How do you get some visibility for a nonprofit with an event to raise money for their great cause? Especially when you are competing for visibility with many other nonprofits, also with a great cause? Creative positioning. When the Minneapolis Parks Foundation approached us at SocialNicole to assist them in generating buzz for an October event to raise money for the Foundation and for the replacement of trees in North Minneapolis we said ‘Yes! We’d love to help.’ The Foundation is the private sector leader for enhancing parks and green spaces in partnership with public sector institutions – who doesn’t appreciate green spaces? The venue for the event was Wise Acre Eatery, a Minneapolis restaurant that featured a from-scratch made to order menu. In addition to a sampling of their chef’s fall menu, they would have wine, beer, and live music. Sounded good. Right after we said ‘yes!’ another nonprofit, the Tree Trust, took up prized news time with local media – they, too, had an event to replace trees in the tornado ravaged neighborhoods of North Minneapolis, and just two weeks ahead of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation event! Tree Trust was featured on every major media outlet for two days – in the daily newspapers, on local network television news, on Minnesota Public Radio, and in community newspapers throughout the Twin Cities. How were we going to generate excitement for our event? That’s where the creative positioning comes in. What was different about our pitch? We were going to have to pitch to the same writers, personalities, and producers who had just heard and written, talked, and filmed about another worthy nonprofit effort to revitalize green spaces. And then it hit us. The collaboration with Wise Acre Eatery. Instead of pitching the green spaces, we had this amazing commitment from a unique restaurant that had not had a ton of recent press. Having seen everything from an ‘executive chef’ cook up wild boar and wild rice stuffing to Oktoberfest Pizza recipes with Goldy Gopher on In the Kitchen with Fox 9, we decided to pitch the Fox 9 Weekend team with the idea of having Wise Acre Eatery Chef Beth Fisher in the kitchen the weekend before the Minneapolis Parks Foundation event. And they said ‘yes!’ On Sunday, October 16, Minneapolis Parks Foundation development director Trudi Meloche and Wise Acre Eatery Chef Beth Fisher spent an hour preparing a dish in the Fox 9 studio kitchen and had the opportunity to talk about the Foundation’s event to raise money and Wise Acre’s support of the Foundation. A win win for them both.
With only a few weeks to get the word out, and a saturation of newsprint devoted to the topic of trees in North Minneapolis, our creative positioning paid off for the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. We’re willing to bet Wise Acre Eatery was pretty pleased, too. Photo Credit