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The Rundown on The Office Convention

Many moons ago I posted about a PRWeek article involving a great initiative by the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania to host The Office Convention in honor of NBC’s show The Office. At the time I was curious as to how they pulled it all off. This week I bring you Tim Holmes, director of community newspapers for Times-Shamrock Communications who helped organize the event to the show to give me The Rundown on how they pulled it off. As always, The Rundown is my LIVE Tuesday BlogTalkRadio show featuring an analysis or summary of something by a knowledgeable person – and me. (I work for BlogTalkRadio).

The Office Convention was Scranton, Pennsylvania’s capitalization on NBC’s hit show “The Office,” which is based in Scranton, PA.

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Locals Take Advantage of Their Cities’ Television Fame

PRWeek reports on the outstanding PR initiative by the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania to host an Office party. No, I mean The Office. NBC’s show. A party for the show. The Office Convention runs this weekend, October 26-28. Headline:

“Fans of NBC’s The Office will descend upon Scranton, PA, for a weekend of activities, thanks to a grassroots effort by the citizens of the former coal-mining town-turned Dunderhead hot spot.”


This is a great coup for the small city of Scranton. A native Pennsylvanian myself, I have a soft spot for the PA lifestyle – as well as the Wilkes-Barre Scranton baby Penguins, of course. Sidenote: I just saw on the WBS Penguins website that Brian Baumgartner (Kevin) and Angela Kinsey (Angela) are attending Friday’s game. That rocks.

The PRWeek story has a minimal coverage on how the city of Scranton pulled this off, although they cover many of the details of what was done. It’s an outstanding idea, pulling together so many organizations from the tourism board to the NBC network. I’d love more information on this. Maybe I’ll get someone to give me The Rundown after the event.

Other towns have done the same thing. Oakley, Kansas hosted Jerichon, during which they renamed their town Jericho for a weekend in honor of the fictional town Jericho (for which the CBS show ‘Jericho’ is named). Oakley rests at the intersections of I-70, Hwy 40 and Hwy 83 – almost exactly where Jericho is said to lie. [disclosure: BTR takes credit for pushing that movement to keep Jericho on the air, case study here. Jerichon had a BlogTalkRadio day in our honor that opening day.]

Wikipedia even mentions that Northern Exposure fans descended upon Roslyn, WA, the filming grounds of fictional Cicely, Alaska, for Moosefest.

So my point is that with a great idea, cities and towns featured prominently in television shows can really take advantage of that notoriety and generate some tourism revenue. A good campaign, some good communication and some vibrant outreach to rabid fans could be key. Anyone else have any examples of these events? Event management is a unique beast, would love to hear some stories.