Emeril Lagasse Foundation logo.

Emeril Lagasse Foundation Zehnder Case Study

The Client
Emeril Lagasse Foundation

Founded in 2002 by Chef Emeril Lagasse and his wife Alden, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity headquartered in New Orleans. The Foundation’s mission is to create opportunities to inspire, mentor and enable youth to reach their full potential through culinary, nutrition and arts education. Since its inception, Emeril Lagasse Foundation has granted more than $10 million to children’s charities to support culinary, nutrition and arts programs. Zehnder assists the foundation with PR and marketing efforts.
The Strategy
Fueling Fundraising Efforts

Our scope of work for the foundation involves local, regional and national media relations, community relations, messaging development, social media consultation and online newsroom content development. This includes collaboration and coordination with several external organizations and teams including: Emeril’s corporate communications team; the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau; and the foundation’s beneficiaries and donors.

Fundraising is a crucial part of the Foundation’s efforts and is provided primarily through its annual signature events. Zehnder plays a key role in designing, managing and promoting these events, as well as maintaining ongoing communication with media members and influencers throughout the year to ensure attendance and coverage remains high. In 2017, Zehnder’s event marketing efforts for the Emeril Lagasse Foundation earned an Award of Excellence from the New Orleans Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Increasing Event Attendance

Zehnder is deeply involved in event planning, promotion and on-the-ground social media activation for the Foundation’s renowned Boudin, Bourbon & Beer and Carnivale du Vin events. The client relies on Zehnder to develop an outreach plan and timeline, build and sustain awareness and drive ticket sales. Every year, our PR department distributes a number of press releases, pitches local, state and regional media and bloggers, handles intake and processing of all press pass applications, develops shot lists and coordinates media interviews with participating chefs and the Foundation’s president. These efforts help ensure a seamless, successful event weekend that significantly contributes to fundraising efforts and brand awareness.

Creating Community Through Community Stories

Zehnder helped create an online community for the Emeril Lagasse Foundation through original, inspiring digital content. The content we produce for Emeril.org spotlights the organization’s good work and charitable member base. Each online feature focuses on one of the foundation’s beneficiaries, donors, students, or grant recipients. Content is promoted through social media and the brand’s e-newsletter.

Elevating Prominence and Awareness

Zehnder submitted award nominations on behalf of the Foundation to build recognition for its work and elevate the organization’s prominence within its community. In 2016, the Foundation was named Non-Profit of the Year by the Louisiana Association of Non-Profit Organizations’ annual Force for Good Awards, and in 2018, the Foundation’s signature fundraising event Boudin, Bourbon & Beer received the Best Non-Profit Event award from Crescent City Excellence Awards. Additionally, Zehnder secured the Foundation’s Vice President a place among New Orleans Magazine’s “Top Female Achievers 2018” list.

Spreading the Good News

In 2016, the foundation and Second Harvest Food Bank reached a milestone of providing one million meals through Second Harvest’s summer feeding program. Zehnder secured media coverage for this achievement by executing media outreach and planning an on-site celebration event. Reporters from three out of four of New Orleans’ top TV stations attended, resulting in quality coverage that lasted from early morning show broadcasts to newscasts spanning into the evening.

The Results
Community Recognition

The team's efforts received local, regional and national press that resulted in increased exposure for the event.
509
Press Hits
The Emeril Lagasse Foundation received 509 press hits in 2017, including coverage from CNN Travel, Food & Wine, Esquire, New York Post, Los Angeles Times and The Local Palate.
140
Social Media Posts
Zehnder generated 140 social media posts during the 2017 Boudin, Bourbon & Beer weekend.
+77%
Facebook Reach
The client’s Facebook reach increased by 77% from 2016 to 2017.
3
Awards
LANO Force for Good Awards 2016 - Non-Profit of the Year; 2018 Crescent City Excellence Awards - Best Non-Profit Event; New Orleans Magazine “Top Female Achievers 2018”
509
Press Hits

The Emeril Lagasse Foundation received 509 press hits in 2017, including coverage from CNN Travel, Food & Wine, Esquire, New York Post, Los Angeles Times and The Local Palate.

140
Social Media Posts

Zehnder generated 140 social media posts during the 2017 Boudin, Bourbon & Beer weekend.

+77%
Facebook Reach

The client’s Facebook reach increased by 77% from 2016 to 2017.

3
Awards

LANO Force for Good Awards 2016 - Non-Profit of the Year; 2018 Crescent City Excellence Awards - Best Non-Profit Event; New Orleans Magazine “Top Female Achievers 2018”

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