Ronstadt & Associates assisted Fixtures Visions for Living, a new luxury kitchen, bath and outdoor showroom located in San Diego, with its soft opening preview party for its key customers -- interior designers, builders, architects and the remodeling community.
Fixtures' president Phil Roxworthy had a goal of opening his 22,000 square foot luxury showroom by June 2009. A few months prior to the planned opening, Roxworthy realized that the showroom would not be entirely finished. The Ronstadt & Associates team was tasked with the challenge of trying to spread the word about the new business and create excitement for the "preview" of the showroom.
The PR team was up to the task, and working closely with Fixture's advertising agency, they developed a plan to create excitement on a grand scale by hosting a preview party at Fixtures. The associates decided to take a "less is more" approach to entice guests to attend and create a buzz. The invitations created for the party only hinted at what Fixtures was - instead of mentioning that Fixtures sold high-end appliances and fixtures, the invitations emphasized the six celebrity chefs who would prepare the food for the guests. Guests were allowed to RSVP for the party only on the Fixtures' Web site. Once on the company's Web site, guests saw images of water and fire cascading across the screen. These enticing images piqued further interest.
Ronstadt & Associates created a who's who invitee list of movers and shakers in the San Diego community, including key influencers in the media, as well as in the design and build community, business owners, local celebrities, etc. Once the invitation was mailed out, the RSVPs immediately poured in. Intrigued and ready for what was perceived as a super exclusive party, people even begged for invites and information. The press was excited to attend as well. The party became a "must go to" event.
Nothing in the party materials or invitations mentioned "appliance store" or "plumbing fixtures." From the Web site to the press kit, we emphasized Fixture's focus on its customers' lifestyles and played up the showroom's interactive features, including the working shower display and outdoor and indoor demonstration kitchens. For the party, the unfinished space in the showroom was transformed into a high-end night club.
During the event, the PR team set up camp on the red carpet to welcome members of the press. To continue the feeling of exclusivity, valet parking was provided and guests had their photos taken as they arrived. Members of the PR team greeted the press and introduced them to the owners but then let them enjoy the party and sample the delicious foods. Even though the showroom wasn't completely finished, the press and other guests were awed by what they saw.
The night was a complete success with more than 700 key guests attending, a huge number on a night when several other large San Diego events took place.
Following the party, the PR team tracked each press member who attended and scheduled many in-depth follow-up interviews and showroom tours. Ronstadt & Associates also created exclusive story angles and photographs for key press to allow publications to each have a unique angle for their stories. Being able to grant exclusive stories, work quickly and stick to editors' deadlines resulted in numerous stories with the local San Diego media and even some national press.
Ronstadt & Associates obtained coverage in numerous local and national print publications including Premier Homes Magazine, LUXE Magazine (national story), Ranch & Coast Magazine, San Diego Business Journal, Carmel Valley News, Del Mar Village Voice, North County Times, San Diego Reader, San Diego City Beat, Riveria Magazine, North Coast News, Rancho Santa Fe News, Solana Beach Sun, and Presidio Sentinel. Ronstadt & Associates also secured a feature story for Fixtures in San Diego Home & Garden Magazine as well as several product mentions.
Ultimately, the PR team's biggest achievement came when the Union-Tribune ran a full-page feature article on the cover of the Home Section. The article highlighted the luxury products sold in the store and highlighted the incredible size of the new showroom. The positive Union-Tribune article even inspired KFMB (CBS San Diego) to do a segment on Fixtures.
The soft opening preview party PR campaign was so successful that Fixtures' executives and the PR team decided a Grand Opening event was unnecessary. Fixtures had made its mark on San Diego.