Havana Night Broadway Show
Although Havana Night, a German-English owned company, had toured in 16 countries, Cuban President Fidel Castro was not allowing the troupe to depart for their United States tour. The first Las Vegas performance had been scheduled for more than nine months before facing cancellation.
Solution: Phase I
The Broadway Show knew their only hope of bringing the 53 Cuban entertainers to the U.S. would be if there was international news media stories about the plight of the troupe which would in turn place political pressure on Fidel Castro, thus allowing the members to make their trip to Las Vegas.
To achieve the goal of obtaining international news coverage, the company hired Malkus Communications Group, a firm with a track record of gaining international stories for clients, to apply pressure on Fidel Castro.
In less than one week, the story of Havana Night made international headlines with stories that included the Reuters News Service; Associated Press; CNN; Miami Herald; Univision Television and Tribune Newspapers. Facing mounting international negative publicity, Fidel Castro then began allowing Havana Night cast members to gain the necessary paperwork to fly to the United States.
Solution: Phase II
Within two weeks, the first group of Havana Night entertainers finally secured their airline tickets to the United States. Malkus Communications received the call with a request to meet troupe members in Cancun, Mexico prior to boarding a flight to Houston, Texas. With less than two hours notification, CEO Chuck Malkus was on a flight from Miami to Cancun to greet Havana Night performers prior to heading to Houston and Las Vegas.
After assisting the Cuban residents with U.S. Customs in Houston, the group was finally off to Las Vegas where they began preparing for the first stop of their U.S. Tour, which would include performances in Las Vegas, Miami and New York.
Combined, the Malkus-issued news releases were picked up in over 20 different countries and covered in hundreds of the largest daily newspapers and international television networks. Thanks to crafting key messages about the expression of art and freedom of speech, the group became the “Rosa Parks of Cuba.” The news media coverage resulted in more than 450 million media impressions. And, for the first time in more than 50 years, Cuban performers in a full-scale Broadway Show were able to showcase their talent in the United States before sold-out audiences.
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