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Hurricane Irma Prompts CEL Media Team to Refocus

Hurricane Irma Prompts CEL Media Team to Refocus

When news coverage of the Saint Louis Art Fair was blown by a hurricane, CEL refused to let our newspaper, radio and television coverage wash away. What do you do when a national news story dominates the headlines and pulls media attention away from your event, hour by hour? You become part of the story—and help those in trouble.

Hurricane Irma was circling the Florida Coast the morning of September 8, 2017, as artists were setting up their booths for the Saint Louis Art Fair. This is the day that news crews typically pull into Clayton, Missouri to cover this notable event, but instead, they were pulling out all the stops to report the latest from Florida.

Determined not to allow the media spotlight to turn away from our client, the CEL team set out on a mission to find a local hook to the hurricane. CEL’s team walked from one end of the Art Fair to the other, on a mission to connect with Florida artists who had left their homes, not knowing what they would return to after the storm.

Six artist stories emerged, including a ceramicist from Lakeland, FL who had survived Hurricane Andrew 25 years ago by hovering in a closet with his wife and two young children as the hurricane ripped through his home. Now, 25-years later, his daughter and her husband were in Florida, bracing for impact once again.

Our artists’ stories not only became headline news in Saint Louis, they also ran on affiliate television stations across the country. We dramatically increased media coverage of the event, while driving compassionate art buyers to the booths of our Florida artists and beyond.

Published on: September 28, 2017