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Ronald McDonald House Toronto Grand Opening Coverage Highlights

Overview On Friday November 18th, Ronald McDonald House Toronto celebrated the unveiling of its new House – the largest Ronald McDonald House in the world. A variety of dignitaries, media personalities, House residents and generous donors attended the Grand Opening Ceremony to show their support for this momentous occasion. Traditional media outreach consisted of a two-tiered approach focusing on local media in the GTA and media outside of the GTA interested in covering the event but unable to attend. In addition, select broadcast media personalities were sent special grand opening cookie invitations featuring the house messaging: “heal better together.� To generate additional media coverage, a number of spokespeople at the ceremony were hand for photo opportunities and interviews including Jane Marco, Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Toronto, George Cohon, founder of Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada and Mayor Rob Ford of the city of Toronto. Outreach across social media platforms like Twitter also played an integral role in spreading awareness about the grand opening in the online space.

Ronald McDonald House Toronto Grand Opening generated:

47 media hits and more than 16 million impressions


Media Coverage Highlights


Print Coverage Highlights

“The four-storey brick building is roomy enough to accommodate 81 families who travel with their children to Toronto to receive treatment at Sick Kids or Mount Sinai hospital. There are 309 Ronald McDonald wellness facilities in the world, but the one in Toronto is the largest.�


Print Coverage Highlights

“The new home – which cost $33 million to build and another $3 million per year to operate – features a common kitchen, an accredited private school and programs for kids being housed, outdoor gardens and a playground.”


Print Coverage Highlights

“Toronto is now home to the largest Ronald McDonald House in the world.�


Television Coverage Highlights

“This is the world’s largest Ronald McDonald House. Everyone should be very proud and also feel blessed that the city of Toronto has a facility like this at our disposal.” 6

Television Coverage Highlights

“Being here and having this place to stay with her means a lot to us. Without this place we wouldn’t be able to stay here and be by her side and allow her to be comfortable while she’s waiting.” 7

Television Coverage Highlights


“There will be tens of thousands of people who will be helped but each of them is helped one at a time .� 8

Television Coverage Highlights

“This house means everything to us. It’s our home away from home.”


Television Coverage Highlights

“ What a phenomenal place this is. It’s the largest one ever created, and will house three times the number of parents and children than the one on Gerrard Street.” 10

Online Coverage Highlights

“Over the decades, there are going to be tens of thousands of people helped in this house, but we keep helping them one at a time.�


Online Coverage Highlights

“Truly a home of hope in Toronto, the House offers a place for families to heal better together.�


Online Coverage Highlights

“Compared to the old building, it has space for three times the number of parents and children in need.�


Social Media Highlights To increase awareness of the Ronald McDonald House Toronto Grand Opening in the online space and to educate Canadians on facts about the new home-away-from-home for seriously ill children and their families, Ronald McDonald House Toronto engaged a variety of bloggers, media personalities and other key influencers via Twitter. As a result, substantial chatter was seen across this platform on and around the Grand Opening.

There were 120 tweets about the Ronald McDonald House Toronto Grand Opening with more than 180,000 impressions. o

43 per cent were re-tweets


21 per cent were @replies


37 per cent were organic tweets

The #healbettertogether hashtag was seen in 36 tweets and yielded more than 75,000 impressions. o

42 per cent were organic tweets


58 per cent were re-tweets


Key Learnings & Implications Key Learnings

Future Implications Assign specific point of contact for interviews with house representatives and designate a central base to find spokespeople on short notice.

Many media outlets were interested in speaking with and taking photos of the House families.

Arrange for introductions with families prior to event to clarify who was is comfortable being interviewed/having photo taken.

High demand shows like Breakfast Television Toronto need to be pitched1-2 months in advance for segments.

Prepare media materials and begin outreach to key outlets at least 1 month prior to events.


Grand Opening Wrap Report _FINAL  

Ronald McDonald House Toronto Grand Ronald McDonald House Toronto Grand Opening Opening Coverage Highlights Coverage Highlights