Star Line Ferry

Media is All Aboard and Guests Say “Ahoy” to First-Ever Pirate-Themed Festival During COVID-19

Project Overview:

In June 2020, Star Line Mackinac Island Hydro-Jet® Ferry, a Mackinaw City, Mich. based ferry boat company serving Mackinac Island from St. Ignace and Mackinaw City, Mich., hosted the first-ever Great Lakes Pirate Festival to coincide with the return of the Good Fortune pirate ship to its dock for the 2020 summer season. CKC Agency was tasked with promoting Star Line Mackinac Hydro-Jet® Ferry during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the health and safety measures taken to protect customers while creating buzz and excitement for the return of the Good Fortune.

Star Line collaborated with CKC Agency to:

  • Promote a one-of-a-kind kickoff event celebrating the return of the Good Fortune pirate ship during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Develop a unique, interactive social media campaign targeted to a family-friendly audience
  • Secure publicity throughout Michigan highlighting Star Line Mackinac Island Hydro-Jet® Ferry’s Good Fortune pirate ship, its new ferry tracker app, the added Tesla Super Charge Station to the Star Line dock, protocol for COVID-19 boat sanitation, and the first-ever Great Lakes Pirate Festival.

Tactics Implemented:

Within a few weeks, the CKC Agency team:

  • Researched, brainstormed and provided innovative ideas for kick-off event promotions
  • Coordinated and developed key elements of the social media campaign leading up to the Great Lakes Pirate Festival
    • Conducted outreach to publishers and authors of pirate-themed children’s books to secure virtual book readings
    • Developed posts for each day of the week leading up to the Great Lakes Pirate Festival
  • Partnered with key libraries, parent groups and educational associations to cross-promote virtual readings from children’s authors of pirate-themed books
  • Wrote and distributed two press releases and a media alert to key media outlets in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio
  • Created and pitched newsworthy story angles for select Michigan print, broadcast and online media outlets
  • Acted as the primary liaison and point of contact for media contacts
  • Developed interview segment details and talking points
  • Secured and coordinated interviews, stories and media coverage

Results Achieved:

By implementing the creative ideas and content developed by CKC Agency to promote the event, Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry’s Great Lakes Pirate Festival to welcome home the Good Fortune pirate ship and kick off the summer season was a big success. Crowds of people of all ages gathered on the Star Line Mackinac Island Hydro-Jet® Ferry dock fully dressed in pirate attire for the event. Boosted by CKC Agency’s efforts, the media coverage resulted in 155 press hits across the state of Michigan in TV, radio, print, parent blogs and on social media pages. Pirate enthusiasts were entertained by the children’s book authors as they read their books on social media and were engaged online via cross-promotion of the virtual readings on the social media pages of key libraries and the children’s book authors.