In the News
HPR Clients…In the News

The media coverage generated for HPR’s clients spans a wide range of media—national consumer magazines, newspaper, radio, television and Internet. Our relationships generate results and coverage, keeping HPR clients positively positioned in the public eye.

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Case Studies

2013 Major Events
In the Summer of 2013, HPR planned and executed three events with significant importance to the golf community.
The Saint Andrew’s Golf Club in New
York is the oldest private golf club in the United States. To celebrate the club’s 125th anniversary, HPR was called in to help create compelling and appropriate events, as well as manage and promote a slate of tournaments, clinics, VIP appearances, and a gala dinner dance.

HPR managed the club’s ties with two benefitting charities — the Folds of Honor and The First Tee of Metropolitan New York— and interfaced with title sponsor, IZOD, and a who’s who of corporate supporters. The week of excitement culminated with
the Gala Anniversary Dinner Dance at
New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel. Among other tasks, HPR organized a celebrity roundtable on the future of golf, a multi-media presentation, and a cast of actors in period costume portraying golfers throughout history.

The next week, HPR managed the Reunion of U.S. Open Champions during the championship at Merion Golf Club. The event was two years in the planning and featured a roster of champions from Jack Fleck (1955) to Webb Simpson (2012) for an evening of recognition and celebration.

Working with the USGA, the club, outside suppliers, and the 27 U.S. Open winners and their representatives, HPR oversaw
all logistics for the evening—from flights to menu planning to gifts and group transportation—including the one-of-a-kind group photograph shown here.

The culmination of HPR’s event trifecta was managing a fundraiser in support of The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia, an evening highlighted by the appearance of President George W. Bush, who sat for a candid conversation with Mike Tirico of ESPN and ABC Sports. PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem, The First Tee CEO Joe Louis Barrow, and a host of other notables from the worlds
of business, politics, and sports were on hand to celebrate The First Tee’s 10 years of service to the Philadelphia area and raise $1million.

All planning and implementation was overseen by HPR, from speaker and guest arrangements to meals, plus all other logistics including working with the U.S. Secret Service and the President’s staff.

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Golf Course Renovations

Creating and executing a strategic media plan to launch a renovated golf course requires coordinating efforts that are similar, but in reality much different, than those that apply to the opening of a new facility. The focus of the key messages depends on how much of a connection to the past, if any, should be maintained, in creating the desired image for the property. The process can be shaped significantly by whether the original golf course architect is involved with the project, and in the early stages, it is important to identify the driving force behind the message.

Hunter Public Relations Special Events was retained by Bedford Springs Resort, a historic four-season resort situated in the Southern Allegheny Mountains of south-central Pennsylvania, to promote the property’s dramatic $120-million, three-year renovation and expansion that culminated with a grand reopening in July 2007. A significant part of the project was the masterful restoration of the legendary Bedford Springs Old Course.

HPR was extraordinarily successful with its studied and targeted national launch of this meticulous restoration of a golf industry landmark, which included the modernization of the course’s infrastructure and significant restoration of wetlands, all without compromising the integrity of the original design.

HPR developed and implemented a national awareness campaign that informed media about the project, strategically targeting national, regional and local media. HPR worked closely with renowned golf course architect Ron Forse, the head of Forse Design, to create a comprehensive media kit and formulate specific messages that would portray the redevelopment of the property in the most positive light.

HPR also developed storylines around the restoration and stabilization of Shobers Run, a tributary of the Juniata River, which was a major achievement in reviving the ecological balance of this special section of southern Pennsylvania.

HPR coordinated photo shoots, distributed key news releases and orchestrated signature events that successfully attracted media and booked guests.

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Bedford Springs Resort

Hunter Public Relations was extraordinarily successful with its studied and targeted national launch of Pennsylvania’s historic Bedford Springs Resort, following an intricate, multi-faceted renovation and expansion project.

The landmark, four-season resort, situated in the Southern Allegheny Mountains, underwent a dramatic, $120-million renovation and expansion. After three years of dedicated efforts, it culminated with a grand reopening in July 2007. HPR developed messages around the resurrection of the 185-acre Bedford Springs Hotel National Historic District’s seven historic buildings and eight natural mineral springs, as well as the restoration of the legendary spa, conference center and historic Bedford Springs Old Course.

