Pi In The Sky

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A pie-in-the-sky goal, according to Dictionary.com, is “preposterously optimistic.”

Last night we learned preposterous is always possible.

But first, a quick back story…

In the summer of 2012, CEO Marsha Friedman other team members of EMSI Public Relations including me were scouting locations in Wesley Chapel, Fla., to relocate the headquarters of this national marketing firm.

As we toured buildings, we imagined the rooms filled with the people already on staff doing what they do best: booking TV appearances and radio interviews, securing editorial print coverage and developing newsworthy articles and media pitches for our clients.

At the time, we already had a great social media staff of two, but Marsha knew growing that division would be key to the company’s expansion.

In our hunt for new quarters, as we stood in the various offices and conference rooms, we looked to the future. We talked about how one day we might need to tear down this wall or that to create the Google-like space, beanbag chairs and all, we envisioned for the robust, high-energy team of creative social media strategists we’d build.

Back to last night …

AirSign, one of our clients, in conjunction with an artist named ISHKY, coordinated an amazing aerial public art spectacle over South by Southwest. Five synchronized aircraft spent nearly two hours writing 527 numbers of pi (3.14) across the sky. The display, a surprise to almost all who witnessed it, opened with the planes spelling out our social media hashtag, #PiInTheSky.

IMG_20140313_190823_476Because the event wasn’t scheduled to take place until 7:28 PM Tampa Bay time, we bought some pi(zza), wings and beer and hunkered down to stay late and deliver mass media and digital coverage for our client.

While the print team of Ginny Grimsley and Jennifer Lee coordinated interviews and placements for AirSign CEO Patrick Walsh with the Austin American-Statesman, TIME.com, and more, Russ Handler  booked TV appearances.

In our social media division, the energy was infectious. As Creative Director Penny Carnathan put it on Facebook, “Tonight, our PR firm reminded me of election nights in the newsroom — but loads more fun.”

IMG_20140313_190903_358Our digital division recently grew to four strategists — Jay York, Jonathan Sellers, Josh Wheeler and Jeremy Juhasz. They were a symphony of loud, happy (judging from the laughter) teamwork. They’d developed a really smart social media strategy and their edgy execution paid off in enough social shares and engagement to send  #PiInTheSky viral. It was trending nationwide at No. 2 last night on Twitter. (You’ll be able to read the marketing case study soon here on the website.)

It was an amazingly proud experience to be involved with such a cool viral event.

Pie in the sky?

A week ago, we tore down a wall in our still-new offices to create the full-throttle social media room we’d envisioned not so long ago.

Last night, we soared with #PiInTheSky @ #SXSW.

Everything is possible.

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