Case Studies

c3 represents a diverse collection of companies, ranging from consumer products and services, food and beverage, health and wellness, non-profits and associations to education, professional service and travel-related businesses, as well as amusement parks, family entertainment shows and national touring productions.

Massage Envy® Franchise

c3 Communications, Inc. (c3) was hired by Massage Envy®, the Arizona based national brand was new to San Diego and virtually unknown. We were recommended by local media to the San Diego regional developer, who in-turn hired us to launch the new concept in San Diego and help him, via public relations, sell franchise licenses. The concept of Massage Envy® is to provide professional, affordable and convenient total body care services. The service based franchise turned the spa industry upside down because of their innovative model. We opened the first location and through strategic media relations, brand awareness education and fun openings, we grew the national franchise concept in San Diego. There are now 27 San Diego locations open.

Over our tenure, we have executed countless innovative media relations campaigns to keep the franchise brand visible throughout the community to bring in new clients. We have launched new service offerings, products, campaigns to hire employees, opened locations, and assisted in crisis situations. Examples include employee situations, legal situation in the press and a flood that destroyed one San Diego clinic which we re-opened it with a huge media splash. For the Massage Envy brand in San Diego, we have and continue to execute community relations initiatives as well as generate hundreds of stories in business and community print, and secure live spots on countless TV stations and radio features annually.

The Massage Envy brand is thriving today with expanded new services and continues to grow in locations and memberships in San Diego, as well as expanded internationally to further show the power and popularity of the now iconic brand. We are proud to have been a part of the launch of the brand and we are still apart of the Massage Envy family today as their public relations firm.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®

Founded in 1963, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf ® (CBTL) is the premier chain of specialty coffee and tea stores in the United States. CBTL hired c3 to help grow the brand and stores in the San Diego (SD) region. c3 infused vast strategic community and media partnerships that paid off in dividends with media coverage and traffic to their SD locations. c3’s work was recognized when over the next five years the company asked us to launch new markets for the brand from Palm Desert to Northern California, becoming the main firm for their brand throughout the state. Unlike other brands c3 launched, CBTL had brand equity because of its popularity. When we came to Palm Desert and opened the first location, we strategically messaged that the desert community now did not have to get their CBTL fix by driving to LA or Orange County and that now it was in their own backyard. It worked famously. We went onto open several more and it is a flourishing brand today.

During c3’s tenure, the agency launched, promoted and executed grassroot campaigns on such endeavors as the youth report card campaign. We launched community relations initiatives such as Operation Paperback and community food drives, as well as numerous seasonal new Ice Blended® drink and other product launches tied into grassroots community benefit campaigns. Through c3’s work, the San Diego Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America honored us with many local community relations and other public relations awards for our CBTL PR campaigns. c3 is happy to share that to this day, though the company uses an in-house model now, we were brought back to promote the OC Blend, a special coffee and tea brew. The yearlong campaign we executed helped raise monies for Orange County, CA schools. We are told by CBTL District Managers that many of the community campaigns we created are still being used today throughout California, which is a tremendous compliment. CBTL will always be an important part of our company’s history and our c3 team continues to be loyal customers and great friends with the region and corporate team to this day.

Veterinary Specialty Hospital Social Media
Veterinary Specialty Hospital

c3 was hired by Veterinary Specialty Hospital (VSH) to promote their Annual Holiday Pet Food Drive. VSH is the leading emergency pet hospital in the country and a leader in specialty veterinary care, fulfilling the need for specialty healthcare and emergency services for dogs and cats in San Diego County and Southern California as well as other markets across the country.

During the holiday season, families find themselves struggling financially and must make the painful decision to give up their beloved pets to shelters because they cannot afford to feed or care for them. VSH’s food drive allows pets to be fed and stay in the care of their owners. VSH set a goal to collect 5,000 pounds of pet food; the previous year was 4,500 pounds.

