Nothing makes people swoon like stories of love at first sight. But enduring love isn’t built on butterflies alone. Growing from seed to bud to blossom, love requires time and attention.
Some of the most successful PR strategies develop like love, starting small and growing over time. While instant gratification is possible, playing the long game often delivers the biggest wins, providing sustained success and ongoing rewards.
The “love story” between Goodwin Consulting and LunchDates offers a swoon-worthy example of a slow-to-grow PR strategy that got exceptional results.
Connecting couples for 40 years, LunchDates is the most trusted executive matchmaking service in the Greater Boston area. Their dating coaches set up single professionals to be as successful in love as they are in every other aspect of their lives.
How do I know? Because LunchDates introduced me to my wonderful partner more than three years ago!
After recovering from a breakup, I decided to give online dating a try, only to encounter entirely too many “crazies.” From stalking to ghosting, everything I’d heard about online dating appeared to be true—and it wasn’t enjoyable. It was time-consuming and, at times, annoying.
I still held out hope that I would meet someone special on this journey through life, so I did what every busy CEO should do who’s ready for love but can’t stomach another internet encounter. I outsourced the job and called LunchDates.
My matchmaker, Laura, was young, hip, and laser-focused on finding a match for me. Seven dates later (and all of the men I was introduced to were very nice, but there was no spark), I met Tony and became a LunchDates success story! When the matchmaking service asked if I could help them achieve similar success (via a PR engagement, not a romantic one), I crossed my fingers and got to work.
The PR Strategy: Part I
My team and I quickly landed a handful of mentions and national online write-ups for LunchDates. But this client’s sophisticated audience wasn’t an easy sell.
We coordinated a relationship between LunchDates and HOT 96.9, a Boston-area radio station. Single show hosts jumped at the chance to get matched by LunchDates, sharing their stories on-air for a large local audience.
But the demographic skewed young, and LunchDates’ radio presence didn’t attract the executive matchmaking clientele they desired.
Having done all we could at that point, Goodwin Consulting and LunchDates agreed to take a break. “It’s not you; it’s me,” we mutually confessed. The professional relationship remained healthy, but our PR and communications strategy hadn’t quite hit the mark.
I refused to accept defeat, however. With the long game on my mind, I set out to create a more compelling story for the unique skill sets behind Boston’s most proficient love matchmakers.
I knew LunchDates needed help increasing visibility within Boston’s selective dating scene. But with online dating widely accepted as the new normal, matchmaking felt like a foreign concept to many successful singles.
Dating apps are ubiquitous and (mostly) free. But LunchDates exists at the opposite end of the dating spectrum, offering highly personalized matchmaking services to professionals with a penchant for luxury services and an obsession with quality.
And while Boston is full of successful singles, the city’s journalists weren’t frequently writing about finding love in a more traditional way despite my best efforts. Finally, I convinced the lifestyle reporter at the Boston Herald to write a feature on LunchDates. The interview was completed, and in between the interview and the photo shoot, the reporter was laid off. I was informed by the photographer who was coming to take my client’s photo THAT DAY that the story was DOA.
LunchDates needed a significant news hook that would appeal to a tough market with a tender heart.
True to form, the PR long game was lying in wait, ready to reemerge a few years later to celebrate and promote LunchDates’ 40th anniversary!
The PR Strategy: Part II
With a fabulous 40th anniversary approaching, LunchDates rekindled their relationship with Goodwin Consulting. How could we help them promote their brand and bring matchmaking to Boston’s most successful—and unmatched—executives?
Brainstorming commenced, and our teams embraced the idea of an online webinar event. LunchDates’ experts and coaches would share dating tips and love lessons, appealing to professionals with life-long love in mind.
The Good Win in Love
“Celebrating 40 years of love!” read the news hook, leading romance-ready professionals to “Fall into Love” on a LunchDates landing page for the matchmakers’ milestone webinar event.
The Good Win Is a Long Game
Thanks to the friendly foundation we’d formed with local media, LunchDates was already a familiar face when their 40th rolled around. The right thing at the right time is always a recipe for success. Whether you’re looking for love or the perfect PR strategy, you’ll find what you want and need if you’re patient enough for the long game.
Ask any committed couple, and they’ll tell you: their love story is rich with happiness and heartache, good days and bad, smiles and tears—all underscored by their determination to stay the course and grow together.
Sounds a lot like PR, to me.