Ground breaking events are always dicey. Its difficult to persuade people to leave work to go to an outdoor event in Florida, especially in summer. And its even more of a challenge to coax the media to cover such events unless its a ground breaking on a project of major importance to the economy of the region. The ground breaking of Donte’s Den, an animal sanctuary located on 50 acres miles away from the closest two cities presented those challenges and more. However, what Donte’s Den offers is an irresistible and unique proposition for dog lovers; it is the first of its kind of sanctuary. Its market is dogs that have become displaced, either by becoming abandoned, by their military owners being deployed, or their owners moving on to assisted living or passing away. The building plans call for the latest in kennel management - no chain link fencing which traumatizes both dogs and humans, for example. These unique and interesting facets of the project were pitched aggressively to the local media. Our goal was to place stories without having the reporter finding it necessary to attend the ground breaking. We teed up the architect for interviews, primed the founded similarly. We ensured that there would be photos available as soon as possible for both broadcast and print.
The result of our efforts were about 3 million impressions in the Tampa Bay market, including two front page stories in the local newspapers as well as a cover story in the business tab. Print earned media, the cost in advertising of the amount of space taken by editorial coverage, came close to $10,000 - an outstanding amount in this smaller media market.
Lesson learned: Make it very easy for the media to cover a story, and, of course, make that story very interesting to cover. If you are interested if getting your organization more editorial coverage, connect with Kristine at 941-928-5572 or email her at [email protected]
Check out some of the awesome coverage here:
Sarasota Herald Tribune: https://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20140707/article/307079994