Cooking Up a Covid-Conscious Debut

Objective:

Impact PR & Communications (IPR&C) was tapped by Revel 32, a relatively new one-of-a-kind event space in Poughkeepsie, New York, to help position the venue among its target audiences within the Hudson Valley community, the greater New York metropolitan region, as well as food and beverage trade publications nationwide. The team was brought on to proactively build Revel 32’s reputation, make headlines through the news of a celebrity chef alignment and garner media attention to position it as a desirable wedding and event destination, in a three-month PR engagement amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Strategy:

  • Meet with key representatives from Revel 32 to better understand the alignment with celebrity chef, David Burke and to brainstorm key messages, story angles and tactics.
  • Working closely with Revel 32 and Burke’s in-house marketing teams, craft a press release announcing David Burke as the venue’s preferred catering partner.
  • Conduct follow-up pitching with reporters to secure media interviews with Revel 32 representatives as well as Burke.
  • Provide spokesperson(s) with a media briefing and talking points to help guide the interview.
  • Plan and promote an event dubbed ‘An Evening with Chef David Burke’, where the celebrity chef made his Hudson Valley debut.
  • Coordinate a pre-event ticket and cookbook giveaway on one of the region’s most listened-to radio stations.

Results:

Within three months, and with increasing positivity rates and restrictions due to the pandemic, the Impact PR & Communications team garnered the following results on behalf of Revel 32:

  • 32 media placements among print, online, radio and podcast outlets.
  • More than 9 million media impressions.
  • Coverage including two radio interviews on Q92’s Annie in the Morning with Ryan Show, The Poughkeepsie Journal, Hudson Valley Eats, Hudson Valley Magazine, Chronogram, Westchester County Business Journal, Times Herald-Record and Total Food Service Magazine and an interview on WHUD 100.7 FM, among others.

As the news circulated about Chef Burke’s alignment with the venue, a second seating for the debut event was added, and both seatings completely sold out. The success of the event resulted in Revel 32 selling out of the venue’s Friday night event series from March through June 2021, a spike in booking private events of all sizes, launching The David Burke Supper Club, a seasonally inspired experience that showcases Chef’s innovative culinary style and techniques, as well as a ripple effect of news stories beyond the campaign limits that have set Revel 32 up for its remarkable, swift rebound. Additionally, Revel 32 has since won numerous awards including Hudson Valley Magazine’s Best Wedding Venue and Best Small Scaled Themed Events During the Pandemic and Think Dutchess’ Business Excellence Awards.

The announcement helped us sell out two sessions of our David Burke debut (during Covid no less). We were able to have Chef on local radio interviews and the announcement printed in numerous publications – both of which we had been unsuccessful doing on our own. Being a new business, Impact PR helped put us back on the map. We had opened and closed so quickly due to the pandemic that we needed help getting back up and running. They went above and beyond to support our business, even personally attending our events.

– Gina Sullivan, co-owner of Revel 32