our goal was to educate the news media, residents, local and state elected officials on how the Park is funded and the special circumstances it was facing due to the pandemic. More specifically, we wanted to remind residents why they love the Park and to turn that love into action via donations, volunteerism and advocacy. Our efforts proved to be successful as the Park saw a drastic increase in volunteer sign-ups. Many donations came in during the first round of public promotion with nearly 40% being from first time donors to the Park. Media coverage of the Park’s situation was enhanced and, in the end, the state legislature passed a bill in the special session that included $2.5 million for the Park’s operating budget.
Public Affairs Campaign – Award of Excellence
East Jefferson General Hospital (EJGH) opened in 1971 to meet the health care needs of the residents of Jefferson Parish. Since then, EJGH has grown to nearly 3,000 employees who serve over 200,000 patients annually. As of 2020, it was no longer sustainable to continue operating as the last standalone facility in the Greater New Orleans regions and needed to partner with a larger institution to maintain the high quality of care the hospital is known for. The Ehrhardt Group collaborated with digital and election consultants to support EJGH in a campaign to educate the public on the benefits of LCMC Health purchasing EJGH. Our team was responsible for managing and leading the team in a public education campaign to encourage the residents of the East Bank of Jefferson Parish to “Vote YES for a Healthy Future.” The election took place amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in two date changes and a move to encouraging voters to cast their ballots early and by mail. Our efforts during the campaign were outstandingly successful, yielding an unprecedented 95% of voters casting their ballots in favor of the partnership and the retention of an outstanding hospital for the Greater New Orleans region.
Brief Special Events/Observances – Corporate/Government– Award of Excellence
The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel’s iconic and dazzling Waldorf Wonderland lobby has been a favorite holiday tradition for hundreds of families, for many years, attracting visitors around the world. The tradition continued in 2019, when Grammy-winning musician Trombone Shorty served as the official lobby lighter. The Ehrhardt Group was tasked with choosing and securing the lobby lighter and coordinating all media efforts for the event. The overall goal of this project was to generate awareness of the holidays kicking off at The Roosevelt New Orleans and to drive media and public attention to the lobby décor and hotel offerings. Our efforts for The Roosevelt’s 2019 Lobby Lighting event proved to be successful as the Roosevelt’s lobby was filled with hundreds of visitors for the official welcoming of the holiday season. It was the hotel’s most attended lobby lighting to date. We secured a total of 21 media stories and 5,604,395 media impressions for the event, including a front-page story in The Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate and multiple on-air mentions on all four New Orleans TV news stations.
Integrated Marketing Campaign – Award of Excellence
Galatoire’s Restaurant, like many establishments during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, was uniquely challenged with creating ways to bring in revenue after it was forced to close its doors in March 2020 to inside dining and private events. Galatoire’s found a solution by launching its ‘Family Meals To-Go’ program, a first in the restaurant’s 115-year history. The Ehrhardt Group used the concept of nostalgia and bringing family members together to enjoy some of their Friday lunch favorites in the comfort and safety of their own home to entice target audiences and promote the family meal takeout option. Our goal during the campaign was to educate the news media, residents, businesses and local patrons that Galatoire’s was offering a to-go menu for the first time in the restaurant’s storied history. We successfully promoted the ‘Family Meals To-Go’ program via a comprehensive marketing campaign which included social media, public relations, digital marketing and advertising. The result of our efforts resulted in meals selling out and consistent continued revenue for the restaurant.
Integrated Marketing Campaign – Award of Excellence
The Grow Louisiana Coalition (GLAC) aims to raise awareness and change perception of issues involving Louisiana’s number one economic driver: the oil and gas industry. In 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when the price of gas dropped below a dollar per gallon in areas of the state and oil traded at a negative for the first time in history, the need to pass industry-favorable legislation became essential. Legislative votes on Senate Bill 440 (SB 440), Senate Concurrent Resolution 7 (SCR 7) and Senate Bill 359 (SB 359) assumed paramount importance to the future of the industry. In partnership with GLAC, The Ehrhardt Group launched an integrated marketing campaign targeted to residents of relevant, influential coastal parishes, urging them to contact their local legislators and express support for these important votes. This campaign ran from February to May 2020 and included parish- and state-level outreach surrounding key voting dates. Our campaign efforts proved to be successful, as the necessary legislation that was heard during session passed in favor of the industry.
Social Media Campaign – Award of Excellence
In March 2020, the first national tour of “Mean Girls”, the record-breaking musical comedy based on the hit 2004 film starring Lindsay Lohan, was set to come to the Saenger Theatre as part of the Broadway in New Orleans season. The Ehrhardt Group created the perfect opportunity to jointly promote the musical and the premier happy hour destination in the Vieux Carré—Galatoire’s “33” Bar & Steak. The Mean Girls Happy Hour, hosted two weeks before performances were slated to start, invited local lifestyle and fashion influencers to attend the invitation-only event to promote the show and the restaurant. Those in attendance were treated to happy hour menu selections and a hand-crafted specialty cocktail designed exclusively for the show. Attendees were also surprised with “Mean Girls” swag and two tickets to the musical, which would lead to more social media coverage and increased awareness of the show during its engagement in New Orleans. Due to national lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, “Mean Girls” was unable to carry out its scheduled performances at the Saenger Theatre. However, our team’s work on behalf of the Mean Girls Happy Hour proved to be successful in promoting Galatoire’s “33” and boosting public awareness and enthusiasm for the show. The total estimated reach for the event was nearly half a million—459,088.
