Company: Gravitas Communications, New York, NY, USA
Company Description: Gravitas Communications is a strategic communications firms that operates at the nexus of PR, Social Media and Search Engine Optimization. Founded in 2005 by Jocelyn Johnson, Gravitas understands the constantly evolving landscape of media and how technology has forever changed how we communicate and interact.
Nomination Category: Media & Marketing Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications Campaign of the Year - For-Profit
Nomination Title: Motor Trend 2010 Car of the Year: Good News for US Automaker
Describe for the judges the objectives, activities, and results of the nominated communications campaign (up to 500 words):
2009 was a dark year for the American automotive industry with US automotive
manufacturers desperately seeking ways to save their businesses and get back
on track. In the context of this bleak environment, the editors at Motor Trend
realized the 2010 Car of the Year award (“COTY”, announced in November
2009) needed to be larger than ever before.
Motor Trend magazine awards the best of the best each year with the Motor
Trend Car of the Year award. This venerable award was in its 51st year in 2009,
but was faced with an unusually narrow field of contenders.
There was a poignancy associated with the winner of the 2010 COTY award –
the Ford Fusion. As the nation and the world worried whether Detroit could be
saved, it seemed fitting that the oldest and strongest of the “Big Three” would
emerge triumphant among the global field of contenders. Gravitas
Communications was tasked with launching a campaign for the 2010 award that
would reach new levels of coverage and serve as a positive and motivating boost
to the American auto market – but with half the budget compared to prior years.
The goal was to appeal to a mass audience, with the widest possible national
and international media coverage. The Gravitas team architected a
comprehensive publicity plan that efficiently reached the broadest audience
possible and was inclusive of all major communications channels including: print,
television, radio, web, social media and online video.
There were challenges to overcome including tight timing from completion of
testing to the announcement, maintaining the editorial integrity and ownership of
the announcement, and executing a huge announcement with a relatively small
The buildup began with social media teasers two weeks before the
announcement. This utilized the brand’s Facebook and Twitter accounts and
included social media press releases promoting the announcement date. The
team coordinated and shot b-roll packages for use among local media and via
satellite distribution. Gravitas also approached the winning manufacturer to
stage a live Webcast from their global headquarters. Not only did this approach
leverage the resources of the award winner to promote the COTY award, the
event also served as a high-energy morale booster for the winning OEM’s
executive management team and employees and was enthusiastically received.
This event proved to be the ideal backdrop for the magazine’s first live Webcast
and Fox Business attend with live broadcast coverage of the announcement.
The 2010 Car of the Year awards program was considered a great success.
- 1200 Tweets
- 175 Television hits
- 400 online articles
- 4187 streams on the Webcast - 6x more than we hoped for; currently 17,100
views on YouTube
- The Contender video has garnered more than 67,000 views on YouTube
- Live broadcast on FoxBiz
- Nationally syndicated Associated Press article; front page of FoxNews.com ,
CNBC.vom, MSNBC.com, CNN.com, USA Today.com, Yahoo.com
- MotorTrend.com broke a million page views overall, only the second time the
site has achieved that level of traffic
List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your entry. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, [http://www.yourcompany.com/pressrelease.html]:
Coverage Example: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33996088
Multimedia Press Release: http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Motor-Trend-
YouTube – Contender Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G911eAtEYeQ
Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the team that created and carried out the nominated communications campaign (up to 100 words):
Jocelyn Johnson founded Gravitas Communications in 2005 with more than
fifteen years of experience building and executing smart, strategic public
relations and communications programs for her clients. Jocelyn has worked with
industry goliaths and start-ups alike. From Google, to Thwapr, Jocelyn has
worked with nearly 100 companies over her career and has launch more than 36
start-ups. She has a passion for technology, digital media/entertainment, retail
and media companies and is obsessed with how technology is changing the way
we communicate and interact. Jocelyn is also proud to a co-recipient for several
PR industry awards.