Case Study


Going Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

Client: TowBoatUS

Tactics: Strategic Planning, Media Relations

Strategy: Work with members of the TowBoatUS fleet who have been personally affected by breast cancer, or have a friend or family member affected by the disease. Then work with them to paint or wrap their boats pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Outcomes: More than 1 million impressions, increased brand awareness, education on breast cancer awareness

After being affected by a colleague’s breast cancer diagnosis, TowBoatUS, and our team began to strategize and create the idea to poll its network of captains and ask for five who have been personally affected by breast cancer. Dozens of responses came in and the company selected the first five and assisted in the cost to have their boats either wrapped or painted pink for the month of October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The company also encouraged donations to the Susan G. Komen Foundation to support research. The captains also participated in breast cancer awareness events, runs/walks, and distributed breast cancer awareness educational materials, when possible.

Local public relations campaigns for each of the five companies selected resulted in more than 17 earned media placements, 7 million impressions, 156 organic social media posts generated from news stories, and more than $3,000 in donations to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. A national press release was also distributed resulting in additional national and trade awareness and impressions.

The biggest public relations impact came from TowBoatUS captains sharing stories about individuals and families seeing their boat, asking questions and telling their own personal stories about how they, or a loved one, had been affected by the disease. These stories resulted in connections and brand ambassadors for the company like never before.

The Goal of the project was to create and launch a public relations campaign that highlighted the five TowBoatUS tow boats painted or wrapped pink to bring attention to breast cancer awareness in a unique way, with the goal results being:

  • More than 1 million impressions through earned media coverage
  • Comments from TowBoatUS members and non-members about the initiative
  • Donations to cancer research

Our target audiences for this campaign included the following:

  • Individuals who have been affected by breast cancer
  • Those who need to be reminded of the risk of breast cancer and to take precautions with tests and doctor's appointments
  • TowBoatUS members
  • Potential new members of TowBoatUS
  • Employees of TowBoatUS

For this public relations campaign, we utilized the following tactics:

  • Creation of local media lists for each market where a pink boat was activated
  • Creation of a national boating, health and consumer-focused trade media list
  • Distribution of custom email pitches, via an earned media relations campaign, to targeted reporters in local markets where the company made its boat pink
  • Distribution of a national press release to trades

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