Public Relations Project for the Carnegie Science Center

This pitch was created by my team for our Intro to Ad/PR class.

Carnegie Science Center (click link to view PDF or read in WordPress after the jump)

Introducing the New Public Relations Program

of the

Carnegie Science Center


Presented By

Amanda Toledo

Ahmed Zainal

Shannon Turgeon

Gabrielle Davis-Jones

Jane McAnallen



Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes, and off-site education programs.

(via a press release)


The Publics



  • Employees

o   Adults (of all ages)

o   Male and Female

o   Interested in science

o   Middle class

o   Pittsburgh area

o   Outgoing

o   Enjoys education as well

o   Likes the idea of informing visitors/helping them out

  • Volunteers

o   Located in the Pittsburgh area

o   Teen 14 – 18

o   Adult 18+

o   Be available

o   Enjoys science and the cool things about it

o   Middle class

o   Male and Female

o   Likes learning and teaching others, especially children

  • Boards

o   Located in Pittsburgh area

o   30+

o   Have interest in the well being of the science center

o   Middle class

o   Male and Female



  • Customers

o   All ages

  • Especially families and children

o   Male and Female

o   Typically middle class

o   Looking for entertainment and fun

o   Desires interactive displays and educational stimulus

o   Wants to be informed in a fun way

o   Interested in science at least a little bit

o   Not necessarily Pittsburgh residents, but more likely to be

o   Desires to be educated

  • Communities

o   The immediate Pittsburgh area

o   Upper class, white

o   Adults 30+

o   Male and female

o   Business folks

o   Cultured, interested in art

o   Pittsburgh Tourism

o   Point Park University

o   Art Institute of Pittsburgh

o   Duquesne

o   Pittsburgh University

  • Students
  • 19-25
  • Male and female
  • Middle class and Upper Class
  • Donors


o   Located near the Pittsburgh area

o   Adults 30+

o   Enjoys and appreciates science and what the center has to offer.

o   Middle class to Upper class lifestyle and income

o   Male and Female

o   Highmark

  • News Media

o   Pittsburgh Post Gazette

o   Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

o   KDKA

o   Pittsburgh Magazine


  • Social Media

o   Those interested in technology

o   Interested in being updated on what is going on at the science center

o   Interested in science and space!

  • Government

o   City government – Local mayor attempting to make Pittsburgh more of a tourist attracted city

o   Tax breaks and transparency within the company

o   Events outside of science center – need communication with city for permits and money

  • Mayor might want to stop by and show support




It is the only Science center in Pittsburgh. This means that it has very little competition. So it has a very strong reputation among the inhabitants of Pittsburgh. It reaches more than 700,000 people annually, meaning they have a very strong customer base and loyalty. It’s open to all ages and is fun and friendly towards families. Since it’s open to all ages, would attract a large population of people. Besides it being fun and interactive for children, events for adults are held as well (such as the 21+ nights.)


The hours are short and the exhibits don’t change for a long time, leaving the museum with customers who visit us once or with long periods in between visits. In addition, many of the exhibits are costly and have expensive maintenance, creating fewer funds for new exhibits, donations, and the public relations program. Some of the exhibits are growing old and may be outdated, such as roboworld.


We can offer special discounts and tours for college students, as well as events. Being that the center is in a city with several large universities such as Pitt and CMU, it is very important to view college students as a target market. Holding events at the beginning of every fall and spring semesters, and offering reduced admissions for them will help generate more interest in science among the students. Also, concerning the robotic exhibits, Carnegie Mellon University students could some of the Science Center’s exhibit space to show off their skills in engineering with their own robots.


The only other competition this center could have would be the Children’s Museum. Since it is not a science museum, and since it is for children only, it doesn’t pose a large threat for the Science Center. The center spans a wide range of ages, and is focused on science obviously.


Media and Messages



–      Keeps visitors interested in the museum

–      Great way to show off new exhibits and what is going on

–      Able to promote science and space in a fun and captivating way

–      Stresses education and the educational value that the science center offers

–      Entices people to come to the museum

–      Pictures are a great way to connect with the publics

o   Along with keeping a steady influence in social media


Preliminary and additional primary research

–      Observations at events

–      Observations at the Science Center, tracking customers as they move through the center

–      Surveys at the end of the Science Center

–      Trip Advisor –


Action Plan


Our major objectives include:

–          Make the Carnegie Science Center seem fun, interesting, and approachable for everyone.

–          Gain 100 followers per month on pre-existing social media accounts and create an Instagram account

–          Hold four successful events that change seasonally throughout the entire year


Key Publics

Donors: The Science Center wants to tell donors that they can contribute something to Pittsburgh. We want donors to perceive us as an organization that is worthwhile to donate to. We would like donors to continue donating to the Science Center. We will provide free tickets to the Science Center for donors and their families and create a bi-yearly creative video to show what’s new and exciting with the science center.

Customers: The Science Center wants to tell its customers that we appreciate their visits. We also want them to know that with every ticket purchased, we will donate to the PGH Promise, which will help Pittsburgh Public Schools bring more field trips and business to the Science Center. We want customers to perceive us as a fun, interesting place that has something for everyone. We want our customers to take advantage of our discounted tickets for Arbor Day and our special seasonal events (such as the Earth Day fair and the Polar Exploration exhibit.)

