LCI client Graton Resort & Casino (Graton), a AAA Four Diamond property in Rohnert Park, is owned/operated by Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. As COVID restrictions loosened, LCI partnered with Graton’s employee union, UNITE HERE, for a public relations campaign showcasing Graton’s minimum wage increase (one of America’s highest), which became a national model.
- Timing: LCI timed the announcement to the Federal government’s failure to pass a new minimum wage nationally and to positively position the casino as properties re-opened following COVID.
- Partnerships: LCI partnered with UNITE HERE to find team members with heartwarming stories to communicate “good news” during COVID.
- News strategy: LCI employed a “bubble up” news strategy, first pitching local media, creating runway for national media interest.
- National distribution: LCI distributed a national data-driven news story over the wire to create a digital footprint and better SEO.
- Exclusive: LCI offered NBC Nightly News an exclusive for its COVID-inspired Friday night “good news” segment.
- Financial: LCI then nationally pitched the financial advantages of the increased wage for employers.
- National placements included NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, NPR’s All Things Considered, org, iGaming News, BBC, MSN and Yahoo! .
- Local/regional media coverage included San Francisco Chronicle, Press Democrat, KQED Forum, KCBS Radio, KRON-TV, North Bay Business Journal and more.
- Successful messaging: Stories focused on how the increase changed team members’ lives and the wage’s economic benefits, including a slot worker able to finish college.
- Retention/recruitment: Graton retained nearly all 2,000 employees when industry turnover was at an all-time high. Glassdoor reviews improved.
- National model: Graton became a national example – an employer providing a living wage for all its employees, especially during the challenging COVID pandemic.