Case Studies

PROMOTION/MARKETING

  • 12 Days of Kraft Foods ~ Award of Excellence, Intl. Assn. of Business Communicators
    As part of its ongoing marketing and advertising strategy, Kraft Foods in Hawaii continuously strives to provide a local voice within the community, positioning itself as a family-friendly and trustworthy brand. As the agency-on-record for Kraft Foods in Hawaii, Becker Communications, Inc. (BCI) is responsible for the rate negotiation, placement conceptualization and script writing for all advertisements. Each year, Kraft Foods in Hawaii is a sponsor of KSSK radio's holiday music program. With this sponsorship comes air time in the form of a :20 radio commercial. It was BCI's role to develop a fun spot that would increase awareness of the many Kraft Foods brands with women ages 25 - 54 while offering a joyful and lighthearted message to the community over the holidays. Creatively scripted to position Kraft Foods as a fun, festive company, BCI came up with "The Twelve Days of Kraft," a 20-second radio script highlighting 12 Kraft Foods products to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Further localizing the spot, BCI arranged for the "The Twelve Days of Kraft" to be sung by Kraft's local customer business manager as well as by Sweetie Pacarro, Kraft Foods spokeswoman and local radio celebrity.
  • Hildgund Jewelry Gift Giveaway ~ Award of Merit, Intl. Assn. of Business Communicators
    In December 2009, Hawaii-based Hildgund Jewelry celebrated its 136th Anniversary with a unique promotion designed to remind local residents of its long history in the Islands and to increase name recognition: the company hid nearly $50,000 in merchandise in 136 wrapped gift boxes across the islands. In addition, Hildgund left 136 meal vouchers at various parks and shelter locations for Hawaii's homeless. Hildgund Jewelry enlisted the help of Becker Communications, Inc. to implement a comprehensive interactive campaign, primarily targeting Hawaii residents. Among the campaign's objectives were to: heighten awareness of the Hildgund brand in the local community, secure print and broadcast media coverage, develop and increase social media presence by establishing an active Facebook fan base and building Hildgund Jewelry's Twitter followers by 15% over the 30-day period.

    The 30-day gift giveaway garnered nearly 4 million impressions via traditional and social media throughout the Hawaiian Islands, directly reaching the local resident market. Through strategic media outreach, Becker Communications, Inc. was successful in securing placement in print, radio, and online media outlets, garnering approximately $165,000 in media value. Social media efforts exceeded the client's expectations and goals with an overwhelming response, garnering nearly 600 new Facebook fans, a 1,000 increase in Twitter followers and approximately 800 social media interactions over the course of 30 days. In addition, the newly integrated Hildgund YouTube account received nearly 1,000 views throughout the 30-day campaign.  

  • Down to Earth’s 30th Anniversary
    In September 2007, Down to Earth enlisted Becker Communications to implement a public relations campaign in recognition of the company’s 30th year milestone. The anniversary was especially relevant with the impending arrival of mainland food giant Whole Foods Market, a potential competitor, which announced plans to open multiple stores in Hawai‘i. With a goal of reaching DTE’s current and potential customers, Becker Communications implemented a number of public relations tactics, including the development of a 30th anniversary press kit, editorial solicitation, press releases and media briefing/cooking demonstration. The campaign resulted in more than $165,000 worth of positive media value over the course of two months.
  • Brookfield Homes Hawaii / Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
    Becker Communications’ client, Brookfield Homes Hawaii (BHH), was selected as the builder for ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (EMHE) Hawaii project. Due to the secretive nature of the project, Becker Communications was enlisted to conduct a comprehensive public relations campaign just one week in advance of the seven-day build. Becker Communications implemented a number of public relations tactics to garner extensive media coverage, including multiple press conferences, intensive media bureau services, press kit development, editorial solicitation, interviews with talent and more. Becker Communications also provided assistance in planning and executing the wrap party following the completion of the project, as well as a premiere party for volunteers and sponsors when the show aired in September 2007. The publicity campaign saturated the local market with approximately $869,339.33 in estimated media value. As a result, Brookfield Homes Hawaii has enjoyed a strong increase in its visibility and name recognition in the local community.
  • Harry Winston Grand Opening
    When Harry Winston retained Becker Communications in October 2005, its first assignment was to launch the Ala Moana salon to the Hawaii residential market and to VIP customers from Japan. The priority was the planning and implementation of a high-impact salon opening appropriate to Harry Winston’s reputation that would establish a high level of awareness and excitement for its arrival in Hawaii. Among our tactics: editorial solicitation, press kit production, press releases, media advisories, column items and thank you letters and gifts. The public opening at Ala Moana Center resulted in multiple editorial placements worth nearly $105,000 in media value. The Ala Moana salon broke a global record for Harry Winston within the first week of its opening.
  • Haseko Launch of Hoakalei
    In February 2006, HASEKO HAWAII publicly debuted Hoakalei, its first-ever luxury resort project. The event -- a site ground breaking and press conference conceived by Becker Communications to announce the resort’s Hoakalei Country Club -- was billed as a coming together of three world-class brands: Ernie Els (golf course designer), ClubCorp (country club operator) and HASEKO (developer). The event resulted in multiple editorial placements statewide and nationally. Media coverage included positive pre- and post-event stories in Hawaii’s major print and broadcast outlets, including the evening prime time newscast on KHON 2, Hawaii’s top-rated news show; two page-one business section stories in the Honolulu Advertiser, the state’s leading daily; and a 5-minute segment on The Golf Channel that was aired 23 times to over 1.2 million viewers nationwide. The story was also covered multiple times in Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Pacific Business News, Honolulu Advertiser and all four network TV affiliates. Notable placements were secured in Sports Illustrated online and MSNBC online.
  • Waikiki Aquarium’s 100th Anniversary
    In March 2004, the Waikiki Aquarium kicked off its centennial anniversary. Becker Communications played an active role in concepting the overall anniversary theme (“Re-discover The Experience”) and campaign. We developed and implemented a week-long series of events that included a free Family Fun Day, 100 Years of Science lecture and reception, and 100th Birthday Bash. Other activities included the design of an anniversary logo, development of community outreach programs, and production of television PSAs. The campaign also included a strong media relations component that resulted in more than $1 million in print, TV and radio coverage.

