San Diego Hardware


Ronstadt & Associates helped San Diego Hardware, the city's oldest family-owned business, secure impressive amounts of media attention during the relocation from their historic downtown site to a newly expanded showroom in Kearny Mesa.

A San Diego landmark, the venerable hardware store turned to Ronstadt & Associates to ensure that the public knew the company had not closed but that it had moved to a new more customer-friendly location. After operating downtown for more than 100 years, the store was a San Diego landmark. The company needed an agency that could harness the power of the media to spread the word that they were moving to a bigger and better location.

In order to spread the word, Ronstadt & Associates aggressively pitched local magazines, newspapers and broadcast news. In addition to emphasizing the historical significance of the store, Ronstadt & Associates launched several special events to garner media attention. The first event centered on the closing of the downtown store. In order to add a human-interest angle, Ronstadt worked with San Diego Hardware to identify the store's oldest customers. We collected these customers' amazing stories about shopping at the store in the good old days. A few even brought in receipts or items they had purchased. After screening and finding a handful of willing participants, we scheduled them to attend on the last day and invited other special guests, family and friends, and, of course, the press who turned up in droves.

During the event, cameras rolled as reporters interviewed San Diego Hardware owners about the relocation and the benefits of the move, such as increased parking and an expanded showroom. Cameras also caught customers reminiscing and sharing memories. Even as the moving trucks parked outside and the MC we had arranged spoke some final remarks, the press continued to arrive for this hot story. Some reporters "went live" from the downtown location; others drove out to the new store and did live remotes from the Kearny Mesa showroom.

But Ronstadt & Associates did not stop there -- two weeks after the historic downtown closing, we arranged a "Grand Opening" event at the new location. Ronstadt & Associates invited the press for a tour. Throughout the campaign Ronstadt & Associates tailored stories for the local reporters who sought different unique angles such as historical tidbits or information on new trends in hardware design.


The media campaigns obtained coverage in every major local print outlet, including Decor and Style Magazine, San Diego Magazine, San Diego Home and Garden Lifestyles Magazine, SD Home, San Diego Business Journal, Daily Transcript, San Diego Union-Tribune, Downtown News and San Diego Insider. Ronstadt & Associates secured not just one hit in the Union-Tribune, but four different stories, appearing in various sections of the paper such as Metro, Business and Home. Our story was the number one viewed article on the Union-Tribune's Web site.

Ronstadt & Associates also secured coverage in all the local broadcast media outlets such as KFMB, KNSD, XETV, KGTV, KPBS Radio, KUSI, XETV, etc. Many ran repeated segments several times during the course of the move and again when the new store opened. San Diego Hardware was also featured in lengthy segments on two magazine style shows "San Diego Insider" and KPBS' "Full Focus." The KPBS radio feature was distributed nationwide, which was a nice surprise.