Heartland Marketing & Communications was selected by the Sarpy County Board to help promoting a new minor league baseball stadium and other county-sponsored events.
The Bellevue PR and marketing firm, will provide the following services: public relations as needed, including but not limited to press releases; media/community relations and business-to-business development; media negotiation and placement; media screening; creative services; creative campaign development; promotion development and graphic design and scripting. On a non-exclusive basis, Heartland Marketing & Communications will place all media: radio, TV, outdoor, and print and will also broker creative projects as reseller, including but not limited to, jingles, production and printing. The contract was signed for one year, with three additional one-year options.
Heartland Marketing & Communications will get $80 per hour for PR consultation during the project, and a budget of maximum $40,000 for the first year unless expressly approved by the County Board. Funds to pay for marketing will come from non-property tax revenue (Keno, Lodging Tax, Inheritance Tax). In addition, HMC will get §100 per hour for graphic design, and a TBD amount for PR marketing.
Sarpy’s choice of Heartland Marketing & Communications was not accidental. The company’s president, Mike Jungers, was born and raised in Bellevue, Nebraska. HMC opened in November 1995, and it worked with local companies ever since. For Jungers, this project could mean a personal challenge, and the difference between success and failure. But HMC has experience working with officials, as, according to the company, they’ve worked in the past with the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety and Richmont Village. HMC will work together with with Kent Pavelka & Associates, Inc. on the Sarpy County-sponsored minor league baseball stadium project.
Some of the key factors that determined Sarpy County to select HMC include, among others, the fact that the PR company highlighted the key PR problems of the county and how these could be solved:
“Omaha sees Sarpy County as a threat. Negative digs will keep coming,” HMC noted in their pitch, and they continued: “Now is the time to rise above the politics and focus on image. Don’t worry about the next negative World Herald article.”
Spot on, the article came, but it was not negative. The negatives were the readers’ comments, as you can see here. As far as Sarpy County is concerned, they got themselves a great deal: PR for $80 per hour could sound cheap. But the following shows clearly that HMC know their business.
Among the possible future campaign ideas, HMC already proposed four: Possible Campaign Ideas: “Close to Everything”; “Omaha’s Friendly Neighbor”; “Nebraska’s Fastest Growing County”; and “So Near…So Fun!”
To begin with, HMC will integrate tourism more into Stadium activities and events; and will try to develop a positive image campaign with tourism to promote Sarpy County and improve imaging within the metro area. HMC’s and Sarpy County’s main objectives will therefore be to improve media relations for Sarpy County Ballpark Project; to improve imaging of Sarpy County in general; and to create an ongoing positive image for future growth, development, and events.