Monday, February 20, 2006

Keeping Quiet Works As A PR Strategy For The World’s Largest Aquarium

Bernie Marcus Speaks About The PR Behind The Georgia Aquarium

At a recent PRSAGA (www.prsageorgia.org) meeting Bernie Marcus, co-founder of The Home Depot and the Georgia Aquarium’s benefactor, share with the group that he opted for a PR strategy built around not doing any advance publicity for the aquarium until a month prior to opening.

Going against the conventional PR grain, Marcus instructed his team not to share the aquarium’s story with the media in advance of the opening. The benefactor himself admitted that he didn’t know if this strategy was going to work. However, he feared advance media coverage prior to the opening could make the aquarium’s story stale before it ever opened its doors.

The end result was the building of excitement to a crescendo just prior to the aquarium’s late November opening. In fact, Marcus shared with the group that more than 400 broadcast and print outlets attended Media Day at the aquarium on Nov. 19, 2005. Print impressions from the opening days of the aquarium exceeded 100 million and broadcast reach topped 3 billion. Every major market across the U.S. covered the opening of the world’s largest aquarium.

Some of the information above was taken from PRSAGA’s website http://www.prsageorgia.org, a key organization for any PR or communications professional working in Georgia.

Fun Facts About the World’s Largest Aquarium From the People Who Built It – Brasfield & Gorrie (disclosure: an Arketi client)

Aquarium Facts and Figures

Almost 100,000 cubic yards of concrete – enough to build a 100-story office tower

As a five-foot-wide sidewalk, the concrete would stretch from Atlanta to St. Simons Island, Ga. – 307 miles

434 miles of electrical conduit – would stretch from Atlanta to Orlando

3,600 tons of air conditioning capacity – equivalent to 1,200 average homes

4,500,000 gallons in the Open Ocean tank – to fill it with a garden hose would take one year

218 pumps moving 216,000 gallons per minute – like draining and filling an Olympic swimming pool every two-and-a-half minutes

The life support system features 54”-diameter piping – large enough to drive a small car through

11 computers control the water piping system, making 150 million decisions per second

The 8 million-gallon ecosystem is equivalent to 800 typical hotel swimming pools

25 miles of wiring connect 3,200 control points and valves for the water piping system

Less than 3 gallons of water per day are needed to top off the efficient water recirculation system

Teams of 15 workers rubbed every square inch of the tanks’ floors and walls to ensure they were smooth and dust-free.

Information above from Brasfield & Gorrie (www.brasfieldgorrie.com)

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