Ryan’s, a family-style restaurant that is part of the Ovation Brands portfolio of nationally recognized restaurants, are typically situated in smaller towns in the South. The two locations in Central Louisiana, Alexandria and Pineville, were the first to undergo a reinvention of the brand to feature their Southern Family Goodness initiative, updates to their food, décor and services to highlight the brand’s Southern roots. Ink Link Marketing was charged with promoting and publicizing these changes within the market. During campaign week, Ink Link developed an extensive and concentrated plan that combined media and community efforts that kept news about Ryan’s buzzing throughout the campaign period.
Ink Link leveraged the persona of the brand’s CEO, Anthony Wedo, to garner attention from the media and community leaders. Wedo was featured on the CBS hit reality series Undercover Boss, which portions were taped at both the Alexandria and Pineville Ryan’s, and was viewed as a “celebrity” within this market. Ink Link developed a media tour for Wedo, pitching him as a star from Undercover Boss, and leveraged those opportunities to speak about the changes to the brand in Central Louisiana.
Ink Link booked Wedo for various media and community opportunities that placed him in front of key audiences and business leaders.
The media tour consisted of the following appearances. Wedo spoke to his experience on Undercover Boss and utilized each of these opportunities to also speak about the Ryan’s reinvention.
Keynote speaker for Central Louisiana Chamber Strategic Luncheon hosted at the Alexandria Ryan’s – During this event, Wedo was interviewed by three different media groups, including the local daily paper and two local TV news stations Interviews on top radio morning shows – Wedo visited with three of the top radio stations in market, where in one morning, he hit a range of demos (AC top 40s, urban, and country)
Keynote speaker at Community Table event at Pineville Ryan’s – More than 30 community leaders and dignitaries attended this event, where Wedo spoke to Ryan’s commitment to the local community and its charities
Meet & Greet at Pineville Ryan’s – Wedo met with guests visiting the restaurant and conducted interviews with a local radio station, Q93, that was on site for a radio remote
In addition to the media and community efforts featuring Wedo, Ink Link also secured other opportunities to feature the brand.
Community segment on local CBS affiliate’s morning show to speak to the grand re-opening events to support the two restaurants
TV cooking segment on local CBS affiliate’s morning show featuring the Ryan’s corporate chef, where he showcased the new menu items at the restaurants
Radio interviews with an employee who was also featured on Undercover Boss
Calendar postings for the grand re-opening events, which were slated for the end of the media tour week
Within less than 48 hours, the Ryan’s brand was featured in at least five TV segments, seven radio interviews, one major print interview, and a number of online features and postings. Wedo also connected with over 100 of local dignitaries and business leaders, including the Mayor of Pineville, the Pineville Police Chief, the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce President, and more. Ryan’s and its CEO were literally everywhere, on-air and in-person, in these two neighboring small towns.
To add to the impact of the tour, Wedo made a check presentation to a local favorite charity, the Pineville Youth Center, which is backed by the City of Pineville. This presentation garnered additional media attention and helped set Ryan’s in a very favorable position within the community.