First Night Toronto
Media Relations and Promotions
December 31 – Harbourfront (1999, 2000) and SkyDome (2001, 2002)

First Night® is a not-for-profit charitable organization that holds a year-end arts and culture celebration that is community based, family oriented and alcohol free in over two hundred cities worldwide.

Ashworth Associates was contracted by First Night Toronto for four festivals to develop an effective public relations program to increase the profile of First Night Toronto.

The media campaign was executed in two phases. Phase One targeted long lead listings and magazines and Phase Two targeted short leadtime including mainstream and community newspaper, radio, television, and ethnic media in the GTA.

We planned the annual press conference to kick-off ticket sales, worked with local politicians to secure their attendance at the press conference and solicited them to write letters of support for the programme. We worked with the politicians’ offices to arrange speaking notes and agendas.

Media releases, alerts and a complete press kit that included mini bios on all artists that were performing were written by Ashworth Associates and distributed to media in advance and at First Night Toronto.

Ashworth Associates worked with radio stations promotions departments to set-up contests and ticket give-aways.

We worked with the First Night Team to stage a successful photo opportunity featuring a number of performers a week before First Night to obtain additional advance coverage.

Ashworth Associates was the on site contact in the media centre to arrange all interviews with the Director of First Night Toronto and performers.

Coverage for this annual event included advance coverage on Breakfast Television and Rogers Daytime as well as crews from City TV, Global, CTV New Toronto, OMNI, CBC TV, Rogers and Fairchild Television. Features were written in the news and entertainment section of the Toronto Sun, The Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, The National Post, 24 Hours, Sing Ta Daily News, Ming Pao Daily News and L’Express.

The average annual PR Value for First Night Toronto was over $1 million.