The Ulum Group works with a broad scope of companies and entities locally, regionally and nationally in many industry sectors including sports marketing, retail products, finance, real estate and construction, commercial development, health care, food and beverage, hospitality, technology, government affairs, litigation support, nonprofit organizations and education.
Here are a few case studies of our work in a variety of sectors:
Food and Beverage: Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards & Winery
The client: Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards and Winery, located in California's wine county, rests on 1,477 acres. All of its 60 vineyards are tended with sustainable practices throughout the winemaking process, creating an extensive collection of sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah and several specialty wines.
Goal: The Ulum Group's "Experience the Holidays with Chalk Hill" campaign aimed to increase direct business while reinforcing Chalk Hill's luxury brand status over a period of six weeks during the holiday season.
Strategy: We recommended several actions that focused on Chalk Hill visitors:
- Increase visitor traffic to the Chalk Hill Winery tasting room over the holidays.
- Drive visitors to the Chalk Hill website to help increase e-commerce wine sales.
- Drive visitors to the Chalk Hill website for more information about Chairman's Club and help increase phone calls to purchase memberships, either for themselves or as holiday gifts.
We employed a cause marketing strategy in partnership with Redwood Empire Food Bank and tactics primarily including advertising and media relations, as well as special events including holiday culinary tours.
The Ulum Group placed advertisements in regional media including daily and weekly newspapers and broadcast, resulting in more than 100,000 impressions on SFGate.com alone.
Our media relations efforts included a news release announcing the program to media contacts in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, a posted release on free news release distribution websites, including AddPR.com and eCommWire.com, and pitched coverage to wine bloggers. Total targeted media: 127
Results: Our efforts produced news coverage including features in the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, blog coverage on PressDemocrat.com, and an online events calendar (Wine Country This Week) with Chalk Hill's holiday program. A syndicated radio show, broadcast on eight radio stations in six states, featured two aired segments and posted Chalk Hill recipes on the show's website. Chalk Hill's co-chairs, Peggy Furth and Chef Didier Ageorges, were guests on the Food Guy & Marcy radio show (syndicated in six states). A link to Chalk Hill is featured on the show's guest Web page.
From Thanksgiving through just after New Year's Day, our "Experience the Holidays with Chalk Hill" campaign produced a 30 percent increase in website traffic, significant tasting room attendance and subsequent sales, an estimated 300 pounds of food for Redwood Empire Food Bank and an increased number of Chairman's Club memberships and culinary tour guests.
Retail Products: Lunchsense
The client: Nancy Owen Myers, a busy working mom in Eugene, Oregon, created Lunchsense in 2006 when she realized that the lunches she was packing weren't eco-friendly, portable or logical. Her familiarity with the issues that matter most to busy parents allowed her to design and produce the perfect lunch box system that didn’t include expensive sandwich bags, mismatched food storage containers and other hassles associated with packing lunches for her kids.
Goal: The Ulum Group’s Lunchsense campaign aimed to increase business while promoting the Lunchsense brand.
Strategy: We recommended the following:
- Send reporters, editors, publishers and bloggers news releases announcing the Lunchsense product and its relevance to their audiences to provide background for stories.
- Send interested editors, publishers and reporters samples and/or high-resolution photographs of the product to further help them cover the product.
We employed a variety of media messages encouraging parents to "take the stress out of making kids’ school-day lunches." The message promoted the use of a simple, convenient and well-constructed product to package and transport the lunch.
Media relations included a series of news releases announcing the product that were e-mailed to more than 4,000 editors, publishers, reporters and bloggers who cover kids, parenting, money-saving tips, and homemaking.
