Case Study:

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival

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The Challenge:

The Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival is a beautiful festival highlighting Chinese culture, specifically by featuring handmade Chinese lanterns. The Ohio Festival was the first Chinese Lantern Festival that Tianyu Cultural Arts Organization, the parent company, had produced during the winter. We knew it would be an extra challenge to get people to go outside to see these lanterns when the temperatures were below freezing.

The Opportunity:

This collection of art, light and imagery was a first for the region and would take place during the heart of the holiday season, giving a great alternative experience to other annual light shows.

The Work:

Research showed several niche audiences had interest in this kind of event. The timing was conducive to creating charitable tie-ins. The event’s timeframe (Nov. 24 - Jan. 2) offered an opportunity to reach people seeking a family and holiday entertainment destination.

Irvin PR also knew there needed to be diverse media offerings in the traditional and social space to create event awareness. It was also important for early adopters to share their experience to offer third party validation on the event’s value. This led to a series of diverse offerings:

  • Irvin PR connected the Hubbard School with Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival. The Hubbard School holds its own lantern festival; we arranged for all the students to learn about the lanterns and Chinese culture with a field trip to the festival.
  • Irvin PR developed a relationship with the Worthington Resource Pantry and held two canned food drives at the festival offering discount admission with donation of a canned food item.
  • Irvin PR created a PR blueprint of story ideas for Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival and targeted media outlets.
  • Irvin PR researched local, state and regional arts and tourism editorial calendars and identified opportunities for the Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival.
  • Irvin PR assisted in the development of promotional events and opportunities like Travel and Tourism Night, OSU Student Nights, Senior Citizen Nights, New Year's Eve with the Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival, etc.
  • Irvin PR researched and made introductions to target groups and strategic partners such as Experience Columbus, local and statewide Chinese social groups (the Asian Festival steering committee), schools and churches, etc.
  • Irvin PR created and promoted ways for attendees to support the Festival on social media.

The Results:

Irvin PR obtained more than 140 media placements, totally more than $330,000 in publicity value and more than 31 million impressions. The event generated more than 800 social media posts mentioning the Festival by name. The publicity helped so much, the Festival extended its run for a week because of positive buzz created through the integrated campaign.