Bill Cannon (center) explains the value of a good rub when cooking brisket on Great Day Houston.

Bill Cannon (center) explains the value of a good rub when cooking brisket.

Texas BBQ Rub is the creator of a variety of award-winning dry rubs and grilling spices as well as providers of superior BBQ cooking tools. Bill Cannon, president of Texas BBQ Rub, has been cooking BBQ for over 45 years and has competed in the World Championship Houston Rodeo BBQ Cook Off for the last 28 years. He was named 2014 BBQ person of the Year and has been a finalist at the Cook Off several times over the years.

Each February, the largest barbecue event in the world takes place – the World Championship Houston Rodeo BBQ Cook Off. The event attracts more than 250 barbecue teams from across the country as well as tens of thousands of visitors. With so many experts in town, competition for customer and media attention is steep. As a business, Texas BBQ Rub also sees product sales figures at their lowest in the colder months when customers aren’t yet cooking outside.

Create a timely campaign leading up to the Cook Off utilizing PR, social media and marketing communications to offer Bill Cannon as an expert resource on the most beloved and esteemed category of Texas barbecue – brisket. Campaign goals aimed to increase Texas BBQ Rub credibility and brand awareness during the Cook Off while also boosting sales during a slow month.

PR outreach secured morning television segments on FOX Houston, NBC Houston and the coveted show Great Day Houston on CBS. Bill also appeared in a Houston Chronicle piece discussing competitive cooking. Media training helped Bill to shine on TV, so much so that Deborah Duncan of Great Day Houston kept him on for a whopping nine minute segment. Before the segment was done, the phones at Texas BBQ Rub started ringing. Media impressions totaled 6.4 million while the ongoing social media coverage during the campaign garnered 702 likes, 79 shares and reached 5,271 people on Facebook. Media coverage was also included in an email newsletter sent to 20,000. Sales increased nearly 3% over last year’s during the month following the campaign, and Bill’s TV coverage made him the talk of the town during the Cook Off.

“The Houston Rodeo Cook-off is the most high profile event of the year for Texas BBQ Rub, and the competition is steep-every BBQ-related business in the state is there. We had never been in the press before, but wanted to get exposure to stand out. Gina knocked it out of the park! In just two weeks she crafted a winning pitch, reached out to key media, and secured an article in the Houston Chronicle and three television segments-including a nine minute appearance on Great Day Houston, the most coveted local morning show. Our Phones started ringing right away! Her media training showed us how to plug our business and give a memorable interview, and her knowledge on what to do in each step of the PR process was invaluable. She definitely knows PR!”

Carrie Cannon-Winter
Vice President-Marketing, Texas BBQ Rub