Monday, May 17, 2010

Turning a client milestone into a media frenzy

In January, we posted a blog entry highlighting the value of persistence when corresponding with the media.  Ideas included finding news angles to work with, creating a local angle from a national news trend and pursuing the right contact person for the pitch, among others. We noted that persistence is key in any industry and still hold that to be true.

However, before persistence becomes relevant to your pitching process, a fresh idea must be generated. It’s no secret that we’re in an “information-overload” age, and if there is too much “noise,” value for each piece of information is easily lost.  So, the question is: What type of fresh idea gains attention and, therefore, value?

(Let’s keep in mind that reporters, on average, get about 200 emails per day – if not more.)

One fresh idea was revealed last week at an event for one of our clients, Trinity Christian Academy. Rod Morris, head of Lower School, committed to rappel down the Tom Landry Stadium wall as a reward for his students (second - fourth grade) if they read  252 million words by April 30.  Mr. Morris knew that it would take a very creative and exciting reward to encourage these students to read – and this was a reward his students will never forget. 

As PR pros, it is our responsibility to recognize and capitalize on incredible opportunities, such as this, that our clients present – whether it’s generated from their side or yours.  Mr. Morris’ rappelling stunt not only prompted the lower school students of Trinity to reach their goal (nearly two weeks ahead of time, by the way!), but also resulted in five local TV newscasts that aired that day and another early morning newscast that aired the following day.

So, the next time you’re preparing to announce a client milestone – whether it is  another award announcement or   a new project – allow yourself, as a PR pro, to think differently (new angles!), be creative and make it visual!

And in the words of Peter Shankman, “Don’t ever stop. We work in an industry that doesn’t ‘end’ just because we got some media attention. There’s always more to get. Figure out different ways of getting it.”

This post was contributed by Lauren Venegas.