After reporting last year about the sad state of public relations activities at the American Royal BBQ last year with local volunteers and a pitiful media room, things have improved this year with the hiring of a PR firm from Washington, according to a local reporter.
Whereas last year there was a table with some chips and water on it for the media, this year the media room was upstairs in the American Royal offices, in one of the themed conference rooms at the end of a long hall—if you could find it.
“No signs were outside the Royal offices noting its location which made finding it a bit of a challenge,” he says. ”As you can see by the picture, it was spacious and well appointed. Although not in the picture, there were actually Royal volunteers staffing the room and they were quite helpful, asking if I had any questions about the Royal or Kansas City in general.
“The table was stocked w/ maps, PR packets and general Royal information as well. The food: bottled water, cookies, donuts, chips and the like. There were even volunteer ambassadors standing at the gates to the parking lots passing out site maps and information to attendees.”
He did say, however, that there seemed to be no local PR presence to assist reporters.
“Still however, there didn’t seem to be anyone local taking the lead on the PR front,” he noted. “Business cards for Jennifer Brand of Brand Solutions Group were stuck to everything in the media room. The main phone # on the card was a Washington DC number and the cell # was a St. Charles MO cell number which I found interesting. Their web site says they specialize in entrepreneurs and lawyers.”
“It was better than last year but not what I would expect from a world class event like the Royal,” he said. “There are a ton of highly qualified and talented PR agencies here in town that are hungry for the work. Given Kansas City owns this event, I would certainly take my search for next year’s event inside, rather than go with an inside the Beltway firm that does lawyer work.”