COMMUNITY RELATIONS

  • The University of Hawaii Autonomy Campaigns (2000)
    Becker Communications designed and conducted complimentary programs aimed at attracting 51% of the vote in favor of an amendment to the Hawaii Constitution giving UH greater authority over its budget and operations. These programs were an educational campaign on behalf of the University of Hawaii and an advocacy campaign on behalf of an ad hoc, private sector committee. Becker Communications activities included supervision of research and polling; development of both educational and persuasive messages and collateral materials; coalition building; presentation training and speechwriting for advocates and supervision of a speakers’ bureau; media relations; production of television and radio advertising; and drafting of opinion columns and letters to the editor. The result: a landslide for UH autonomy, with 72.4% of voting yes.
  • School Bonds Ballot Initiative (2002)
    On behalf of the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools,
    Becker Communications mounted a successful public outreach campaign to win support for an amendment to the Hawaii Constitution to permit the state to issue special purpose revenue bonds to finance private school construction projects. The campaign included both educational (i.e., what is a revenue bond) and persuasive (i.e., why should private schools be permitted to make use of them) elements. Becker Communications successfully supervised research and polling; developed messages, collateral materials and schedules for public presentations and paid advertising; coached spokespeople; and, developed and pitched stories to news media. The 59.7% favorable vote on the amendment confirmed the success of the campaign.

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS

  • Hawaii Crop Improvement Association
    The Hawaii Crop Improvement Association is comprised of major companies engaged in research and production of genetically modified seed in Hawaii: Monsanto, Syngenta, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, BASF, and Dow Agroscience. It is estimated that the Hawaii seed industry produces $144-million in economic activity annually.
    Becker Communications provides HCIA with a full range of communications and outreach services, including strategic development, legislative support, media relations, news conference logistics and management, message development and production of collateral materials. Most recently, Becker Communications was instrumental in activities that led to passage by the Hawaii House of Representatives of a bill regarding genetic modification of taro and other crops, including participation in tactical decision-making, staging of news conferences and production of persuasive materials.
  • The Outdoor Circle
    Becker Communications assisted this client with government relations work in an effort to gain legislative approval for an important change in Hawaii law. These efforts included arranging face to face meetings with all relevant legislative committee chairs, as well as key discussions with the Attorney General’s office and local, state and federal agencies involved in regulating the activity targeted by the proposed legislation. We also drafted legislative testimony, created photo/video handouts and other collateral material that was used in what was ultimately a successful lobbying effort.
  • Hawaii Metal Recycling
    HMR is the largest metal recycler in the state.
    Becker Communications planned and implemented a government relations campaign to reduce landfill fees. This included working with the Honolulu City Council, the Mayor’s Office, and the City Department of Environmental Services. We supplemented our efforts with a media campaign that included in depth coverage of the fee issue as it affected local recyclers and the general public. We created community awareness on the importance of metal recycling to the environment through television and print feature stories, school tours, and special events, promotion and publicity on HMR’s award-winning services and capacities, as well as crisis communications. The result was an 80% reduction of the fees for a two-year period.
  • Other clients for whom we have provided wide ranging government relations work are:

    Aloha Petroleum
    Aston Hotels & Resorts
    Continental Airlines
    The Dolphin Institute
    Film Offices of the Hawaiian Islands
    Hawaii Medical Services Association
    Hawaii Military Communities
    Hawaii Petroleum Marketers Assn.
    Hawaiian Holdings, Inc.
    Stanford Carr Development Corp.
    University of Hawaii
    Waikiki Aquarium

