After being contracted to provide 245 Hollywood-style zombie masks for The Walking Dead Escape event touring both nationally and internationally, Composite Effects (CFX) was told the day before the first event in Baton Rouge that was to kick-off to the U.S. tour that their products and services would no longer be used. For eight weeks leading up to this event, The Walking Dead Escape used their affiliation with CFX as a key selling point for the event and CFX had assisted with media relations and opened doors to a variety of local businesses. How would CFX tell the public that they would no longer get the CFX experience? They turned to FC for the solution.
FC immediately went to work to develop a strategy for reputation management and to garner media coverage to get CFX’s message out. Working quickly, FC contacted local media outlets in advance of that evening’s Baton Rouge event. Television crews were dispatched to the warehouse, where the 245 masks provided a ghoulish backdrop to this horror story. FC developed talking points, coordinated media interviews, wrote and distributed press releases and followed up to ensure the coverage received protected CFX’s reputation.
After receiving massive coverage locally, the story was picked up both in social media and by national media outlets, providing thousands of dollars in earned media for the company. Several outlets proceeded with follow-up stories after a negative comment was caught on tape, which even led to Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden to stand in CFX’s defense. What began as a reputation management effort quickly transformed into a support campaign for CFX, with companies and individuals standing up for CFX through the #ICareAboutCFX hashtag. The coverage even resulted in new opportunities for the company, including a philanthropic partnership with the Louisiana International Film Festival. Feigley Communications subsequently handled the public relations for that partnership.