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Choose Chicago

An all-singing, all-dancing media & influencer relations event to celebrate the Year of Chicago Theatre in 2019.

The Brief

Each year, Choose Chicago, the official tourism board for the great lake city, showcases a specific aspect of what makes Chicago such a dynamic and world-class cultural destination.

For 2019, theatre was chosen for the spotlight and the PC Agency team tasked with devising a media event in London designed to build awareness, educate and inspire the UK’s leading travel and lifestyle media and influencers.

Our Approach

During the past few years, Chicago’s theatre offering has been booming – building momentum and diversity in both scope and style to such a degree that many argue that it is now a match for New York. Drawing upon our research and insights, we discovered that Chicago has many more small, independent theatre companies than the Big Apple - and it’s also more affordable and accessible. In addition to the accessibility angle, our strategy focused on what makes the Chicago theatre scene unique and how it adds to the city’s vibe and personality.

Working with the Choose Chicago team, we created a highlights programme featuring the top shows and indie productions for the year ahead, and wider educational content for the event presentation. The question was: how could we truly wow media, Chicago showbiz style?

The answer was a two-part event: hosting the media welcome and presentation at a private members’ club in Soho, followed by attending Chicago The Musical – the long-running hit show at The Phoenix Theatre. What better way to bring our campaign to life?

Rather than a view to securing coverage, we approached this as a key opportunity to further enhance our media and influencer relations with new and well-established contacts via a memorable event designed to present Chicago in a fresh new light.

Authenticity was our keyword. In addition to hosting senior reps from Choose Chicago, we also invited key influencers in the Chicago theatre community, including Commissioner of the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE); the founder and President of Broadway in Chicago, and the Executive Director of League of Theatres.

Business results

38 media and influencers were secured, alongside flight partners Aer Lingus and Norwegian, key publications included; The Times, Mail on Sunday, Independent.co.uk, Conde Nast Traveller, Harrods magazine, Press Association, and Vanity Fair.

Following the event, we introduced a press trip programme to secure feature-length coverage on the destination and the activation.

The reviews

“Thank you so much for having me to the amazing Chicago event! It was so much fun, and I thought their speeches were very inspirational – it really makes me want to visit. Chicago is at the forefront of my mind now, and I will be sure to include in forthcoming pitches and pieces.” Laura Fowler, Conde Nast Traveller

“Just to say a big thank you for an amazing evening last night. Really loved Chicago. It was brilliant to get Chicago the city to sponsor that – it’s created a lot of buzz about the city. “ Jane Knight, The Times

“Thanks a lot for inviting me – I loved the musical! And it was great to hear about Chicago’s theatre culture because I didn’t know any of that!” Cat Harvey-Jenner, Cosmopolitan.co.uk