Results: Our campaign was responsible for several product reviews and giveaways, seven blog postings, two broadcast news segments and numerous newspaper and magazine articles. Coverage included blog postings by Cookie magazine, Greenworld365, 24/7 MOMS, Kidinfo and Type-A Mom. Newspaper coverage included articles in The Washington Post, The Oregonian’s online business section and a feature on the front page of the Eugene Register-Guard’s Oregon Life section. MSNBC posted The Register-Guard article on its website. Associated Content featured Lunchsense in its "Go Green: Top 5 Eco Friendly Lunch Boxes" post, and Eugene television station KVAL broadcast a segment that aired on two days.
County Government: Lane County Waste Management
The client: The Lane County Public Works Department provides residents with waste management services through a network of 16 disposal sites and the Short Mountain Landfill.
Goals: The Ulum Group was retained in August 2002 to conduct a yearlong, countywide waste reduction campaign to reduce the amount of waste going into the county’s landfill while increasing awareness of waste reduction and reuse opportunities.
Strategy: We recommended actions that focused on waste reduction:
- Conduct a telephone survey of Lane County households to establish a baseline of public awareness and perceptions regarding waste management, as well as motivating factors related to behaviors.
- Focus on the unveiling of the campaign theme, logo and mini-campaigns to generate news coverage and provide a detailed explanation of the campaign’s direction.
Working on a shoestring budget, three mini-campaigns under the umbrella of the larger “Less is Best” campaign were created. These mini-campaigns allowed for immediate results, focusing on earned media rather than advertising and educating the public on various ways to reduce waste in very tangible ways. This approach also increased the chances that some aspects of the campaign would resonate with different citizens. Our tactics included using advertising, word of mouth and community events to distribute information.
Our mini-campaigns encouraged residents to reduce waste in the following ways:
- A holiday card drop-off that encouraged people to recycle used holiday cards at business sites around the community. The cards were then collected by volunteers and delivered to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, a nonprofit agency that reuses the cards.
- We distributed forms that participants completed and returned to us, pledging to reduce waste in everyday life by making simple changes like using refillable coffee mugs and taking reusable bags to the grocery store.
- An educational campaign taught residents how to remove their names from junk mail lists.
Results: A final survey showed that one-third of respondents recalled the “Less is Best” theme, and 55 percent recalled the junk mail reduction campaign.
Government Affairs: City of Eugene Parks and Open Spaces Bond Measure
The client: A $25.3 million bond measure for parks and open spaces was competing with other money measures including schools, library and county public safety. Unlike the other measures, there had been little public discussion of the parks measure. Research showed that while the public was generally supportive of parks, they felt no urgency and saw no need for park improvement.
Goal: Our campaign aimed to generate public awareness of the need for park improvement, as well as subsequent bond support.
Strategy: To accomplish the campaign’s goal, The Ulum Group recommended several actions that focused on building measure awareness:
- Build on the public’s positive image of parks and emphasize that this measure would make parks even better.
- Utilize popular, effective spokespeople to promote the measure.
- Take advantage of the broad grassroots support for the measure by promoting its passage.
- Use editors, publishers and reporters of free media to cover the measure.
We developed the campaign theme, wrote all copy and directed production of print pieces and advertising.
Results: The bond measure passed 67 percent to 33 percent, one of the largest winning margins for a money measure in Eugene history.
Nonprofit Organization: Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest
The client: Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) Northwest connects women and men with one or more years of volunteer service that focus on the core values of community, spirituality, simple living and social and ecological justice. JVC Northwest provides opportunities for young, motivated individuals to reach out to persons living on the margins of society and vulnerable places throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Goal: JVC Northwest retained The Ulum Group in 2007 to differentiate the Northwest affiliate as an individual brand, specific to its region of service separate from the national JVC. We were also asked to help increase applicant and volunteer numbers during their separation from the national affiliate.
Strategy: We recommended several actions that focused on individual brand awareness:
- Inform the JVC Northwest community, including former Jesuit volunteers (JVs), current JVs, donors and potential JVs, of its separation from the national organization and reinforce the benefit of this approach.
- Emphasize the unique attributes of the Northwest region to potential JVs to encourage them to apply and/or accept volunteer positions with JVC Northwest.
