Local and Regional PR Efforts Lead with Laughter to Build Brand Awareness

How this Case Study may be relevant to you: This example of work illustrates Break the Ice Media’s strengths in leveraging local and regional PR to build brand awareness and promote visitation from nearby drive markets.  

As of January 2021, we earned over 265.6M media impressions in national outlets and in key regional drive markets.

Photo Credit: National Comedy Center
Photo Credit: National Comedy Center

Situational Analysis

The National Comedy Center opened in August 2018 and received many accolades in the months following – including being named Best New Museum by USA Today. The museum’s guest experience is often touted as second to none and their net promoter score is 81-83. The National Comedy Center continues to bring huge name exhibits and artifacts from comedy legends into its museum – keeping the news high and attractions fresh for returning visitors.

The Challenge

With the freshness of the museum's opening beginning to wane and the difficulties faced around the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Comedy Center wanted to add proactive public relations into its marketing mix to boost awareness and drive visitation to this world-class cultural attraction.​​

Photo Credit: National Comedy Center
Photo Credit: National Comedy Center


  • Increase brand awareness for The National Comedy Center and new museum offerings​
  • Seek third party endorsements of The National Comedy Center through proactive PR, media and influencer relations​
  • Drive traffic to The National Comedy Center website​
  • Inspire visitation and increase attendance, while promoting the new LaughSafe Program

Strategic Insight

Position the Center as a place where laughter promotes mental health and wellness, while keeping physical health in mind. Share the experiences that make the National Comedy Center a must-see destination for all ages, especially in the time of COVID-19.

Research told us that during the pandemic, the first visitors to return would be from local and regional markets. These travelers cared about health, safety, trust and flexibility above all when making travel plans. In addition, laughter holds a healing power, with comedy as a tool to regain power and perspective during a challenging time.

Photo Credit: National Comedy Center

Strategic Approach

  • Emphasize the one-of-a-kind experience as well as health and safety measures found at the National Comedy Center
  • Build off the affinity that people have for comedy of today and American nostalgia for comedy legends of the past
  • Tell the story of how the National Comedy Center came to be and the tie of Jamestown to Lucille Ball
  • Draw attention to the Jamestown community, the Chautauqua-Allegany Region and Western NY among local and regional drive markets
Photo Credit: National Comedy Center
Photo Credit: National Comedy Center
Photo Credit: National Comedy Center
Photo Credit: National Comedy Center


  • Public Relations Strategy
  • Proactive Local & Regional Public Relations
  • Reactive Local & Regional Public Relations
  • Ongoing Pitching & Outreach
  • Blogger & Influencer Relations
  • Media FAM Coordination
  • Measurement & Tracking


Results as of January 2021*

  • 22 coordinated feature stories or broadcast coverage around key messages
  • 265,661,479+ total media impressions around key messages
  • Gift guide coverage leading up to Christmas 2020 announcing the new online ”Comedy Shop” and new merchandise offerings
  • Upcoming: Coordination of 2-3 spring media familiarization tours with media and influencer outlets in NYS drive markets of Hudson Valley, Saratoga Springs/Albany, and Syracuse DMA

*Efforts ongoing
Photo Credit: National Comedy Center

Result Highlights

  • Dedicated coverage of the National Comedy Center Anywhere online streaming platform on Forbes.com (among other outlets)
  • Dedicated coverage of the National Comedy Center’s Reopening, LaughSafe Program and Lucille Ball Virtual Comedy Festival in key drive markets of Rochester & Buffalo
  • Dedicated coverage of I Love Lucy Day and broadcast celebrity interview with Keith Thibodeaux (“Little Ricky” actor)