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Rombach Pumpkin Farms

PR Plan
12/11/08
Nick Dunne
Nick Dunne | nicholasdunne14@webster.edu | 573.999.7434 | Page 2 | Background

History of Rombach Pumpkin Farms

The Rombach farm was

founded in the 1950’s by

Rosemary Rombach, who set

up a small vegetable stand

underneath a sycamore tree in

front of the farm.

Rosemary’s sales started off as just produce not sent to Produce Row in St. Louis, but as

business grew, the crops eventually were sold exclusively at the farm’s produce stand.

From there, the farms

grew much bigger. Soon

St. Louis area residents

flocked to the farm for its

ripe pumpkins and other

freshly-grown produce,

fun family activities, and

riveting displays, such as

the one shown right.


Nick Dunne | nicholasdunne14@webster.edu | 573.999.7434 | Page 3 | Background

History of Rombach Pumpkin Farms (cont’d)

In 1993, after extensive amounts of

rain, the Missouri river flooded,

consuming the entire Chesterfield

Valley, including the Rombach

Farm.

The displays, the fields, and even

the farm itself were all submerged

under nine feet of water.

In this same year, founder Rosemary Rombach and relative Jeannie both passed

away, possibly from the stress they felt with the farm under water.

Following the floods, the newly-

fertile fields produced a much riper

crop and, with the assistance of 40

friends and family members, as well

as the St. Louis Family Church and

Salvation Army, brought the farm back into business. From then on, the Rombach

family farm has been just as, if not more, fruitful, than ever before. Business

continues to boom every fall with over 1500 visitors daily, carrying on and

building on what started as Rosemary’s small produce stand in the 1950’s.


Nick Dunne | nicholasdunne14@webster.edu | 573.999.7434 | Page 4 |Analysis/Overview

Situational Analysis & Strategic Overview


Just as the Rombach family farm has continued to succeed and grow, so have

other businesses in the Chesterfield Valley area. Shopping malls, restaurants, and other

such businesses continue to pop up all throughout the valley, and commercial developers

are pressuring landowners to sell.

Problem: The Rombach family is selling its farmland and relocating to a nearby

plot of land to continue its business. However, the business could potentially suffer and

cease to exist if consumers are unaware of their relocation.

Objectives:

Create general awareness of the relocation of the Rombach farm.

Retain returning customers, and attract new ones.

Meet or exceed the status quo of seasonal sales.

Stakeholders:

Returning, regular customers

1. Schools

2. St. Louis area residents

Potential new customers

Local media (TV, Radio, Newspapers)


Nick Dunne | nicholasdunne14@webster.edu | 573.999.7434 | Page 5 | Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan
Media Relations Campaign: The Rombach Pumpkin Farm is no stranger to the media.

The popularity of the farms has drawn consistent media attention for many years. Getting

the media involved in the moving process will be the best method to get the word out to

all pumpkin patch attendees.

The more local media attention we can get, the higher the likelihood of Rombach

Pumpkin Farms reaching its status quo after relocating.

Involve local television stations with pre-opening tours

Write a press release or even feature story for local papers.

Community Relations Campaign: The Rombach Pumpkin Farm has always been a

traditional stop for the majority of people within the Chesterfield Valley, as well as other

parts of St. Louis.

Without an appeal to residents of the local community, they may move on to other

alternatives for picking out pumpkins. However, we could make the community feel like

it’s moving with the Rombachs to continue with that feeling of community.

Appeal to local schools.

Public Education Programs

Prizes
Nick Dunne | nicholasdunne14@webster.edu | 573.999.7434 | Page 6 | Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan (cont’d)


Awareness Campaign: Aside from appealing to the media and providing knowledge of

the relocation to the community, there needs to be a general awareness of the Rombach

Farm’s movement. This should be a higher focus on the various forms of awareness

promotion that the Rombachs themselves have control over, including:

Better utilization of Internet resources

Promotion of the move in print form

Various forms of Advertising

Signage around old and new locations

Special Events Campaign: The special events campaign is geared towards all our

audiences, and will be the main focus of attracting people directly to the current location

of the Rombach Farm. These are not to inform people of the move, as that is the function

of the Awareness Campaign. The function of the Special Events Campaign is to draw

audiences to the farm to enjoy the myriad amenities that the farm has provided for so

many years.

Continue the annual fall festival, as usual

Music festivals

Mock-museum

Mid-week events
Nick Dunne | nicholasdunne14@webster.edu | 573.999.7434 | Page 7 | Tactical Plan

Tactics
Media Relations Campaign:

Pre-opening press tour: Bring in local television news stations to tour the

farm before it opens for its final season. May possibly be tied in with

designated school tours, as mentioned below.

Press Release: Place a press release in St. Louis newspapers, e.g. St.

Louis Post-Dispatch, discussing the history of Rombach in its current

location.

Community Relations Campaign:

High School FFA educational programs: Bring in local high schools’

Future Farmers of America (FFA) student organizations for seminars on

the importance of agriculture. Tie in why Rombach is moving, focusing on

agricultural aspects of the new location.

