The AC Hotel Miami Beach opened in 2015 on a busy stretch of Collins Avenue across from the extremely successful Edition and its collection of high profile dining and nightlife outlets. The AC debuted a large bar called the AC Lounge and hired a local mixologist to run the cocktail program. However, the lounge received little press attention and failed to catch on with locals. It lacked street visibility and was visually unappealing with typical hotel lounge décor. Most nights it was deserted and ownership was looking for a way to revitalize it.

Marriott reached out to MST Creative PR for ways to make the outlet viable to Miami residents and garner press coverage. At the start, we were asked to brainstorm names for the bar and came up with a local spin on the gin and tonic, which was the focus of the program and a nod to the brand’s Spanish roots. We worked together with the team to identify a potential Head Bartender and, once he was secured, we handled the press outreach. Significant, sustained press over six months allowed Gin + Collins to secure an identity and boost bar traffic. Press outreach was managed by Miami native Andrew Quinzi from our offices in New York.

PR Goals:

  1. Position Gin + Collins as a destination for the local market
  2. Develop a local and national press outreach strategy
  3. Assist the property in consistency of messaging across all platforms – media, social media, in-house and external marketing outreach
  4. Coordinate all details necessary for the launch, from menu design to pertinent information for the press (fact sheets, bios, press releases, etc.)
  5. Train bar personnel for interaction with the media
  6. Secure a wide range of press coverage both during and after the opening period
  7. Set up media event introducing Gin + Collins to local media and influencers

Results:

  • Created the name and public identity for Gin + Collins
  • Secured opening and post-opening press mentions in more than 50 publications including the Miami Herald, Miami.com, Ocean Drive, Miami New Times, Liquor.com, Eater, Thrillist, UrbanDaddy, Time Out, Forbes, Supercall, Thirsty, BizBash, Zagat and more
  • Organized a media event that attracted more than a dozen local writers and influencers.
  • Gin + Collins was nominated for a 2017 Time Out Magazine bar award for best “Single-Focus Bar”
  • Within a few months of opening, Gin + Collins business had grown substantially from the levels achieved as the AC Lounge
  • Due to the success of the initial campaign, MST Creative was retained for an additional three months

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