As part of our public relations recommendations, Aigner/Prensky pitched a high-profile pre-event story, chronicling the building of The Market to entice interest in the project early and build a following. To “get it right”, The Market was holding focus groups with the community at large, to determine what the customers really wanted from a smaller grocery store. We thought this research process would be a good story.
Aigner also recommended a two-week period of exciting events that included working with radio partners on promotional events, educational experiences and meet-and-greets with key Market personnel, including the butcher, the seafood supervisor, etc. We kicked off the festivities with a ribbon cutting complete with costumed characters dressed as fruit, tastings and giveaways. Over the course of the next two weeks, The Market welcomed local high-profile radio personalities and sports mascot Pat the Patriot. The Market also welcomed renowned children’s cookbook author Katie Wilton. The festivities concluded with a visit from Olympic gymnast Alicia Sacramone. All of the events were free and open to the public.
As a result of our public relations approaches, the Boston Sunday Globe wrote a six-page story on the pre-opening process of building The Market, how it was gathering customer feedback, etc. The story was published in the Globe’s Sunday magazine section 9 months prior to the opening and created tremendous interest in the project, both in the commercial and public sectors. We were also able to secure additional coverage on Boston.com, and in the Boston Globe, Griffin Report (Trade), The Patriot Ledger, and countless local weekly papers. In addition, the two weeks of grand opening festivities brought thousands of people to The Market out of curiosity, thus building a customer base that has remained strong to date.