Six years ago, BryteBox interior design client Studio DADO won the contract to design Norwegian Cruise Line’s first vessel of its newest class of ships, Prima. Prior to and throughout the pandemic, the designs of 17 public spaces, the most awarded to any design firm, and the suites and staterooms came to life. The Studio DADO team researched and traveled to the famous gathering places of the world including Times Square in New York City and St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican to gather inspiration, direction and stories to tell in the spaces. With a multi-year design timeline and countless iterations with the ship builders and architects at Fincantieri, Studio DADO knew the unveiling on the ship likely would garner worldwide media attention. While the team continued doing what they do best, designing functional and exquisite spaces, it became clear that to truly showcase the level of innovation and design Studio DADO was capable of, that a long-term, multi-channel strategy was crucial. The vessel was set to have its inaugural sail on August 27, 2022 and one question loomed…
The Big Question
How can we make a media splash with our unique design stories and not get lost in the media blitz when the vessel sails?
Led by Founder Juliana Ruiz, the BryteBox PR team activated its partnership outreach strategy in Spring 2019, two full years prior to the inaugural Prima sail. Developing purposeful, ongoing relationships with partners as well as trade media was a critical component for the successful positioning of the multiple story opportunities within Studio Dado’s space designs. The BryteBox team launched the strategy by asking “Who is Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL’s) PR Lead? We will schedule a call immediately.” This initial call launched a proactive, direct line relationship directly between NCL’s entire PR department and BryteBox and served as the first component of BryteBox’s triune strategy: relationship building with the campaign’s leading partner, NCL.
Simultaneously, BryteBox sat down at regular intervals with Studio DADO founders and were thoroughly briefed on design development, culminating in full-scale design discoveries for every space designed onboard. This served as the second prong of the triune strategy: strengthening communication with the client, Studio DADO. These discoveries were translated into media ready briefs also shared with the Norwegian team. Relationship building paired with packaged design information that could be easily translated into press releases, pitches and more by BryteBox enabled Studio DADO to stand out among the four additional design firms onboard by garnering the lion’s share of coverage leading up to the sail and significant in media hits. Additionally, as the time drew very close to the inaugural sail, BryteBox provided the Studio DADO founders and designers traveling onboard the inaugural sailing with media training and preparation including: content capturing, onsite guidelines for takeaways, briefing on messaging and talking points as well as interview best practices.
The final component of the triune strategy hinged upon the successful cultivation of existing media relationships. Over the year’s working with DADO, BryteBox built strong relationships with trade publications including SeaTrade, Cruise & Ferry, Cruise Industry News and more. Consistently, BryteBox worked with editors to place valuable leads and near ready-to-print stories into their hands. These positive collaborations in the past set the stage for ongoing conversations surrounding Prima and DADO’s design.
Aligning key DADO messages and a media list of journalists on the inaugural sail, the BryteBox PR team sent targeted announcements to the right contacts at trade publications and international outlets. This preemptive approach enabled BryteBox to secure 7 interviews prior to sail. As the lead, Juliana continued to pitch and field interview requests while the founders were onboard, securing a total 15 interviews. Due to the rapport built with NCL’s PR team, Studio DADO founders were brought into broad media opportunities and offered cohesive, design-centered messaging to enhance both their brand and NCL. Notably, every article mentioning the ship’s design elements and features also named Studio DADO. This win-win-win approach between NCL, Studio DADO and the media aided in the staggering number of media hits specific to Studio DADO over the three-month pre-sail, during and post-sail period: 320 mentions and a total potential news reach of 570M. Studio DADO was named or featured in articles appearing on MSN.com, Yahoo! Finance, Associated Press, The Points Guys, PR Newswire and more. Executive Traveler, Cruise & Ferry News, SeaTrade Cruise News, Cruise Lifestyle, Look Travels and more represented the trade publications BryteBox strategically targeted and ultimately received placement for Studio DADO.
“The success of this campaign demonstrates the magic formula of creating a strategy and executing it with diligence. Our ongoing relational investments with NCL, the media and the founders of Studio DADO enabled not only open communication but an atmosphere of cheerleading, collaboration and the valuable exchange of press opportunities. Our efforts have not waned as journalists continue reaching out to confirm design details. We celebrate this media success and watch out for the many awards we are submitting for Prima and Studio DADO!”