ISSUE MANAGEMENT/CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS

  • ASTON/RESORTQUEST WAIKIKI BEACH HOTEL
    A significant amount of negative publicity surrounded the sale of this property to a New York-based corporation. The negative publicity was primarily related to the fact that many of the hotel’s unionized employees lost their jobs in the transition. The situation was exacerbated because a non-union company was contracted to manage the hotel. The employees union’s local chapter launched an acerbic, well-orchestrated campaign aimed at politicians and the press, and pulled in representatives from its national offices and other local unions to join the effort. As a result, elected City officials began speaking out in opposition to the sale and the new owner’s plans for renovation.

    Becker Communications was contracted to ensure that the companies’ interests and reputation were protected. We began by developing a comprehensive strategy that used both proactive and responsive tactics, and that included media management, government relations, and community relations, (to include solicitation of support from various sectors). As a result, negative publicity was quelled, public officials reversed their opposition stance, and the owner and management company celebrated a large grand reopening event, with extensive positive media coverage, attendance by City officials and proclamations from the Mayor and City Council.
  • MOLOKAI RANCH/BRIERLEY INVESTMENTS
    Becker Communications’ work for this client initially focused on promotional PR for the Ranch’s efforts to build a tourism product with accommodations and adventure experiences on its 67,000 acres. The Ranch’s full vision for the Ranch’s 67,000 acres also called for residential home and ag-lot development and stimulation of diversified agriculture enterprise. Our role with the Ranch grew considerably and quickly as development plans moved from the drawing board to the permit process. Molokai is known as a development-adverse island, and a very vocal opposition group mounted efforts to thwart Molokai Ranch, ranging from misinformation campaigns to serious property vandalism.

    Becker Communications was responsible for conducting in-depth issue management to counter opposition efforts, and ensure the Ranch would be successful in realizing its master-plan vision. Our role included strategizing and coordinating a community relations program to pave the way through the permitting process, and proactive media relations to ensure accurate and balanced reporting, as well as to promote the positive aspects of the Ranch’s development in terms of building tourism, providing jobs and helping to solve the island’s long economic malaise. Over the course of time, community support was built, positive press was generated, and most aspects of the Ranch’s development plan became reality.
  • BISHOP MUSEUM
    Over the course of ten-plus years, the issues through which Becker Communications successfully guided Bishop Museum ranged from the closing of its science center to a highly sensitive, broadly publicized issue concerning repatriation of human remains to designated Hawaiian claimants in keeping with Federal laws. This particular issue was exacerbated by the Museum incorrectly loaning, to one Hawaiian claimant group, remains that were to be repatriated to a number of designated groups. Becker Communications developed a comprehensive strategy that began with a press conference to announce responsibility and explain actions, and implemented an internal restructure of NAGPRA compliance procedures; which in turn led to successful negotiations with the claimant groups. We convinced the Museum board and administration to adopt the strategy, then orchestrated its implementation, which included working with a number of Hawaiian cultural organizations. Key to our ability to shift press coverage from highly critical to largely quiet, and always balanced, was a proactive, relentless approach in terms of constant media contact, detailed explanation of Federal law, continual vigilance and follow-up on inaccurate reporting, and garnering third-party support for public comment.
  • YY VALLEY CORPORATION/ROYAL HAWAIIAN COUNTRY CLUB
    This is an 18-hole golf course development with clubhouse, which is now under its third owner, and is known as Luana Hills Country Club. During the years we worked with the project, its owner was a Tokyo businessman who went through considerable red tape and special-interest backlash to receive the appropriate development permits. We were brought in by the owner’s lead law firm, after the project had suffered through three years of high-profile negative media coverage. Our activities on Royal Hawaiian's behalf included a community relations program to defuse the negative image propagated by a small but vocal opposition, and intensive media relations. Through our persistent efforts, media coverage shifted from negative to balanced reporting on the truths about the developer and about the opposition. Thus, the legal and political perspective shifted as well, the developer was ultimately able to obtain its permits, complete the course and clubhouse development and undertake a semi-private club membership campaign.
  • Other clients for whom we’ve provided issue management and/or crisis communications services include:

    Aloha Petroleum
    Continental Airlines
    The Dolphin Institute
    Film Offices of the Hawaiian Islands
    Harris 2002 Campaign
    Hawai‘i Association of Independent Schools
    Hawaii Crop Improvement Association
    Hawaii Medical Center
    Hawaii Medical Services Association
    Forest City Hawai‘i Military Communities
    Hawai‘i Petroleum Marketers Association
    Honolulu Advertiser
    Maryknoll School
    Outdoor Circle
    T S Restaurants
    University of Hawai‘i
    Waikiki Aquarium

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