- Recruit potential volunteers directly to JVC Northwest instead of relying solely upon the recruiting power of JVC national to gain volunteers.
The Ulum Group conducted extensive research to better understand how best to communicate with potential volunteers. Based on the results of the research, we created a marketing plan to design a new website, develop recruitment collateral materials and conduct print media outreach. We developed key messages and a logo to distinguish the Northwest region from the national organization, and promoted the public image to several target audiences to build awareness and connection with past, current and future volunteers.
Results: JVC Northwest saw a 39 percent increase in placed volunteers over the previous year and two new volunteer houses were opened to accommodate the new recruits.
Nonprofit Organization: Espwa Fe Viv
The client: Eugene resident and former Peace Corps volunteer Kathy Lynn recognized the need for ongoing relief in Haiti in the wake of the January 2010 earthquake. With the help of local sponsors and art donated by private collectors and galleries, Lynn created Espwa Fe Viv, a fundraiser and silent auction for three grassroots organizations working toward long-term reconstruction and development in Haiti.
Goal: Promote the fundraiser and silent auction and increase public awareness of the ongoing need for relief in Haiti.
Strategy: The Ulum Group recommended the following strategies and tactics:
- Send news releases and media advisories to local editors, publishers and reporters to announce the event and its relevance to their audiences and provide background for stories.
- Send high-resolution photographs of art scheduled for auction to interested editors, publishers and reporters to enhance coverage of the event.
- Distribute a flier to local retail merchants to promote the event to community members.
- Engage in social media by creating and maintaining a Facebook page, event website and blog to create two-way communication between interested community members and the event organizer.
Media relations included event announcements that were e-mailed and pitched by phone to a select group of local editors, publishers and reporters in print, online and broadcast media covering lifestyle and community interest stories.
Results: The Ulum Group's media relations efforts resulted in local broadcast, print and online media coverage in event calendars and art sections. More than 80 people attended the fundraiser and silent auction, raising approximately $5,000 in three hours. More donations trickled in after the event, boosting the total amount to $5,800. Proceeds from the event will assist the Haitian Education Leadership Program, Fonkoze and PAZAPA in reconstructing Haiti and helping residents with ongoing education and economic stability.
Manufacturing: Laughing Rabbit Inc.
The client: Founded in 1993, Laughing Rabbit Inc. (LRI) created and manufactures a tiny but powerful flashlight. LRI’s patented discovery - the Photon Micro-Light® - uses LED technology in a specially designed and manufactured glass-filled polyurethane case. The light is bright and long lasting; the size is compact and convenient. The Photon Micro-Light® was selected by NASA to be used aboard the Space Shuttle in 1997.
Goal: To increase business and promotion of the LRI Photon Micro-Light® products.
Strategy: We recommended several actions that focused on building brand awareness:
- Raising awareness of LRI among key audiences
- Creating goodwill for LRI and its products
- Cultivating relationships with trade press for long-term media success
We created materials for a detailed media kit that included an industry overview, testimonials, product reviews, trade show calendar and more. The media kit elements were posted on the website’s newsroom, which The Ulum Group also developed. To introduce the company to media, editorial calendars from targeted publications were collected, potential stories and news cycles were identified and reporter contact and follow up took place. Also, The Ulum Group helped to identify a potential relationship opportunity to link LRI and the national American Red Cross (ARC) organization. We introduced the concept of the compact, long-lasting LED light to the ARC’s head of disaster services, providing technical and product information for a committee’s consideration to replace the national recommendation of the use of generic flashlights with the LED.
Results: The Ulum Group’s media relations efforts resulted in a number of favorable product reviews in national media including Consumers Digest and GadgetGuys.com. In addition, we secured verbal commitments for product coverage in Law Enforcement Product News, Public Safety Product News, Canoe & Kayak, and several Fire and EMS industry publications. Finally, the product was selected for inclusion in the 2003 Tony Awards gift baskets (although the client declined to take advantage of this opportunity).