Buffalo Bayou Park Grand Opening


Buffalo Bayou Park: A ‘Central Park’ for Houston comes to life

In 2015, Buffalo Bayou Partnership – a leading environmental non-profit organization – entered its final year of renovations to Buffalo Bayou Park. A completion celebration was planned, accompanied by a communications strategy developed in partnership with Elmore Public Relations, to drive awareness of and attendance to the public opening and position the $58 million project as a transformational park locally and nationally. Despite a historic flood weeks before the planned opening which necessitated a rescheduling of the opening, the team delivered an extraordinary public celebration drawing record attendance, garnering significant news coverage and solidifying the non-profit’s reputation for delivering high-caliber capital projects.

Goals


Grow size of audience through:

  • Media Relations
  • Media Sponsorship

Timeline


Planning/Development
12-18 months

Execution/Implementation
6 months

Results

Through earned media relations, 192 stories were published/aired locally earning an estimated $4.1 million in publicity value and 64 stories were published/aired regionally and nationally earning an estimated $4.4 million in publicity value. An estimated 25,000 attended the park grand opening on Oct. 3, 2015. Forbes referred to Buffalo Bayou Park as “urban America’s latest grand-scale downtown waterfront reclamation project, with the potential to become Houston’s de facto Central Park.” While Dallas Morning News described the park as “a bit of nirvana.”

Three media partnerships were executed with KHOU TV (CBS affiliate), Houston Chronicle and Houston Public Media (NPR affiliate) for a combined value of more than $100,000 in in-kind sponsorship.

The communications strategy for the grand opening earned a Public Relations Society of America Houston Gold Excalibur Award in 2016.