Case Study

Client: Denver PrideFest

Every year, the GLBT Community Center of Colorado (The Center) hosts Denver PrideFest, the annual celebration of lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual pride. Denver PrideFest creates a fun, safe and empowering space to celebrate and promote the heritage and culture of the LGBT and allied communities of Colorado.

The Challenge

When The Center engaged Pushkin PR to coordinate interviews and secure media placements, we thought the big stories would be about The Center’s 40th anniversary and the politically charged conversation about transgender bathroom rights that was dominating the national news. With PrideFest rapidly approaching, media wanted to know The Center’s position.

After the tragic shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, everything changed. Overnight, questions about safety and security became the primary focus for the media. In turn, we developed a strategic plan for PrideFest that included several components.

The Solution

We focused our key messages and media pitches on public safety and community pride. The Center’s spokespeople emphasized two important messages: “We are working with the police and the City to increase security at PrideFest,” and “We will not let what happened in Orlando drive us back in the closet.”

Our plan included the following tactics:

  • Message development and media training for PrideFest spokespeople
  • Coordination with public information officers from Denver’s Emergency Response team including the Mayor’s Office and the Denver Police Department to insure smooth communication in the event of a crisis.
  • A few weeks before the festival we sent a press release including major highlights of the 41st annual Denver PrideFest.
  • The week of the festival we sent a media advisory highlighting security guidelines for the public, media check-in points for press passes, the PrideFest schedule, and interview/photo opportunities for the media.
  • The week of the festival we coordinated media interviews about beefed up security measures.
  • During the two-day festival, our four-person Pushkin PR team coordinated on-site interviews with Denver print and broadcast media.
  • We also provided PR support for the live broadcast of the Denver PrideFest Parade.

The Results

We secured over 100 positive media placements for Denver PrideFest including 9News, 7News, CBS4, Fox31, KGNU, KUNC, KOAA 5, Colorado Public Radio, The Denver Post, 303 Magazine, 5280 Magazine, Out Front and Westword.

The media coverage helped The Center deliver a positive message about pride and courage in the face of adversity, and communicate uplifting messages around the heritage and culture of the LGBT and allied communities of Colorado. Pushkin PR helped PrideFest manage a deluge of media activity and intense community anxiety, which enabled The Center to produce an event that was safe, enjoyable and meaningful for all who attended.

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