Community: The Science Center wants to tell the Pittsburgh community that we are giving back and are placing a greater emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. We want the community to view us as an organization that is interesting and fun but still gives back and educates Pittsburgh. We want the community to visit us, follow us on social media and spread the word about our organization.

Volunteers: The Science Center wants to tell volunteers that they can give back to the community and make Pittsburgh smarter. We want volunteers to see us as a worthwhile organization to invest their time in and we ultimately want them to volunteer with us. We will also provide a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner to recognize volunteers and their efforts, name a “star volunteer” who gets a special gift, and provide all volunteers with small gifts as a “thank you” from the organization. In addition, we offer monthly meetings for employees and volunteers to express new ideas, opinions, and suggestions.

Government: The Science Center wants to tell the government that we are valuable to Pittsburgh and that they can give back to Pittsburgh. We want the government to perceive us as an organization that is working hard to make Pittsburgh a better place. We would like the government to donate and/or support us.

Employees: The Science Center wants to thank employees and tell them that the work they are doing is important. We want employees to perceive us as an organization that is fun and worthwhile to work for and we would like our employees to continue working with us.  We will also provide an Employee Gala,
which is a semi-formal gala for employee appreciation that will be catered, have music, etc. In addition, we will provide free visits and tours to Science Center board members so they can view the wellbeing and upkeep of the Science Center. Finally, employees should know that we offer monthly meetings for employees and volunteers to express new ideas, opinions, and suggestions.

Key Messages

  • The Carnegie Science Center is fun, interesting, and features something for everyone.
  • The Carnegie Science Center gives back to the Pittsburgh community and works to make Pittsburgh smarter.
  • The Carnegie Science Center appreciates donors, customers, the community, volunteers, government, and employees who visit and give back to the Science Center.



January-March: Polar Exploration Exhibit

An exhibit that focuses on polar exploration which will target children and families.

Exhibit will feature items such as dog sleds and igloos for children to interact with and include information about famous people in history who explored the poles and the cold weather. The goal of this exhibit is to educate children and families and to prove that the Science Center offers relevant, interesting exhibits.

April-June: Earth Day Fair at Point State Park

A fair that will educate the general public about Earth Day and the importance of being kind to the environment.

This event will include a tree-planting ceremony and will feature booths from Pittsburgh environmental charities such as Friends of the Riverfront. The goals of this event include gaining additional media coverage, attracting more customers, and creating more science interest in general.

July-September: “College Week”

A weeklong event that will be marketed towards incoming and returning college students.

Features of this event will include discounts for the Science Center entrance fee and gift shop.  The goal of this event is to raise awareness of the Science Center among universities and their students.

October-December: Christmas Exhibit with robotic trains

A holiday-themed exhibit targeting children and families.

This display will show the Science Center’s diversity in programs with the ultimate goal of raising awareness of the offerings that the Science Center has.


Communication Program


Tools and Techniques

  • Social Media – effective for connecting with customers and keeping them engaged with the CSC. Also very useful for gaining feedback. Actively used by millennials and parents.
  • Events – great for drawing in new customers and keeping the CSC interesting and relevant. Can also earn us media coverage.
  • Promotional Incentives – very useful for targeting and engaging specific demographics, in our case millennials.
  • Earned media coverage – helps with our credibility as a scientific institution and as a family-focus service.


We need to be consistent with our message across our publications, press releases and social media accounts. We also need to ensure that our message present on all social media channels and traditional media, to cover all demographics and reach all publics.

Social media is an excellent way to engage in two-way communications with our publics, as will our research methods of surveys and observation.



  • Begin promotions for the Polar Exhibit is November 2014
  • Emphasize children interacting factor and that they learn about science and history.
  • Launch Instagram account
  • Release social media content showing previews of the exhibit and children interacting with the exhibit focus on Facebook and Pinterest.
  • Focus on social media engagement


  • Begin contacting sponsors for Earth Day Fair at Point State Park in January.
  • Begin contacting vendors in February.
  • Maintain consistent and transparent contact with government agencies to use park and clearly communicate all guidelines with vendors.
  • Begin promotions in March with social media campaign and traditional advertising.
  • Emphasize local groups, activities for children and attractions for millennials.
  • Focus on social media and highlighting activities and vendors.
  • Contact media in beginning of April.


  • Send promotional materials for College Week to colleges and universities in August
  • Emphasize incentives – free entrance and discount gift shop with college ID.
  • Start promoting College Week two weeks before and the week of on social media.
  • Emphasize exhibits, interactivity and gift shop items.


  • Start promoting train exhibit as holiday family activity in mid-October
  • Use traditional advertising and social media.
  • Utilize Instagram to show intricacies of train exhibit.
  • Continue campaign through January 2016.


Evaluation Systems


-To ensure that we are achieving our goal of making the Science Center seem fun, interesting, and approachable for everyone, we will have to create surveys for visitors to fill out once they leave the Center.  This will allow us to monitor our progress with this goal and make changes as needed.

-To assure that we achieve our goal of reaching a certain number of social media followers per month, we will have an employee monitor our follower counts. We will also make sure that the public is aware of our social media accounts by providing them with our account usernames on posters throughout the Science Center. Finally, we will hold social media contests to draw attention to our accounts and provide followers with prizes.

-To make sure that our events and exhibits are successful, we will have to appropriately market them on social media and with flyers, billboards, advertisements, etc. In addition, we will hand out surveys and have employees speak to those who attend our events/exhibits to make any changes and see what we are doing correctly.





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