How We Landed A Spot For Our Client on the Today Show
May 30, 2019
When we first started working with Project Sanctuary, the nonprofit’s biggest goal was to get national media attention for the outstanding work they were doing helping military families cope with the stress of military deployment and service. From the start we had success placing numerous local stories across the markets where they offered military family retreats. After building brand awareness in these local markets, it was time to turn our attention to the big goal: landing national coverage that would share the organization’s work with a broader audience and attract new donors.
With so many nonprofits doing important and impactful work, securing a national media placement can be a challenge. We knew that we needed to bring together the right elements to craft a compelling pitch that the national news media couldn’t wait to cover.
As we often tell our healthcare clients, the story is not about the doctor, it’s about the patient. We knew that the key to securing coverage would be finding the right family with a captivating story about how Project Sanctuary’s work helped them transform their lives. The family would also need to be willing to tell their story, allowing a media outlet to follow them through the Project Sanctuary process.
Working with the Project Sanctuary team to identify the perfect family for this project, we settled on the Galloway family. Based in California, the Galloways had a compelling story to share after dad Keith had been deployed for long stretches of time throughout his military career, with his wife, Laura raising their two young daughters.
Once our team connected with the Galloways, the next step was finding the right journalist to pitch the story to. Pushkin PR team member Abby Oppenheim is an expert in national broadcast media, having previously worked as a producer on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Armed with an understanding of what national TV producers are looking for and what makes a good interview, we got to work identifying the target.
We crafted a pitch that would help a producer see the story’s potential in just a few short paragraphs. We painted a picture for the producer to make it clear we had all of the ingredients to tell the story including an articulate family that was capable and willing to share their story on TV and a beautiful retreat environment in Colorado that would look great on television.
Our pitch caught the interest of a producer at the TODAY show who pitched the story to TODAY correspondent Maria Shriver. With a passion for telling the stories of our nation’s service members, Maria was the perfect journalist to share the Galloway Family’s story as they went through Project Sanctuary’s program. Maria visited the family at their California home to capture their backstory and get to know them. Then, a camera crew followed along as the family attended Project Sanctuary’s retreat in Colorado.
With Memorial Day right around the corner, the segment aired on the TODAY show on May 22, 2018 and was syndicated by several other news outlets. You can watch the full segment above.
We were thrilled to land our client such a prominent, timely media placement and share their good work with people across the nation.
Caty Carrico is an award-winning social media strategist and public relations practitioner at Pushkin Public Relations, a Denver-based PR firm. Her expertise lies in helping brands identify their distinct social media persona and crafting communications strategies that engage target audiences. In her spare time, she can be found eating her way through Denver's restaurant scene or working on her latest DIY project.