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Communication Around Republican Convention in Cleveland Earns National Award

CLEVELAND – May 4, 2017 – Destination Cleveland, Cleveland Plus and Dix & Eaton are proud to announce that the communication strategy developed to showcase Northeast Ohio during the 2016 Republican National Convention has been honored by two prestigious award programs.  The campaign was named a 2017 North America SABRE Award finalist in the Institutional Image category by The Holmes Report and received a 2017 Bronze Anvil Award in the Media Relations – Associations category from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Destination Cleveland, the region’s convention and visitor bureau, led the marketing effort for the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee for the RNC. The organization partnered with Cleveland Plus, a nonprofit charged with promoting the region’s economic transformation, and Dix & Eaton to maximize the media relations effort. Collaboration and input from a committee of the community’s PR practitioners also helped shape the communication strategy.

Hosting the Republican convention in July 2016 presented a rare opportunity to promote Northeast Ohio as a favorable place to live, work and do business. Even before Cleveland was chosen to host the convention, the city and the region were benefiting from billions in private and public investment in its downtown, neighborhoods and cultural institutions. The communication objective was to help inform approximately 50,000 convention visitors and provide 15,000 journalists from around the world with additional information and creative story ideas that would trigger positive reviews and media coverage for Cleveland.

“As the world’s gaze focused on Cleveland, we wanted to maximize the opportunity to cast the best light possible on our city and our region,” said Chas Withers, chief executive officer of Dix & Eaton. “But while the convention lasted for only a few days, it took two years of planning and hard work to ensure success. Throughout that time, we were privileged to work closely with Cleveland Plus and Destination Cleveland to develop the strategy and tactics. We thank everyone at those two organizations who worked so hard to bring this about, as well as the numerous other clients who provided their support for these efforts.”

As a result of this campaign, 76 percent of the media coverage was either positive or neutral in tone. Headlines touted Cleveland’s economic resurgence, vibrant downtown and valued hospitality. The region’s business community benefited from more coverage in a three-week span than it had earned in any single year in the past decade. More than 3,000 total placements, including 424 unique placements, were earned in key national media such as The New York Times, TODAY Show, Morning Joe, The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, CBS Sunday Morning and many others. More than 10 billion total impressions were generated, 6.5 billion of which were earned in the month of the convention.

“The city enjoyed a flood of positive coverage and comments that exceeded all expectations, and extended a wave of momentum that the region is still feeling today,” Withers said.  “We thank The Holmes Report and PRSA for their recognition of the long-lasting impact this work will have on our community.”

About the Awards

The 2017 North America SABRE (Superior Achievement in Branding, Reputation and Engagement) Award winners and finalists were selected from among more than 2,000 entries in this year's competition. The campaigns were evaluated by a jury of more than 40 industry leaders.  Winners were announced at an awards ceremony on May 2 in New York. 

For more than 45 years, PRSA’s esteemed Bronze Anvil Awards have celebrated the best, most creative and most memorable public relations programs. This year’s winners, announced on May 1, include 43 Bronze Anvil winners and 94 Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation winners.

About Dix & Eaton

Dix & Eaton is a strategic communications consultancy specializing in investor relations, crisis communications, media relations and marketing communications. Working as trusted partners focused on driving results, Dix & Eaton combines deep experience, foresight and creativity with digital intelligence and analysis to help clients realize the full power of communication and generate greater return on investment.  Founded in 1952, Dix & Eaton is 100 percent employee-owned and has twice been named the nation’s best midsized firm. For more information, visit www.dix-eaton.com.

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