Designated School Tour Day: Invite local schools out for historical tours

similar to that of the press tours mentioned above. Offer pumpkins and

gourds at a discounted price for kids who pick their own pumpkins from

the field.

Raffle tickets: Sell raffle tickets for prizes, or have a drawing for every

person who purchases a pumpkin.

Door prizes: Offer the first 150 visiting groups a voucher for a free

pumpkin from the patch, as long as they pick it themselves.


Nick Dunne | nicholasdunne14@webster.edu | 573.999.7434 | Page 8 | Tactical Plan

Tactics (cont’d)
Awareness Campaign:

E-mail listserv: Ask purchasers if they are interested in joining an e-mail

list to stay up-to-date with Rombach Farm’s move.

Website: As of right now, the Rombachs do not maintain a website or even

a blog about the current happenings on the farm. This would attract a

significant number of people very quickly. Website or blog promotion

would attract a lot of interest, especially from the younger and more

technologically-savvy audiences.

Informative flyers: Print out quarter-page flyers to give to every purchaser,

or perhaps every vehicle that enters the roadway up to the farm. Include

website or blog information.

Advertising: The Rombach name should be a fairly familiar name in the

St. Louis area. Putting up billboards nearby along I-64/40 for the

Rombach’s special events, or even saying “The Rombach Farm is

Moving,” will get commuters talking. Also designing an advertisement for

the St. Louis Post Dispatch and other local newspapers will get a lot of

people’s attention as well.

Signage: Post signs along Olive St. Rd. and the street of the new location

to inform passers-by of the move. Encourage a visit to the new website or

blog for more information.


Nick Dunne | nicholasdunne14@webster.edu | 573.999.7434 | Page 9 | Tactical Plan

Tactics (cont’d)
Special Events:

Fall Festival: Continue with the Rombach’s annual fall festival, providing

the same family fun they’ve always provided. Use the methods mentioned

above (printed flyers, tours, etc.) during this time as well.

Music Festival: Older audiences particularly like sitting and enjoying

music at events like county fairs, so something similar is likely to attract

them. Because this is a more rural-type of location, a bluegrass or country

music festival would be most appropriate.

Mock-museum: Because the Rombachs will be moving, a historical tour of

the farmhouse would keep attendees interested because this is something

new. The furniture could be arranged so a set path could be made for

tours. Volunteers with knowledge of the farm’s history could dress in

1950’s-style clothing and give guided tours through the house, describing

the history of the farm based on each room.

Mid-week Events: In the early evenings, families could gather with their

blankets and picnic baskets and view the “Big Screen on a Barn” or “Bales

& the Big Screen” where a popular movie is projected on the side of a

barn or a large stack of hay bales. They could be family-oriented farm

movies like Barnyard.


Nick Dunne | nicholasdunne14@webster.edu | 573.999.7434 | Page 10 | Timeline

Timeline for Tactic Execution


Early September:

Launch billboard & newspaper advertising

Post signs near old & new locations

Create website or blog

Invite area schools & media for tours later in the month

Mid-to-Late September:

Continue advertising

Publish website or blog

Open up to school & media tours of the farm

Send out press release

Hold educational programs for local high school FFA chapters

Print out hand-out flyers

Early October:

Farm opens for pumpkin season, begin fall festival activities

Continue website or blog

Opening day: Offer free-pumpkin vouchers for first 150 groups to arrive

Open up house for mock-museum tours

Hold first movie projection event, mid-week

Hand out flyers

Encourage purchasers to provide information for e-mail listserv.


Nick Dunne | nicholasdunne14@webster.edu | 573.999.7434 | Page 11 | Timeline

Timeline for Tactic Execution (cont’d)


Mid-October:

Continue mock-museum tours

Continue with website or blog

Continue advertising & hand-out flyers

Continue mid-week activities

Begin raffle ticket sales

E-mail names already on listserv, encourage more sign-ups

Late October:

Open back up to schools & press for tours

Continue website or blog

Continue mid-week activities and mock-museum tours

End advertising, continue hand-out flyers until end of month

Last weekend of the month, execute music festival


Nick Dunne | nicholasdunne14@webster.edu | 573.999.7434 | Page 12 | Evaluation

Evaluation
Success: Success to the Rombach family would be an overall heightened awareness of

their relocating. They also wanted to see an increase of profit due to extra advertising and

promotion.

Measurement: To measure whether the Rombachs were successful with their final

season at the current location, observe the following items:

Profits: Were they up from last year?

Attendance: Did the month of October bring a much higher amount of

people than normal? How many people took part in the mid-week

activities, mock-museum, and other activities?

Community interest: How many people registered to the listserv? How

many hits has the website or blog received since being published at the

beginning of the month?

Next year’s attendance: Though this is still a year away, it is still

important to see if the farms maintained or exceeded profit and attendance

expectations from previous years.