The situation. Halcyon, a new 135-acre mixed-use development in Forsyth County, Ga., was planning its opening festivities in Fall 2019. The $370-million destination was the most anticipated project in the community’s history, blending 260,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space with 300,000 square feet of Class-A office space, a combination of 665 single-family and multifamily residences and two hotels on the horizon.
At the time PR was engaged, the strategy was focused on creating messaging and building support around Halcyon and its request for rezoning. A strategy was put in place to educate the commissioners and local residents through an email program and deliberately placed stories in the media about the developer, their plans and their commitment to the area.
Following a successful entitlement process, strategy shifted to leasing efforts in late 2016. Media placements and social media were positioned to attract retail tenants, and as of April 2018, 70 percent of the site was committed and 100 percent of the Market Hall is leased. Retail tenants relayed to Wilbert that the social media and media placements secured was the one of the reasons they ultimately decided to sign the lease – they felt the energy and excitement shown by the community at large.
Halcyon celebrated a rolling opening and needed to continue a consistent drumbeat of awareness around openings.
Wilbert deployed a small full-service communications strategy. This four-part program included PR, social media, influencer partnerships and two event activations. From a traditional PR standpoint, Wilbert drafted and distributed media alerts and a press release to a variety of media outlets, including local, hyperlocal, event-focused publications and trades, detailing the opening activities and property milestones. In addition, Wilbert also hosted media tours of the property with 11Alive, Forsyth Herald, Forsyth County News, and 52Forsyth and invited media to attend the weekend’s opening events.
To create buzz prior to the opening celebration, Wilbert also planned and executed a social media influencer dine around event, which included tastes and sips from 10 of the development’s new restaurants. The event attracted 13 foodie influencers with a combined following of 250,000.
Wilbert also collaborated with a local fashion influencer with 100,000 followers to promote the opening of three women’s boutiques; a mommy influencer with 45,000 followers to promote a new popsicle concept; and a nano lifestyle influencer with 5,400 followers to promote the new Mercedes-Benz Experience Center.
Leading up to Halcyon’s opening, Wilbert had created and fostered a community of over 21,000 followers across various platforms. Wilbert capitalized on the engaged audience to promote the weekend’s events and saw impressive engagement across channels. The opening events reached a total audience of 52,000 people across various social media platforms, with nearly 1,000 RSVPs and 1,700 ticket link clicks for the concert. Due to the excitement and buzz of the events, Halcyon’s Instagram also experienced a 24% increase in followers, growing to 7,100 followers during the opening as compared to 5,700 followers the month prior.
In addition to the influencer partnerships, Wilbert planned and executed a community event, complete with a football lounge, JJ’s Flower Truck, the Atlanta Photo Camper, live music, family friendly entertainment and more.
How it drove business. Throughout the opening of Halcyon, the goal was to create awareness that the property was open, drive steady traffic of new and repeat customers and foster a positive reputation of Halcyon as a modern gathering place for the community.
During the influencer dine around, there were over 130 stories and Instagram feed posts shared by attendees that contributed to the increase in traffic at the property. Several influencers shared soundbites following the event, including:
City Peach, the fashion influencer we partnered with in particular had exceptional results. Per direct feedback from one of the boutiques, it received several calls and in-store visitors who mentioned they had seen the store promoted on City Peach’s feed. The store even sold out of one of the pieces displayed in stories.
The Wilbert Group
1718 Peachtree Street, Suite 1048
Atlanta, GA 30309
404 748 1250