My Experience

Navy Pier is #BackOnTheGrid

 Problem and Task: Navy Pier has been labeled “tacky” and a “tourist trap” over the years by locals. Despite having revamped itself in 2016, it was still having trouble attracting local visitors, especially between the ages of 18 and 25. As part of my senior project, my team was tasked with developing an integrated public relations and advertising campaign to let millennials know that Navy Pier had been revitalized and was a place for locals to spend time.

Action: Our overarching concept was that Navy Pier was “Back on the Grid,” as a tribute to Chicago’s beloved street grid system, and that the grid is the path to your favorite Chicago hotspots. Through primary and secondary research, we learned that local millennials did not consider Navy Pier an authentic piece of Chicago, but that they would consider visiting if there were more programming that catered to young adults. Armed with these insights, we proposed a timeline of regular programming in the hopes of creating cause for talk triggers, consistent and remarkable offerings of a brand that spread via word of mouth. To spread our message authentically, we proposed partnering with local Chicago Instagram influencers, as our target market trusts people more than brands. Knowing the target market’s lifestyle, we also proposed investing in advertising on public transportation and music streaming platforms. Overall, the proposed integrated campaign aimed to reach young adults aged 18 to 25 where they are, and give them a new perspective of a Chicago landmark. Our campaign tied for first place in our college.

Skills Needed: critical thinking; creative thinking; research; research analysis; campaign planning; time management; project management; plan book writing; editing; pitching; storytelling

View the full plan book.

Internal Communications Platform Proposal: Insights and Recommendations                           

Problem and Task: Senior leaders wanted to adopt a new internal communications channel that ideally could be used in every country in which the company does business. Since most of the company’s business is in China, senior leaders asked our team to learn how the rest of the company could adopt WeChat, the most widely-used app in China.

Action and Results: With limited capabilities and low adoption rates of the app outside of China, our research led us to believe that the western expansion of WeChat would be a risky, if not a bad investment for our company. I created a proposal that outlined the opportunities and threats of expanding the company’s WeChat adoption, but also widened my research to explore other solutions to wanting a new, more accessible internal communications platform. At the end of the pitch presentation, the senior leaders realized that WeChat was not the company’s best option, and gave me and my team license to further explore the opportunities of other platforms, like Workplace by Facebook.

Skills Needed: research; research analysis; storytelling; public speaking; critical thinking; persuasion

Hershey’s Syrup #ShakeUpYourSummer                               

Problem and Task:  A leader in an overall declining category, Hershey’s Syrup aimed to be more relevant to a new generation. Armed with new consumer insights, the Hershey’s marketing and public relations teams wanted consumers to think of Hershey’s Syrup as the ingredient in an extreme milkshake, not just an ice cream topping.

 Action and Results: In collaboration with a public relations agency in New York City, we planned a media and consumer event with BlackTap, a NYC restaurant famous for its picturesque, extreme milkshakes. For one day only at the restaurant, consumers could order the Hershey’s S’mores Extreme Shake that featured Hershey’s Syrup. As project manager, I served as the main communication point between the company and the agency and as a company spokesperson to attending media and social media influencers. Twenty-two media and social influencers attended, yielding 10 media and 105 social placements. In total, we earned over 136 million impressions.

Skills Needed: media relations; client/agency relationship management; media event planning; public speaking; storytelling; project management                 

Check out the corporate blog post


Catherine Scales Resume PDF

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