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SMALL TOWN, BIG PLANS
When the city of Lawrenceburg, Indiana wanted to restore its downtown historic
district, it turned to the Marilyn Hyland Agency to come up with an
implementation plan. A major riverboat casino was already being planned in
Lawrencburg, and city officials were anticipating millions of tourists a year.
The agency met with property owners, developers, city officials, and local business leaders. After a series of negotiations with the many stakeholders, the Hyland Agency persuaded six local banks to commit one-million dollars for low-interest loans earmarked for historic revitalization--- quite impressive for a city of just 44-hundred people.
The first project to result from the revitalization plan was the restoration of the Lehner Building. Until recently, the Lehner Building was a dilapidated eyesore. Today, it looks much the way it did when it was first built. The crumbling brick facade was fixed, and a second-story balcony was re-created. With its rediscovered charm and class, the Lehner Building has won numerous preservation awards. But more importantly, it is now a thriving office building, generating tax revenues and creating jobs.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Trains are vital to the commerce of the country. Thanks to the railroad industry, the cost of transporting food and manufactured goods to market is relatively low. However, for a variety of reasons, trains often experience public relations problems with cities and towns in which they operate. Such was the case with two railroads that hired the Marilyn Hyland Agency to represent their interests in Ohio.
The Central Railroad of Indiana and the Indiana & Ohio Railroad asked the Hyland Agency to monitor legislation and negotiations regarding an important east-west route along the Ohio River. For two years, the Hyland Agency met with elected officials to resolve a variety of conflicts involving the two railroads’ business interests.
In an unrelated assignment, the Hyland Agency successfully intervened in a politically volatile situation involving the railroads and the City of Lima, Ohio. Tensions were rising because of technical problems that resulted in trains blocking major streets in Lima.
Through an aggressive public relations campaign, The Hyland Agency positioned the railroads as business stakeholders with the City and created a problem-solving summit to enable each side to better understand the other’s concerns. Our efforts also resulted in a three-part television series in Lima that explained how the railroad and the city are partners in the economic development of the surrounding region.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!
After decades of entertaining movie-lovers, the Esquire Theater in Cincinnati’s Clifton neighborhood closed its doors in 1983. Competition from suburban cineplexes had proven to be too much for this quaint neighborhood movie theater.
A fast-food chain had leased the building for the purpose of renovating it into a hamburger restaurant. Many residents feared a busy fast food restaurant would lead to the development of more such restaurants, and turn the quaint neighborhood into a litter-infested, traffic-congested eyesore. Neighborhood activists turned to the Marilyn Hyland Agency for help.
The challenge required a two-pronged approach. First, the Marilyn Hyland Agency organized a petition drive to persuade city leaders that residents did not want a fast-food restaurant at that location. After much lobbying, City Council voted to provide funds for the restaurant franchisee to locate elsewhere.
Then came the challenge of raising money to purchase the vacant theater. For tax purposes, the owner agreed to sell the building to the City for one dollar. The City, in turn, sold the building to a non-profit corporation established for the purpose of reopening the theater.
The Marilyn Hyland Agency created the marketing strategy that helped raise half-a-million dollars to renovate the Esquire. This included media relations, literature, and a live “mystery event” involving a promotional video starring many local celebrities, including Jerry Springer (who was then a TV news anchor). Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jim Borgman even created a cartoon just for the event!
Today, the Esquire has six auditoriums. And as one of Cincinnati’s few “alternative” movie theaters, it attracts fans of foreign and independent films from all over the city. The Esquire, once threatened with extinction, is now a thriving business thanks in large part to the creative efforts of the Marilyn Hyland Agency.
A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
The Fore and Aft is a unique restaurant on a barge on the Ohio River. It is situated in a beautiful, secluded area just minutes west of downtown Cincinnati. However, because of its remote location, the owners had a hard time attracting customers.
The Marilyn Hyland Agency created an advertising campaign that turned the restaurant’s only negative feature into a positive. We took a humorous approach to educating the public about the short amount of time it really takes to get to the Fore and Aft, once you know the way. Our agency came up with the slogan “Worth getting to from anywhere.”
The campaign included TV and radio commercials and print ads. We also provided gift certificates to several radio stations for on-air giveaways. The result was a significant increase in business for the Fore and Aft, which remains one of the best-known restaurants on Cincinnati’s west side.
WAY OUT WEST IN HAMILTON COUNTY
Greater Cincinnati is a unique combination of urban and rural environments. The eastern half of Hamilton County is well developed, while the western half remains, for the most part, wide open space full of farms, fields, and forests.
Many property owners are fearing encroachment on their peaceful existence by big business. And for good reason. Increasingly, developers are looking at western Hamilton County with dollar signs in their eyes.
Like many counties, Hamilton County is seeking to adopt new zoning regulations in an effort to control the growing problem of urban sprawl. But often, those regulations are a double-edged sword, opening the door to unwanted development in rural areas. Such was the threat facing Whitewater Township in Hamilton County, Ohio.
The “no zoning” campaign included a series of TV commercials and yard signs urging a “no” vote. The campaign focused on the rural atmosphere of Whitewater Township. Despite being hired just sixteen days before the election, our “no zoning” campaign was a huge success, as zoning opponents won the election by a landslide.
Today, Whitewater Township remains a quiet area just west of Cincinnati, with beautiful rolling hills and farms, where residents are far enough apart to enjoy their privacy but close enough to be neighbors.
The Marilyn Hyland Agency believes that Whitewater Township must take the lead in creating zoming that will permit limited development, while protecting the township’s rural atmosphere. Otherwise, “no zoning” could lead to the kind of urban sprawl that has uglified many American cities.
The Waste Wizard consists of several three-dimensional modules, each illustrating a different stage along the journey from store shelf to landfill. The exhibit includes real groceries illustrating various choices we make as consumers, and how those choices result in trash being recycled, or taking up landfill space.
The Marilyn Hyland Agency created collateral material to promote the exhibit to corporate sponsors, and educational material for students. Schools organized field trips to the museum for the purpose of viewing the Waste Wizard. Thousands of children toured the exhibit, and steps are now being taken to exhibit the Waste Wizard in other communities.
Contact us today to begin taking advantage of our experience. Whether your need be in advertising, marketing, public relations or government relations, the Marilyn Hyland Agency will find a creative way to acheive your goals.
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7100 Drake Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45243
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