Best Media Relations Campaign – Under $25,000

Casino renovation grabs the media spotlight

A renovation in Las Vegas might not seem like much to write home about, but the upgrade at Palms Casino Resort landed major coverage.

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So they’re renovating a casino? What’s the big deal?

That might have been the first reaction of some reporters to the news that Palms Casino Resort was undertaking a $50 million renovation.

But by the time it was over, Palms Casino Resort and Kirvin Doak Communications had won coverage from USA Today, the Houston Chronicle, LATimes.com, the Orange County Register, the New York Post, and others.

For that, the Palms campaign wins top honors in the Best Media Relations Campaign—Under $25,000 category of PR Daily’s 2013 Media Relations Awards.

To be sure, the changes in the casino, begun in June 2012, sound splendid. The operation redesigned rooms and suites, revamped the casino itself, provided “innovative dining and nightlife experiences,” and reconfigured the website while they were at it.

The Palms in-house PR team and Kirvin Doak launched an aggressive campaign, leveraging media relationships locally and nationally to cover the renovation.

This drew a front-page business section exclusive in the Las Vegas Review-Journal and two separate USA Today exclusives about the general property transformation and a first look at room photos.

In addition, the team coordinated TV shoots that highlighted the renovations and positioned Palms as a top destination in Las Vegas. The networks included VH1, E!, Bravo, HGTV, and OWN, and the team coordinated a national promotion for CBS’s “Let’s Make a Deal”: an on-air room giveaway for a two-night stay in a new guest room.

The PR campaign resulted in an estimated 160 million impressions and more than 170 placements. In addition, a MultiVu release reached a Web samples audience of 69 million.

The tone of the coverage also improved. Prior to the renovation, Departures Magazine stated, “I think of the Palms as a playground for the less-sophisticated, B-list celebrities and pro athletes. It’s where you go for a fun and raunchy night out at the rooftop club. I don’t know anything about the rooms or restaurants.”

In July 2013, Departures.com stated, “The rooms in all three Palms towers have some of the best Strip views in Las Vegas, and the accommodations are generous.”

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