The drive saw modest year over year increases in donations up to this point through traditional media relations. For this campaign, c3 also executed an aggressive social media campaign. We first created a list of local vet hospitals as well as identified target followers who would be big advocates of the success of the program. We then created an engaging and conversational social media calendar which included tagging local publications/media and using relevant hashtags. We focused on growing the social media presence through high-quality pictures, sharing content from followers, and editorial features. Our posts were shared, liked and retweeted by those who were tagged as well as from organizations and individuals monitoring the various hashtags we utilized to help spread the reach of our campaign.

c3 elevated VSH’s social media presence and excitement so much the VSH employees started to get involved because they really wanted to be a part of the drive. They formed teams, had a competition on which team could collect the most donations and promoted it within their own social media circles. They also shared our content to their networks. Throughout the campaign c3 continued to reach out to the public with updates from the food drive status and thanking those who helped and participated.

As mentioned the key difference from the previous years was the deployment of the social media campaign c3 executed. There this effort, Veterinary Specialty Hospital collected 11,293 pounds of pet food and received $5,725 in cash donations for the purchase of additional pet food. This is over 5 ½ tons of pet food that went to the San Diego Community to help families and pets stay together!

Because of the successful campaign, VSH hired c3 to execute all of their social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and GooglePlus. Since the launch, c3 has grown social media exposure to position VSH as a leader in specialty veterinary care for pets.

Belmont Park Entertainment
Belmont Park Entertainment

c3 was hired by the San Diego Coaster Company, operator(s) of Belmont Park, a free seven-acre midway style amusement center on the beach in San Diego, Calif. to promote their 80th Anniversary of their featured attraction, the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster. Situated on seven beachfront acres with eight buildings and attractions, it is a landmark institution. Cumulatively, our plan called for an intensive mainstream local and regional print as well as TV media relations campaign to boost awareness of the park, reaching all of the various target audiences and meeting slated attendee goals set by our client. We created some out-of-the-box elements in honor of the coaster’s anniversary. We calculated the number of rides the coaster performs each day, multiplied that by the number of years it’s been running, not including the dark years when it was closed due to fire, and figured out when the 43,000,000th ride would take place. We then developed a unique invitation that looked like a ticket stub and even brought in members of the “Save the Coaster” committee (responsible for reopening the ride) to join the celebration. For the event itself, we set the retro price to .15, brought in a Dixieland Band and a birthday cake and recreated the atmosphere of what the park was like when it first opened. The coverage was picked up not only locally but also nationally. Although our media impressions were off the charts, what was even better, as media impressions should not be the sole factor of a successful campaign, was how we moved the needle. We increased attendance in the park by 26.84 percent, far exceeding our goal by almost 11 percent. All this was due to the public relations support alone as there was no change to the advertising buy from the previous season. c3 was honored with a “Silver Anvil Merit Award” by the Public Relations Society of America, the second highest PR honor nationally in the country.

Since then, c3 executed PR campaigns for the 85th & 90th Anniversaries of the Giant Dipper. We are very proud that 2017 marks 13 seasons with Belmont Park and c3 is still the agency of record for the park. If you are ever in Mission Beach, San Diego, stop by for a ride. Not only can you see the Pacific Ocean from it but it packs a punch!

Meals on Wheels San Diego County Non-Profit

After being awarded the account via an RFP, c3 started working with non-profit Meals on Wheel San Diego County (MOW) in 2007. We are proud to say that we are are still their agency of record to this day. We have grown with the non-profit to be a “key” part of their strategic management team and board committees. One of the most rewarding endeavors we have done for them was the gas crisis campaign. Understanding MOW is volunteer driven and they take meals to homebound seniors’ daily, one could imagine how the gas crisis was not allowing people to take care of their personal day-to-day operations let alone continue to volunteer. Simply put, we were on course for a major crisis of seniors not getting fed. c3 did a media blitz and brought together print, radio and TV to shadow volunteers who had to give up their routes on their final weeks. We staffed up so we had a c3 team member with every media outlet that went to every senior’s home – and we made sure each outlet had its own unique story to really push for a lasting impact.

