Case Studies

Aura, Canderel Residential
PR Helped Aura Reach New Heights

The Challenge:

With an abundance of unique and compelling storylines, the challenge for Brandon Communications was to create an impactful launch strategy that delivered maximum exposure, while coordinating a strategic, long-term program that ensured extensive media coverage up to, and long after, the project’s launch.

The client’s strategy was to introduce AURA to the public three months prior to Opening, thereby building a massive pre-registration list, intense hype and fervent anticipation.

The Challenge:

Brandon immediately identified the most compelling angles for the launch and best strategy to convey them; a Friday morning media conference was planned for the penthouse of an existing tower on site. More than 50 print and broadcast media attended the conference and the coverage was overwhelming.

While this was the first occasion media had to learn about AURA and it resulted in two weeks of intense media coverage, much of the launch strategy’s early success lies in the decision to offer the Star’s Condos section an ‘exclusive’.

Media materials were prepared weeks in advance and shared with the Star pre-emptively, in exchange for a guaranteed cover position.

By scheduling the conference for the Friday prior to its publication, the Star was the only real estate section with a feature story, while general news and business reporters were also able to file in time for the following day, creating a high level of media saturation on Saturday.

Unable to file without the early notice, the weekly real estate sections at the Globe, Post, and Sun ‘caught up’ with features in the weeks following the Star cover story.

In the first seven days, Brandon’s media strategy resulted in almost a dozen news stories and multiple broadcast items. The extensive coverage also led to widespread chatter across various influential social media sites.

Another factor contributing to the story’s early media success was a decision to defer traditional housing messages (design, amenities, pricing) for thematic issues of urban planning and design, municipal and neighbourhood relations, height and density. This approach widened the media space available to the client and allowed the message to infiltrate non-traditional forums.

As the project approached its Grand Opening date and moved beyond, the PR strategy shifted to more traditional housing stories, and helped lead to more than 700 sales in the first 60 days.

Despite this early success, as Canada’s tallest tower, AURA boasts more than 900 units, and so Canderel Stoneridge relied on Brandon to keep the project relevant and top of mind for buyers throughout the year. From stories about its unique sprinkler systems, its approach to retail, or the site’s grand history, AURA has consistently stayed in the news.

Front page news book-ended the year for AURA as Toronto Star Condos made the development its cover story on November 16, 2007 (A New Aura…A New Era), and its cover story on November 8, 2008 (The Rebirth of a Depression Era Dream).

For the client, it was great start and fantastic finish to a very exciting year!

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