HPR’s national awareness campaign informed media about the former springs hotel and National Landmark once known as the Carlsbad of America. HPR strategically targeted national, regional and local media, created a comprehensive media kit, managed professional photo shoots, distributed key news releases and orchestrated signature events that successfully attracted media and booked guests.

Special events developed and executed by HPR included:

  • Autumn Wine and Food Extravaganza featuring Bon Appetit
  • Cooks and Corks Weekend
  • 150th Anniversary of the Trans-Atlantic Cable
  • Women’s Wellness Weekend

At its 52nd annual Adrian Awards ceremonies, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) singled out Hunter Public Relations for its significant media-relations efforts on behalf of Bedford Springs Resort. HPR received a 2008 Bronze Adrian Award from HSMAI in the New Opening/Launch category, Public Relations division.

Coverage of the resort’s return appeared in numerous national and major market media, including USA Today, The Washington Post, WBAL TV (Baltimore), the Washingtonian, Spa magazine, National Geographic Traveler, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Woman and WUSA TV (Washington, D.C.).

HPR also managed efforts that resulted in Bedford Springs winning several prestigious awards from organizations such as the Society of America Travel Writers and Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Society.

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The Fine Art of Pampering

Spas are no longer an optional amenity for top-level resorts. Oftentimes, they define a resort and its reputation. Over the past six years, HPR has been involved in positioning and promoting the spas affiliated with its resort and private country club clients. In some cases, we were in on the ground floor of planning and brainstorming. For other clients, we came on board after a renovation to focus new attention on this important amenity.

HPR researches key features, indigenous ingredients, seasonal treatments and industry trends, in order to guide our spa clients to maximum media coverage. Each spa has its own special attributes and treatments, which HPR spotlights in a customized media-relations strategy. Usually, the plan calls for media visitations with spa writers, travel editors and health and fitness media, plus a heavy emphasis on high-quality visuals.

Months after a facility’s doors officially open, spas are kept in the forefront with distribution of updated photography, creation of gift packages that include signature treatments and body products and emphasis on holiday gift-giving opportunities, such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas.

In several cases, HPR’s pre-opening analysis determined that meeting planners place a high priority on selecting resorts with on-site spas. Hence, HPR placed a particular emphasis on targeting meeting publications for its clients with conference facilities. We’ve also researched and showcased trends, such as couples treatments, men-only areas and teen pampering.

Among the spas that have been promoted by HPR are:

  • Spa Minerale at Lansdowne Resort
  • Springs Eternal Spa at Bedford Springs Resort
  • Wintergarden Spa at Wintergreen Resort
  • Sage Springs Club and Spa at Sunriver Resort
  • Spa Coeur d’Alene at The Coeur d’Alene Golf & Spa Resort
  • The Spa at Trump National Golf Club, Westchester

According to Karen Moraghan, one of HPR’s principals, her agency’s spa work is testimony to its ability to work on myriad types of accounts. While we pride ourselves on the reputation we have built in the golf and resort industries, and through our deft orchestration of special events, our successful rollout of new and renovated spas shows just how versatile we can be.

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Sunriver Resort

When Sunriver Resort shifted its emphasis in hopes of becoming recognized as a premier golf destination, HPR designed a strategic, multi-layered publicity and promotional program. Over the span of three years, it took the previously regionally known resort, located in central Oregon, to recognition as one of the top ten golf resorts in America.

HPR launched Crosswater Golf Club in 1995 with a successful media blitz, which among other things, resulted in Golf Digest’s Best New Resort Course rating. The agency focused on the resort’s golf amenities, including the Meadows and Woodlands courses and the Sunriver Golf Learning Center, with an emphasis on the woman golfer.

Through its extensive network of golf industry contacts, HPR created and convened the Sunriver Resort Women’s Golf Forum. Bringing together a group of women from all areas of the golf industry, the Forum helped Sunriver develop strategies on how to better serve the needs of women golfers. This endeavor further enhanced Sunriver’s reputation for serving the needs of women golfers, landing it among Golf for Women’s top-rated resorts in the country. The Forum met biennially from 1997 to 2003.

