When the agency was retained to publicize the conversion of an existing Holiday Inn to a Sheraton property, considerable brainstorming was required.
Attracting media interest in converting an existing property to a different brand is far more daunting than publicizing a new one. Drawing on its knowledge of Miami’s history, the Newman group developed a scenario which capitalized on the hotel’s original site as Miami’s first hospitality center.
Pioneer William Brickell’s late 19th-century trading post also served as an overnight accommodation for the Seminole Indians who would paddle their canoes loaded with furs and plumes to the site to trade for goods. They would light cooking fires, gossip with other tribesmen and sleep overnight before returning to their Everglades campgrounds.
The agency produced a bronze plaque commemorating the site and arranged for a contingent of Seminole leaders to arrive at the property in native canoes carrying an oversized key to the property. The event drew a number of government leaders who exchanged greetings with the Seminoles and generated significant network television, travel trade and wire service coverage in addition to local print media.