How do you create buzz and secure media placement around a gubernatorial event with a six-day turnaround?

SJSC-Identified Goals:

  • Write and develop media advisory and press release to provide media outlets with concise information to increase likelihood of coverage.
  • Develop a 4-day media strategy including press release development, pitch plan, and outreach strategy.
  • Secure media placement in local and national print, digital, broadcast TV and broadcast radio outlets.
  • Provide on-site media management and live social media coverage.

The Plan:

  • Gather information from the NAACP on program participants, event logistics, and additional details to develop media advisory and press materials.
  • Research all local media outlets for prime coverage opportunities, maximizing interest around African American communities, social justice publications, HBCU publications, and Richmond media.
  • Research all national media outlets with demonstrated interest in the Virginia governor’s race.
  • Develop a media list for NAACP approval to implement media information dissemination.
  • Implement quick media pitching strategy: press release and advisory dissemination, phone call follow-up, and day-of media confirmations.
  • Manage all media activities on-site: day of media check-in, press packet dissemination, real-time interview coordination, live tweeting and social media event management.

The Details:

  • The Virginia NAACP had a challenge. One week before a scheduled gubernatorial forum they found themselves without a strategic media plan. Local and national media had yet to be contacted and event promotion was minimal and piecemeal. They needed to spread the word quickly to increase event attendance and media coverage for a timely event. The VA NAACP called SJSC to develop and execute a media plan to address these issues.
  • After getting an understanding of program participants and event details, SJSC went to work identifying key media contacts and outlets. SJSC developed a pitch strategy to provide the best results in the 4-day time period. Who would be most interested in this event? Who would be able to cover at short notice? How was the Virginia governor’s race being talked about and how did African American communities and the NAACP fall into this narrative?
  • Following initial research, SJSC developed a tailored media list with 38 targets. SJSC contacted each outlet via phone, email, most times both, and made each aware of the NAACP event.
  • Despite a pending hurricane limiting national coverage, SJSC secured confirmations from top-tier media including the Associated Press and the Washington Post and all Richmond area broadcast TV stations. Media hits were achieved in 10 outlets, and SJSC provided on site media management and real-time social media updates the day of the event.