XAVIER LAUNCH-A-BUSINESS COMPETITION

  In its first two years, the Xavier Launch-a-Business Competition generated more than
  300 applications for new businesses, using a public relations campaign developed
  and managed by Elliot Grossman of Ashire Communications. The winners have
  the potential to generate hundreds or thousands of jobs.

  The public relations campaign won a Silver Award in the annual Blacksmith Awards
  Contest, which recognizes outstanding PR efforts in Greater Cincinnati. The contest
  is sponsored by the Public Relations Society of America.

  Background: The Williams College of Business wanted to support new businesses, so
  the College organized a competition for entrepreneurs. Winners are receiving support from
  the College’s faculty members and MBA students as well as members of the
  business community.

  Dean Ali Malekzadeh asked Elliot Grossman to organize the effort to generate applications.
  Grossman’s public relations strategy focused on these main points:
    •   To create web pages devoted to X-LAB. 
    •   To use public relations tactics and tools to drive people to those pages. That’s
  where people could find more details about X-LAB and the only place they could file
  their applications. 
    •   To use a variety of public relations tactics and tools because the news media and
  other ways to reach people have become so fragmented. No single media outlet
  reaches enough people anymore.

  Tactics included:
  •   A kickoff event designed to create a buzz in the business world. A key feature of
         this event was a student-actor who portrayed Benjamin Franklin. He delivered an
         opening monologue to engage the crowd. In addition to being a statesman, Franklin
         was a renowned entrepreneur.
  •   Traditional news media, including newspapers, TV and radio.
  •   Emails from the College’s network of supporters to their personal and
         professional networks.
  •   Announcements in digital publications produced by the University and College.
  •   Affinity groups, especially those focused on business, to spread our message to
         their members.
  •   Partnerships with established economic development programs.
  •   Postcards, which prominently featured our web address.
  •   A video introducing X-LAB.



 
                










           











 

                                                      


                                                             
                                                        
                                                            
                                       
                                     

                                          

“Without Elliot Grossman’s public relations efforts, the first phase of the Xavier Launch-a-Business Competition would not have been so successful. Elliot has the ability to coordinate multiple avenues while at the same time focusing on important details. He has great listening skills and a keen ability to ask the questions that need to be asked, to open up discussions that lead to the best solution. And Elliot has the ability to work smoothly with anyone – from our dean to our administrative assistants  to our technical support staff.”
Joseph Carter, Director, X-LAB; Visiting Professor, Management & Entrepreneurship, Xavier University

Marketing Communications for Nonprofits & Other Great Causes
Elliot Grossman, President
egrossman@ashire.net / 513-240-9801 / Loveland, Ohio