PR Campaign For An Unknown Jewel

Bonsai Gardens at Lake Merritt

CHALLENGE: The Bonsai Gardens at Lake Merritt has operated for over 20 years in a quiet corner on the eastern edge Lake Merritt. Internationally known for Bonsai enthusiasts around the globe, the gardens had been an undiscovered jewel for locals who might be interested in science and serenity in a corner of Oakland.

SOLUTION: MediaWorks developed a PR campaign to create buzz around private classes conducted by world-renowned bonsai master, who annually comes from Japan to work at the Garden. Although he had come many times before, there was never media outreach to the local press to know about his classes. MediaWorks conducted a local full court press to get reporters and cameras to the garden during the Master’s stay in Oakland.
We also coordinated a garden party showcase the improvements in the facility due to a private donation from a donor – from new irrigation systems and signage and new paint (some of which MediaWorks was able to get donated from local merchants).

  • PR Counsel to uncover media opportunities
  • Work with local businesses and individuals to secure donations
  • Media Outreach
  • Placement of 2 print and 2 TV stories over a three-week period
  • Coordination of a reception for donors and dignitaries

RESULT: The garden has saw a 10% increase in foot traffic throughout the year.

From SF Gate: Bonsai master Yasuo Mitsuya visits Oakland garden