In short, the coverage was off the chart. A near full page story ran in the local daily, The San Diego Union-Tribune. Another PR firm in town and colleague saw the story and sent it to his client, Barona Casino. As a result, the Barona Tribe donated MOW volunteers a full-size tanker of gas to help. Secondarily to that, an anonymous charity saw the vast TV coverage and sent in a $10,000 donation to MOW. Since that time thankfully the gas crisis is long gone, but it was one of the most meaningful media endeavors we have been a part of. If you ask the chairman of the board or CEO, they will say it was a direct correlation to solely public relations. To us, we are grateful to have made a difference and have had the opportunity to work with such a cherished non-profit doing so much good. Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) San Diego Chapter honored c3 with the prestigious Bernays Award, a top honor in the San Diego PR industry, for the gas crisis campaign.

The press and increased brand awareness c3 has generated over the years has been vast. Today, we continue to yield MOW grant dollars as well as other funding and donations making it a very fulfilling and rewarding client.

Boat Show(s) Event(s)
Boat Show

c3 was hired by the Chicago-based National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) to promote the  San Diego Boat Show – at the time it was the largest in-water and convention center show on the West Coast.

Our PR campaign for the original San Diego Boat Show won us two Silver Anvil Awards (the national Oscars® of the PR industry and the highest industry honor) by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) because of the research, planning, execution and measurable results our work brought to the table. Our research identified the show needed to be branded as a family-friendly destination event. We centered the campaign, messaging and overall plan on this messaging. We educated the public and the media as to the growth of boating and focused on a theme of “Life Is Better on The Water.” We brought in family friendly elements and leveraged a program for attendees to Discover Boating on the water. c3 created a mini news bureau that mined for stories to ensure all media covering the show had different angles each day to keep the media coming back to sustain not only the four-day event but also the three days of load-in prior. The content we generate was instrumental in getting the vast coverage and in the end, growth of attendees and the sale of boats at the show year to year. Over the course of the years with the NMMA Chicago HQ team, they shared we had some of the most live TV coverage they had seen at any of their shows in the country.

The NMMA sold the San Diego Boat Show and it was revived by the Sunroad Marina and rebranded as San Diego Sunroad Boat Show. Unlike the NMMA show, which was family focused, the new Sunroad show’s demographic were hard core boaters. Though still a boat show, it was a very different show from its predecessor and a new PR campaign needed to reflect the new target audience to be successful to support exhibitor growth and increase attendance. Again, doing extensive research, we developed a new strategy and campaign to support this particular show’s audience. We set 5000 attendees as our goal to put true measurable results to the campaign and not just media impressions (which many firms use solely as a gage for successful event PR). We developed messaging and positioning to ignite this new branded show. As a result, working with a new show team, collectively we secured 10,000 attendees in the inaugural year.

Because of our vast success and experience, the NMMA hired c3 to promote the Miami International Boat Show — the largest boat show in the world working with local Florida, regional, national, as well as international press coordinating all aspect of PR for that show.

The NMMA also returned to the San Diego market with their San Diego International Boat Show. In total as of 2017, c3 will have successfully and effectively promoted a collective 22 boat shows over our agency’s tenure.

Today, c3 promotes countless shows/events/national tours a year and the Boat Shows are still one of our team’s most favorite annual event and none of us own boats or are boaters! If you live in San Diego or are visiting, come join us on the docks at the San Diego Sunroad Boat Show (January) or the San Diego International Boat Show (June).

University of Phoenix Education

When c3 was hired by UOPX, we noted through our research, that being in the backyard of several major universities and other corporately based schools for “working adults” in San Diego, we needed to carve out a large stake in our media presence for UOPX. Using our tight c3 media relationships, we worked closely with the UOPX team. We strategically developed and executed a “UOPX news bureau program.” This basically was an expert panel for the media to utilize for breaking news or other stories. We canvassed and interviewed faculty and matched them with print, radio and TV — successfully executing the news bureau that are still in use today — and since has been replicated by other scholastic intuitions. We were on the forefront, giving UOPX free third-party credibility exposure. This worked well from a pro-active standpoint but has also helped press in crisis situations further elevating the positioning of the UOPX brand in San Diego. In the end, it made them the “go to” for media resources. We also were instrumental in launching many of their new academic programs where we used our news bureau platform as a strategic way to roll them out. It was an incredible campaign that was exciting to execute as well as see the needle of the brand move with increased student enrollment, the ultimate goal that we accomplished. Today c3 continues to work in the education PR arena with the University of San Diego.