Buffalo-based brewery Community Beer Works (CBW) was set to launch its Pride Ale — an annual brew to build solidarity for and with Western New York’s LGBTQIA+ community. CBW planned a free public launch party at its flagship taproom on May 27, 2022, as part of the beer’s release. The event included The Pride Center of Western New York, which received a portion of all Pride Ale sales as a donation in support of its work in the community.
To build product awareness and ultimately drive Pride Ale purchases, 19 Ideas was tasked by Community Beer Weeks to create a product launch strategy utilizing public relations to supplement paid digital marketing. All media relations work marched towards achieving the following goals:
- Obtain at least one teaser story with a news outlet to preview the launch party.
- Obtain at least one story specific to the beer release.
- Sell 50 percent of Pride Ale inventory by the end of Buffalo’s Pride Month (June).
19 Ideas researched Community Beer Week’s historical media relations efforts and tactics for building its digital marketing audience through paid advertising. We evaluated the launch party’s logistics to identify areas of improvement to drive media and community attendance.
With paid social media ads targeting younger audiences, planned media relations efforts served as an additional touchpoint and reached older demographics (ages 40 and older) unserved by ads. We developed a list of key reporters and media outlets within the Buffalo DMA. Our list included early morning and evening broadcast reporters to drive awareness with viewers unlikely to see the campaign’s digital ads. Print reporters and online-only platforms of influence were also added to the list to round out the spectrum of media channels.
Next came a two-phased strategy. The first phase executed pre-event media relations to drive launch party attendance. We began with advanced pitches for the launch party. Using a strategic mix of emails and phone call follow-ups, the team earned launch party attendance from all three network television news affiliates. In the second phase, after the launch party ended, media outreach and digital advertising messaging shifted to directly promoting Pride Ale.
Published stories were assessed and captured using Critical Mention media monitoring.
19 Ideas’ media relations outreach for Community Beer Works’ Pride Ale was a success. Nineteen media stories were placed with local Buffalo media surrounding Pride Ale, generating 254,677 media impressions at an estimated $29,726 publicity value. Six of these 19 stories ran before the launch of the brew, exceeding our goal.
These data points aren’t just vanity metrics — they translate into tangible results. With our support, Community Beer Works sold out of all Pride Ale in a few short weeks, exceeding its goal of selling through 50 percent of its stock within four weeks. Moreover, all of our media relations outreach goals were accomplished, with every local TV affiliate covering the company and its Pride Ale beer.