Case Studies


San Francisco’s Iconic Cable Cars:

After the devastating Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989, the world was lead to believe that San Francisco fell into the Pacific Ocean. On behalf of current clients (at the time), Municipal Railway of San Francisco and Westin St. Francis, and in conjunction with the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau as well as the Hotel Council of San Francisco, Molly Blaisdell and her mentor Don Blum created, produced and publicized the 1990 Cable Car Parade, which included endorsements and underwriting by some of the city’s largest companies. As a result of the full day of festivities, we received positive international media coverage which helped to re-introduce San Francisco to the world. After going out on my own, and establishing Hook, Line & Thinker in 1992, the Municipal Railway engaged our services to lead the annual Cable Car Bell-Ringing Contest.

YMCA of San Francisco/Bay Area:

Perhaps one of the most recognizable and well-respected family icons in the country, the YMCA had its share of lost market share. This was the case ten years ago when family resource programs and health clubs were sprouting up and stealing members away from local Bay Area programs. As a result, a change in business practice was needed and for the first time in the local organization’s history, they endeavored upon a pro-active public relations campaign to re-introduce and re-stimulate the brand’s presence and offerings. In less than a year, with a team of internal advocates and Hook, Line & Thinker, we were able to saturate the local and national media markets, with a range of feel good stories that reinvigorated the appeal of the YMCA and boosted membership and participation in youth services.

Learning Annex:

Although a national brand of localized adult education electives, Hook, Line & Thinker focused its services on the Bay Area arm of this little known entity for well over two years, promoting the many renowned speakers to a range of press that included niche markets and general consumer media. With over 200 lectures and classes being offered each quarter, we limited our attention to the most intriguing of topics and headline lecturers. Whether it was classes on trends in adolescent development or acclaimed authors like Andrew Weill, we secured coverage from publications that range from Parents Press and the San Francisco Chronicle to KGO Radio’s Ronn Owens and Bay Area Reporter (BAR).

Pan Pacific Hotels Group:

While Hook, Line & Thinker has represented many internationally recognized brands and independent properties, the team’s greatest success can be measured by the longevity of the 16-year relationship with Singapore-based Pan Pacific Hotels Group, in which our team has acted as the North America public relations arm, working with media throughout all of North America. Based on ROI for public relations efforts alone, we have delivered, on a consistent and increasing scale over the 16 years of service, total estimated public relations value of over $12,000,000 (12 million) each year. With the 2010 Winter Olympics being held in British Columbia this year, total media coverage for 2009 was well over $20,000,000 and we expect the year end totals for 2010 to easily exceed $25,000,000.

Hyatt At Fisherman’s Wharf:

Just three years ago, this San Francisco hotel was being lead by a general manager who has “a bad taste in his mouth about public relations,” due to past representation. However, with a rooms renovation recently completed and a refurbishment of the public spaces soon to come, he felt strongly about finding the right consultant to spread the word. Due to the success sister property Hyatt Regency San Francisco had with Hook, Line & Thinker, Mr. Keith Butz opted to engage our services in hopes of creating visibility for a property that had little or no brand recognition amongst local, regional and national media. In less than one year, we were able to generate media placements in all targeted press and the hotel now has a presence amongst journalists who specialize in San Francisco tourism, to the point that these individual reporters now come to us. After three years, we continue to enhance the presence of the hotel and have recently engaged in a comprehensive social marketing campaign that includes a current blog, Twitter site and Facebook page.

In addition to traditional hospitality-oriented public relations, we also led a campaign specifically targeted at the family market. This entire Passport campaign was designed, implemented and promoted by Hook, Line & Thinker. Upon challenge by the hotel to attract a larger base of family business, we reviewed options and designed a campaign that met with the limited budget and increased family bookings by over 25% within one season. Due to nominal funds, our plan included creating a San Francisco passport for kids that would be delivered to each youth guest upon arrival. An extensive list of family-friendly activities was included in the design of the passport and families were encouraged to go out and enjoy the assets of San Francisco and upon return to the hotel, children would received stamps of all the sites visited. Not only was this a huge success with families, but the public relations campaign extended beyond just family-oriented publications and broadcast media into mainstream consumer press as well, due to the visual and substantive consumer appeal. Additionally, although not expected, we also incorporated a social marketing campaign whereby we encouraged children to submit their photos for a season-end contest AND we also received many referrals from schoolmates who learned about our hotel through subsequent “show-and-tell/family vacation stories” once our young guests returned to the classroom. Estimated press value for this three-month, seasonal campaign was over $900,000, with a budget that did not exceed $1,000 in expenses, excluding agency fees. A good return on investment.

Red And White Fleet:

In only three months of contracted services, we have been successful in distributing four press releases, which have, in the short term, have resulted in nearly $200,000 in media value. Additionally, we have hosted three familiarization tours, including 40+ media, the Northern California Concierge Association and a group of over 100 of the most prolific Bay Area Yelpers. Because the company’s social marketing campaign was essentially non-existent, we have also developed Red And White Fleet’s presence on Twitter and Facebook, as well as building and proliferating the blog, and generated over 900 followers and 450+ fans in less than ninety days, while posting comments and promotions on a daily basis.

Ride The Ducks:

When this “new duck” paddled into town, Hook, Line & Thinker introduced the company’s arrival through a series of marketing initiatives, including public relations, social marketing and community relations. Over the course of the one year contract, we were able to secure nearly $1,000,000 (1 million) in media coverage through both local news outlets as well as newspaper travel sections, guidebooks, magazines, broadcast and Internet sites. Additionally, in an effort to support corporate standards, we introduced a city-wide “Quacking for a Cause” non-profit fundraiser, which included the support of over 20 hotels/doormen, ClearChannel Radio stations and up to 20 local charities.

Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square:

After only two seasons for this new San Francisco amusement, we have been successful in generating over $2,000,000 in media exposure in its first year and well over $3,000,000 in the 2009-2010 season, including the on-site presence of Good Morning America on December 3, 2009. These efforts are based on a 10 week season, but are not typical for standing attractions and tours. In comparison, the Embarcadero Center Ice Rink does not even reach $1,000,000 in media exposure in any given season, since Hook, Line & Thinker relinquished its relationship with this retail center. In part, much of our success for the Union Square Ice Rink was the media partnerships with Clear Channel Radio (and five of the company’s local stations), 7×7 Magazine and KNTV. Additionally, pro-active outreach to all local, regional and national media contributed to the amazing media relations success we’ve enjoyed for both of the ice rink’s two years in existence.

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