The Washington Auto Show: Promotions

Special Promotions

The public policy show. The tier-one auto show most dedicated to sustainability. And the largest public show in Washington.

As The Washington Auto Show continues to achieve greater attendance, prestige and worldwide recognition,  Pomerance & Associates has been crafting the communications strategy to ensure such results.

Among the show’s trademark events are two Public Policy Preview Days, including a “Green Car Summit” on Capitol Hill produced in partnership with the Green Car Journal and an on-site preview for government, industry and media at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

The show centerpiece,”The Advanced Technology SuperHighway, boasts 65,000 square feet of innovations in safety and sustainability. Created in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Energy and Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency, the showcase features advances in clean diesel, biofuel, ethanol, hydrogen and electric technologies.

In 2011, an appearance by Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi during the show’s public days wowed Washington, drawing record media coverage and throngs of fans. Ms. Polizzi signed autographs for each and every fan.

Live Contests

Six days of hanging on are over. Keys are drawn, fingers are crossed and a standing-room-only audience at the Washington D.C. convention center waits to exhale, all while cameras roll and shutters click. For many years, these were the final moments of the Washington Auto Show’s Hand On Contest, a promotion created by Pomerance & Associates that drew a live audience and a flurry of reporters to see which participants could stay in physical contact with a vehicle the longest and who among them would unlock and drive home a free new car!

This was only one of many contests and live reality shows created by Pomerance & Associates, which manages all the promotional and public relations aspects of the show, the largest public show in Washington and the “policy” show on the industry circuit.

Such contests heighten awareness of, generate excitement for and increase media coverage of the Washington Auto Show. And this promotional strategy delivers! The show and contest have been covered by Good Morning America, CNN, the NBC Nightly News and USA Today among others.

Pomerance and Associates received the Phoenix Award from the Public Relations Society of America for the creation and management of the Hands On Contest.

Urban Renewal: Generating Support for Atlanta’s BeltLine

Atlanta’s Mayor Shirley Franklin not only helped put the city back on track but was a major advocate for The BeltLine, a project that could transform the quality of life in Atlanta but whose development has seen fis and starts. The project would encircle and connect the city through the development of parks, trails, transit and historic preservation.

The election of a new mayor provided a critical opportunity to spotlight the Beltline, and a Sept. 2009 forum provided an opportunity for mayoral candidates to weigh in.

Pomerance & Associates handled the media relations pro bono to support Park Pride, which aims to create and improve parks in Atlanta, which has the least parkland of any major U.S. city.

Park Pride sponsored the forum along with the Atlanta Preservation Center, BeltLine Network, Citizens for Progressive Transit, Park Pride, and PEDS. Panelists featured candidates Lisa Borders, Mary Norwood, Jesse Spikes and the newly-elected Mayor Kasim Reed.

In addition to a standing-room-only crowd, coverage ran on Fox 5 Atlanta, CBS Atlanta and NPR and in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Creative Loafing and other publications. A forum earlier in the month on a similar subject — green transportation — received little, if any, press coverage.

Sports Marketing: The Reese’s/Bill Elliott $1 Million Driving Challenge

It’s every race fan’s dream — a hot car, a fast track and a cool million on the line. And only NASCAR Champion Bill Elliott stands in the way.

For three years, the Reese’s/Bill Elliott $1 Million Driving Challenge gave one lucky fan the chance to race against Bill Elliott to win $1 million dollars. Unique among other sports million dollar challenges, the Reese’s/Bill Elliott event pitted athlete against amateur in a one-lap timed event.

Pomerance and Associates created and managed the public relations program for the campaign for the Championship Group, an Atlanta-based sports marketing agency.

From staging the announcement of the contest at Pocono Speedway to on-site coverage of the races at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Pomerance and Associates provided the complete sports marketing and media expertise.

Managing an event this detailed and this complex demanded a media strategy and contingency plan that included every eventuality and anticipated every outcome.

Bridging from motor sports media to national consumer outlets to hometown press delivered the message for the client. On-site press conferences with Bill Elliott and the challenger, a special event to put race media on the track and in the car, and aggressive distribution of video coverage earned this effort the green flag.

Although none of the challengers were able to edge Elliott, they all drove away winners – in brand new Ford Thunderbirds as a consolation prize.