Shortly after Carolina Turkeys acquired the Butterball brand, the company addressed the immediate need to expand its corporate headquarters and move to a location more accessible to Butterball plants and offices across the United States. The CEO finalized plans to move the main offices from Mt. Olive to Garner, just outside of Raleigh.

Talk, Inc. was hired to handle the event planning for this occasion. We also saw this as an opportunity to build community relations among local business and political leaders, ignite pride among Butterball executives and generate widespread publicity for the company.

The challenge we faced was designing an event that was simple to execute, cost effective and newsworthy. Since groundbreaking is a dirty word in media circles, we needed to attract media attention while satisfying the event’s major players with the execution.

In lieu of planning a traditional shovel-turning ceremony, we decided to incorporate Butterball’s product into an event that would better reflect its goodwill towards the Garner community. We came up with the idea for Butterball to break ground by breaking bread.

Thanks to a local Butterball customer, Firehouse Subs, we commissioned a 6-foot, doublewide turkey sandwich. We ordered commemorative garden trowels engraved with the event’s date and location, and gave these, along with custom aprons and hard hats, to key executives and local political and business leaders. They “dug” into the giant turkey sub to signify Butterball’s move to Garner. Each guest was given a Butterball apron in appreciation of their support and attendance.

From concept to completion, Talk made sure everything ran according to plan. We carefully coordinated logistics to hang banners from construction equipment and install “Butterball Lane” street signs on site. We designed invitations, agendas, a media kit, name tags and ad specialty items.

The publicity team sent a media alert to press across the state, focusing on the Triangle region. Talk also drafted talking points for each speaker and wrote a speech for Butterball’s CEO.

This unique groundbreaking received wall-to-wall TV coverage on six Triangle news stations, two radio stations, multiple newspapers, including a front page story in the business section of the News & Observer. The Associated Press picked up on the story, which then appeared in nine publications.

More than 200 guests were in attendance. Butterball executives were proud of their company and inspired by the CEO’s speech. The Town of Garner felt like the recipient of incredible goodwill from their new friends at Butterball. Butterball in turn felt like a united company and a positive force in their new community.

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