Print Feature Stories – Award of Excellence
As the COVID-19 pandemic progressed, concerns among businesses, employees, property owners and individuals alike over lawsuits, liability protections, finances and personal safety grew to heightened levels. The Ehrhardt Group leveraged the knowledge and experience of Stone Pigman attorneys to educate the community at large, including businesses and individuals, on the latest developments for initiatives like the Paycheck Protection Program, the CARES Act and bankruptcy codes to highlight what they needed to know from a legal perspective. Given the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, we developed story ideas along the way to coincide with growing issues and concerns while identifying media opportunities to position Stone Pigman attorneys as thought leaders on various topics. Our team successfully secured several feature stories and media opportunities with local and trade outlets, educating readers on the topic throughout 2020.
External Relations Campaign – Corporation/Government – Award of Merit
On behalf of the Grow Louisiana Coalition (GLAC), The Ehrhardt Group developed the POWERING AHEAD campaign to help residents in Southwest Louisiana access essential resources, highlight where others can support recovery efforts and showcase the industry’s investments to rebuilding Southwest Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricanes Laura and Delta. The Ehrhardt Group created a website for target audiences to easily access this information and developed assets for social and digital channels to further expand the reach of the client’s messages and develop enduring goodwill with communities in Southwest Louisiana and across the state. Our work toward the POWERING AHEAD campaign resulted in increased awareness of the industry’s commitment to Southwest Louisiana, and the entire state, especially in times of need. The campaign’s collateral, ads and organic posts received positive feedback from those living in affected regions and residents in other parts of the state helping in recovery efforts.
External Relations Campaign – Corporation/Government – Award of Merit
The COVID-19 pandemic ravaged nursing facilities across the country. Our team worked closely with the Louisiana Nursing Home Association (LNHA) to craft messaging that outlined the extraordinary efforts being taken by nursing home staff to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within facilities while aligning with state and federal agency recommendations as facilities endured the rapidly changing course of the health crisis. In June 2020, The Ehrhardt Group launched a full-scale, statewide campaign promoting the heroes of this health pandemic – nursing facility staff, doctors, caregivers, as well as the warriors under their care across Louisiana. We coordinated and oversaw the production of a television commercial from concept to completion, print and digital creative, and negotiated media placements to maximize reach and awareness statewide. The campaign specifically targeted community papers in markets with LNHA member facilities so that those facility staff members, health care professionals, residents and families would be able to see and resonate with the messaging.
Crisis Communication Campaign – Corporate/Government – Award of Merit
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, oil and gas leaders, Chevron and ExxonMobil, jumped into action to help the communities where they live and work. From donating PPE, supplies and sanitizers, to funding programs that worked to meet the urgent needs of locals, both companies had to work quickly and decisively to identify urgent needs, determine how they can maximize their support and address challenges head-on. In addition to creating awareness of the industry’s overall support and commitment to their communities, there was also a critical need to communicate what resources were available to the public during this difficult time. Throughout the pandemic, The Ehrhardt Group has worked with both companies as well as partner organizations to implement an effective, multi-layer communications campaigns, which included communication with statewide media, content creation in partnership with industry organization, Grow Louisiana Coalition, and customized messaging based on media markets. The success of this campaign can be measured by the amount of media coverage, community sentiment, and cross-promotion generated throughout the campaign. The Ehrhardt Group secured media coverage related to Chevron and/or ExxonMobil’s COVID-19 response efforts with 56 media outlets. In addition, social media cross-promotion related to Chevron and/or ExxonMobil’s COVID-19 response was generated with organizations including Bayou Community Foundation, Grow Louisiana Coalition, Northshore Community Foundation, Northshore Food Bank, Safe Harbor, Second Harvest Food Bank, and Son of a Saint.
Print Story Pitch and Placement – Award of Merit
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on recreation organizations across the country. New Orleans City Park is no different. Historically, the Park’s 1,300 acres, which is approximately twice the size of New York’s Central Park, have been maintained via self-generated funds and a small level of funding from the state. No other urban park in the nation operates this way. The park, which is 90% self-funded, has done much to keep itself afloat during this time – including cutting all part-time and seasonal staff, furloughing a third of their full-time staff, implementing salary reductions, and more. Yet because of the restrictions and limitations placed on events and their ticketed features, they were still facing dire issues if additional funding was not secured to get them through the year. To help demonstrate to the public the situation their beloved Park was in, The Ehrhardt Group sought to secure a key in-depth article in The Times Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate as part of a larger public awareness campaign ahead of the state legislature’s special session. The Ehrhardt Group’s efforts for New Orleans City Park proved to be successful. On Sept. 27, 2020, an in-depth article titled “An update on New Orleans City Park and the need for $5 million in emergency funding” was posted on NOLA.com and the story ran in the paper’s print edition later that week in the Metro section. Response to the article was stupendous. In the coming weeks following the article’s publication, the Park saw a drastic increase in volunteer sign-ups and, in the end, the state legislature passed a bill in the special session that included $2.5 million for the Park’s operating budget.
Print Feature Stories – Award of Merit
As outcry over the killings of George Floyd and others fueled the Black Lives Matter movement in early 2020, businesses and organizations across the country took stock of their own policies and evaluated how they could provide a more anti-racist working environment in a genuine, effective manner. The Ehrhardt Group worked with Stone Pigman Law Firm to develop a story angle to address this timely and important issue. The Ehrhardt Group pitched Stone Pigman attorney Heather Lonian, Chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee, as the leading local expert on the matter and secured several exclusive interviews. Through Heather’s interview, the articles provided guidance on how businesses can take proactive, practical direct and indirect measures to better company and brand policies. The results of this pitching campaign concluded with interviews across all mediums including print, online and broadcast outlets. Our work on the featured stories positioned Stone Pigman as not only a leader in their industry, but as a corporation that has been on the forefront of diversity and inclusivity in the workplace for decades.