In 2000, HPR garnered considerable media coverage for the Meadows Course, which reopened after a year-long $3.2 million renovation.

HPR’s twelve-year relationship with Sunriver Resort was highlighted by an ever-increasing amount of positive media coverage on a national basis. The client recognized the fruits of HPR’s efforts with a demonstrated increase in across-the-board revenues, demand for tournament play on its golf courses and its first-ever designation as a GOLF Magazine Gold Medal resort.

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Sand Hollow Resort

In 2006, award-winning golf course architect John Fought, of John Fought Design, took on a project amid some 900 acres of scenic, red-rock terrain in Southern Utah, close to Zion National Park. This project would result in a world-class destination resort golf course called Sand Hollow Resort.

Understanding the keen competition within the destination golf resort industry, Fought knew it was imperative for the development team at Sand Hollow Resort to quickly seize the attention of the regional media. Fought, a former star golfer at Brigham Young University and later on the PGA Tour, recommended that the development team utilize HPR, which had helped generate significant publicity for his company the past six years.

HPR wasted little time in determining the strategies that needed to be developed and how best to create media interest in a resort being developed 15 minutes from St. George, Utah––a region that has fast become one of the west’s top destinations, with year-round warm weather, excellent golf courses and proximity to a recreational paradise.

Ultimately, HPR orchestrated a sneak preview news conference at Thanksgiving Point Golf Club, a sister course to Sand Hollow, during the annual Nokia Champions Challenge, a two-day golf tournament featuring prominent PGA and LPGA Tour players. Though the event was held in Lehi (close to Salt Lake City), some four hours north of Sand Hollow Resort, HPR locked into the built-in media audience that the new project was seeking.

Determining the most effective day and time for a presentation, HPR presented designer Fought along with the Sand Hollow team at a news conference, strategically linked with a media luncheon and special gift (an Odyssey putter for all who attended). An introductory press kit and video overview of the project were created and distributed to the media as well, with HPR staff on site to facilitate media needs.

The event drew near-unanimous attendance from the local and regional print and electronic media. The announcement drew prime placement on the evening newscasts, as well as significant stories in regional newspapers, including the prominent Deseret Morning News. In addition, national club and golf trade publications picked up the story in the ensuing months, adding to the momentum being built.

The execution of the news conference at Thanksgiving Point was an effective first step in media outreach for a resort that is certain to become a well-known destination.

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HPR’s full-service capabilities include the ability to envision, create and execute a strategy to produce quality publications. The agency was a driving force behind the launch of the community magazine of Reynolds Plantation, Linger Longer, and contributes significant editorial content for each issue of Overlook on behalf of Wintergreen Resort in Wintergreen, Virginia.

With more than 50 years of combined editorial and publication management skills, HPR boasts an award-winning pedigree in feature writing, no matter the subject. That has allowed HPR to serve as a major influence on the planning, presentation and ultimate success of both Linger Longer and Overlook quarterly magazines. Our content contributions have included cover stories, in-depth profiles and special reports on upcoming events, as well as assorted themed essays on respective resort-related topics.

HPR also contributes content to independent golf websites and magazines and annually provides statistical updates and editorial summaries for the official media guide of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

HPR has provided essential editorial assistance in the production of several books. Our work includes editing, writing and direction for Building Champions by Dr. Bee Epstein-Shepherd (Becoming Press, 2005), which HPR then launched with a media outreach campaign.

In addition, HPR provided valuable consultation and measurable execution to client Golf Odyssey in its launch of Guide to Planning the Ultimate Golf Vacation and Planning the Ultimate Bandon Dunes Golf Vacation.

On behalf of Reynolds Plantation, HPR worked to select the graphic designer, writer and printer for Linger Longer: The History of Reynolds Plantation, (Linger Longer Development Company, 2006), now in its fifth printing.

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Golf Course Openings

Creating a buzz has never been difficult for Donald Trump. But when Trump personally redesigned a golf course along the Pacific Ocean, which had been best known for a landslide that wiped away the 18th hole, he needed more spin control than he ever had with a lob wedge.

There were numerous issues surrounding the revival of Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles. Chief among the concerns were the environmentally sensitive habitats, indigenous plants and fragile ecosystem on which the holes were designed, plus strict coastal regulations.

