Case Study: Año Nuevo Marine Education Center

Posted by Kassy Perry

Marine Center Hooks Media

Selling your story is hard enough in a world where it has to “bleed to lead.” Add the fascination with “shock and awe” to shrinking resources and news organizations are stretched thin. When the California State Parks Foundation completed a successful public-private partnership to create a Marine Education Center at the Año Nuevo State Reserve, garnering news coverage was essential to promote the newly available resource and the success of the partnership. Although remotely located, Año Nuevo boasted a world-famous elephant seal colony and the new Center would significantly enhance educational and research opportunities.

PCG developed a creative media strategy that would capture the interest of journalists, drive attendance to the launch event and promote the rich history and significance of the park. A clever spin on the traditional grand opening with a “kelp-cutting” ceremony and media tours of the elephant seals at Año Nuevo Island offered interesting images and experiences for reporters. Traditional media outreach, combined with production and distribution of a video news release, and live Web streaming of the press conference expanded reach to those journalists not able to travel to the press conference.


  • Pre-launch announcements and post-event print coverage appeared statewide, including newspapers as far away as the Los Angeles Times
  • More than 100 park advocates and enthusiasts attended the grand opening event alongside journalists, dignitaries and state officials
  • The public-private partnership which served as a catalyst for the Center’s construction was featured positively in media reports


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