After 15 successful years, the Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM) planned a significant expansion - and the challenge was that opening events extended over a two-year period. Phase I included the opening of a new entry hall, performing arts theatre, Tot Spot and more, while Phase II included more dramatic outdoor spaces, including Lookout Cove and a science lab. These expanded facilities would allow the institution to better serve Bay Area residents, targeted ethnic communities and more. More than $18.4 million had been raised as part of the facilities capital campaign, but significant funding to complete the job was still needed. LCI's overall challenge was to set the stage for a two-year opening, increase overall awareness, support the capital campaign, increase attendance from underserved and minority populations and to help train in-house staff to take the reins for Phase II.
The Bay Area Discovery Museum is one of the Bay Area's "best secrets." LCI"s strategy was to leverage the opening as a "news hook" to interest and educate the Bay Area about the institution. A secondary strategy was to proactively target ethnic communities that had never been approached. LCI accomplished this through a combination of strategically-timed news announcements, press and grand opening events, sneak peek tours of the facility, media sponsorship programs, public service announcements, editorial meetings, radio station promotions and tailored story angles - including children/family, parenting, education, theatre, entertainment, travel, society and more.
BADM opened Phase I of its new facilities with a free weekend festival that ranked as one of the largest attended events ever. The press preview, media outreach campaign and opening press conference resulted in dozens of regional media, including: Sunset Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, KPIX-TV's Evening Magazine, KGO/ABC TV news, San Jose Mercury News, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Contra Costa Times, KQED's Spark, Marin Independent Journal and more. Radio promotions ran on more than a dozen stations throughout the Bay Area. In addition, LCI was able to procure letters of congratulations and proclamations from United States First Lady Laura Bush, the National Endowment for the Arts, California Governor Gray Davis and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.
LCI's efforts provided the foundation for a successful ongoing campaign and supported increased fundraising. In addition, LCI also trained BADM staff to successfully transition public relations efforts in-house for Phase II.