Over the years, the iconic Hollywood Sign has been sprayed with graffiti from artists ranging from gang members to lovers to adventurers — all wanting to leave their mark.

As public relations’ rep for Textured Coatings of America (TCA), a Los Angeles-based company that manufactures paint and, among other specialty products, an anti-graffiti chemical coating, it’s not hard to figure out how a graffiti-covered sign and a company with an anti-graffiti coating fit together …

Working with the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, we arranged for Textured Coatings of America to donate the supplies and labor to re-paint the Hollywood Sign’s 50-foot-high letters and coat them with Tex-Cote Graffiti-Guard®.

The project cost Tex-Cote more than $25,000 and took about a week to complete.

As the final day approached, we held a press conference in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce and invited every Los Angeles newspaper, television and radio station to attend.

As the press conference was underway, we could see the television helicopters flying over the Hollywood Sign as the anti-graffiti coating was being applied.

The Mayor of Los Angeles created a committee titled “The Mayor’s Committee for Graffiti Removal” and TCA’s CEO, Stuart Haines, was named Chairman.

What made this such a smashing success? Why did editors and reporters jump all over this story? Two main reasons:

  • The Hollywood Sign is an icon, one everyone recognizes and cares about.
  • The story was about the city and the sign, not about Tex-Cote.

Editors and reporters are not in the business of advertising companies. They care more about how your business engages and benefits the community than how your business makes you money. Yes, they are interested in new products (Tex-Cote’s anti-graffiti coating), but they are more interested in how those products benefit the community and the public.

For Textured Coatings of America, demonstrating how their product works by donating their time and money, earned them national publicity for more than a year, just from that one event.