Goodness Report

Building Higher: Behind Idea Hall’s Robust Media Strategy for R.D. Olson Construction’s Hospitality Projects

July 10, 2024
Appellation Healdsburg rendering – credit: R.D. Olson Construction

In this week’s edition of the Goodness Report, we are shining a light on Idea Hall’s decade-long partnership with R.D. Olson Construction and how our team has consistently secured earned media coverage for the Orange County-based national general contracting and construction management firm. In this year alone, Idea Hall secured 30 media placements and 5.88M earned impressions from three exciting hospitality project announcements.


The Situation

R.D. Olson Construction has been an Idea Hall client for eleven years. Throughout this relationship, Idea Hall has stayed abreast of client business and industry trends to curate media moments and bring the R.D. Olson brand to strategic audiences and clients. With three hospitality projects launching in the first half of 2024, Idea Hall created an earned media strategy to ensure each received ample coverage.

The new hospitality projects that Idea Hall pitched for R.D. Olson Construction include:

  • Appellation Healdsburg (groundbreaking): As one of the newest hotels under the Appellation brand, the Healdsburg, CA location – located in Sonoma’s wine country – will include 12 buildings with high-end amenities and feature a wine country spa, restaurants, and a vast 15,500 square feet of event space.
  • Springhill Suites Chula Vista (completion): A destination catering to business and tourist travelers alike, the new Marriott hotel is located between the beaches of San Diego and incorporates urban and recreation areas – catering to the needs of all guests.
  • Element Mission Valley (groundbreaking): Located in San Diego’s Mission Valley, the hotel under the Marriott umbrella will bring access to the best that San Diego has to offer with its location near major attractions. It will be the first Element property in San Diego County. Catering to families and business travelers alike, the Element brand provides luxury and comfort with sustainability design practices in mind

The Solution

To ensure robust media coverage for each announcement, Idea Hall worked with R.D. Olson Construction to create a press distribution strategy that parsed the release of each announcement out over a few months to sustain media interest while making sure every project had an opportunity to shine.

To begin the process, Idea Hall conducted intake calls with firm project leaders to gather information that journalists would gravitate towards.

Then Idea Hall developed compelling press announcements. Each release included unique hotel features and highlighted how each development will deliver a memorable experience to guests. We also showcased R.D. Olson Construction’s integral partnerships with notable brands on the projects and their long-standing work with companies including Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton and Ritz Carlton.

While Idea Hall collaborated with the client on drafting and optimizing each release, the team developed comprehensive media lists for each announcement, ensuring that each list included key hospitality publications as well as architecture, engineering and construction trades, and local media.

The Results

After three announcements over four months, Idea Hall garnered 5.88M impressions with 30 media placements. The key to our success was a strategic approach to targeted and timely pitching.

The groundbreaking of Appellation Healdsburg was a great way to introduce the media to R.D. Olson Construction’s growing hospitality portfolio. This unique property will provide guests with a food-immersive experience under a luxury brand that delivers signature cuisine from Michelin Star Chef Charlie Palmer and wine from California’s best vineyards

Targeted media were highly interested in the Healdsburg project and coverage flowed from March through the end of April. Idea Hall also secured two interviews for Bill Wilhelm, president of R.D. Olson Construction – with the North Bay Business Journal, a local business trade magazine and  Building Design + Construction, a notable B2B construction publication.

As media gravitated towards the Appellation Healdsburg project, Idea Hall continued the momentum by distributing the Springhill Suites Chula Vista announcement. Because of the strategic cadence employed, publications were already familiar with R.D. Olson Construction’s expertise in the hospitality sector and wanted to learn more about their broader business. News of the hotel completion was a great follow up story after the Appellation Healdsburg groundbreaking announcement. Key coverage came from Hotel Management and REBusiness Online.

We wrapped up the series of media outreach with news of the groundbreaking of Element Mission Valley. This was created as a joint press release with AO, an architecture firm based in Orange County who is also one of Idea Hall’s clients. The release showcased the strong partnership between the real estate companies while demonstrating their individual and unique contributions to the project and received key coverage including by the San Diego Business Journal.

R.D. Olson’s Wilhelm shared this praise:

“Idea Hall’s value and service continues to strengthen and affirm R.D. Olson’s presence throughout the construction industry. It’s rewarding to know that the value of our brand is as important to Idea Hall as it is to R.D. Olson as they represent us across all fronts of marketing. From my chair, Idea Hall is a Best-in-Class organization!”

If you’re interested in igniting similar success for your organization or want to explore how you can partner with Idea Hall, please contact Rebecca Hall at