Utilizing Hunter Public Relations’ finely crafted strategies and solid connections to national and regional golf media, the unveiling came about in blockbuster fashion. The print and electronic media consistently delivered key messages about the course’s breathtaking views, environmental sensitivity and superior course conditions and the club’s luxurious clubhouse.

HPR was also called upon by Trump to introduce Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster in New Jersey to the world. In its inaugural year, it debuted at No. 48 in GOLF Magazine’s Top 100 American Courses.

Then in 2000, HPR created unprecedented media anticipation for the end-of-the-year opening of Ocean Hammock, the Jack Nicklaus Signature Design on Florida’s northeast coastline. Within three months of opening, the golf course was cited by GOLF Magazine as one of the Top Ten New Golf Courses its readers could play, and it later was named one of Golf Digest‘s Top Ten Upscale Courses.

When the fifth hole of the world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Links underwent a transformation by Jack Nicklaus, the Pebble Beach Company called upon HPR to orchestrate the media coverage. The results were striking, including a new ranking as the No. 1 golf course in the world by Golf Digest.

In 2007, HPR contributed to the opening of the first private course within the award-winning Reynolds Plantation community The Creek Club, designed by Jim Engh. The course has been recognized by GOLF Magazine as among the Top Ten New Private Courses to open in the past year.

From the earliest stages of conceptualization through the opening events and, perhaps most importantly, for six months after the grand opening, HPR works closely with the marketing team, golf course architects and membership sales personnel to create and execute strategies for maximum visibility. HPR handles everything from event conception, punch lists, invitations and invitation lists, to speech writing, press kit development, gift selection, photography and event execution.

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Golf Course Architects

Since its inception, HPR has enjoyed working relationships with some of the most respected golf course architects and design firms in the world.

Through the years, the list has included the legendary names of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and Greg Norman. Other designers include several whose image have been enhanced by HPR: Jim Engh, Ron Forse, Gene Bates and, most notably, John Fought.

Throughout 2007, HPR created media anticipation for world-class competition on Fought courses that landed the former U.S. Amateur Champion on the cover of Golfweek magazine. The outreach also made Fought the center of attention in numerous magazine and newspaper feature stories, including Sports Illustrated. In the process, Fought’s profile in the industry is rising, and he has become one of the most highly sought-after architects in the business.

HPR’s understanding and appreciation for the golf course architect is shown in many ways. It certainly was evident in its outreach for the Old Course at Bedford Springs Resort, which reopened in 2007. Working side-by-side with Forse Design, HPR combed through historical information in order to shed light on the significance of resurrecting the course with holes designed by Spencer Oldham (1895), A.W. Tillinghast (1912) and Donald Ross (1923). Forse, whose meticulous dedication to restoring classic courses is highly respected, garnered Restoration of the Year honors from Golf Inc. for the Bedford Springs project.

In contrast, HPR showed its versatility by working with Donald Trump, whose signature as a golf course designer often materializes in Disneyesque waterfalls. HPR nonetheless provided Trump with perfectly executed media strategies that resulted in his courses being more universally accepted and awarded by the media.

And the HPR beat goes on. Among its newer clients is Phil Mickelson Design, in conjunction with the firm’s first project, River Rock, outside of Asheville, North Carolina.

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Commemorative Celebrations and Grand Events

HPR is unrivaled in its planning and coordinating of commemorative anniversary celebrations. Since its great success with the United States Golf Association’s Centennial year (1995-96), during which the agency created and managed many activities, including galas on both coasts, HPR has become a key resource for golf associations and other organizations celebrating significant anniversaries.

Additionally, our team has coordinated celebrations for labor unions, charities and championships, including the Walker Cup, Girls Junior and U.S. Open Champions reunions. Most recently, HPR has been involved in the planning for the reopening of the USGA Museum and Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History in Far Hills, New Jersey.

Special attention is paid to detail and planning, creativity and design. HPR’s programs range from gala dinners to traveling exhibits to Hollywood-type extravaganzas. In addition, a commemorative book, collage or video provides memorable keepsakes for attendees to take home.

The agency’s breadth of experience and media database offers an advantage to planning any anniversary or commemorative occasion.

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