Who is your client and what are its media goals?
Dean Draznin: Enzymatic Therapy is a Green Bay, WI-based manufacturer of dietary supplements and natural medicines. Distribution ranges from health-food stores to Wal-Mart, [so] they wanted to drive national awareness with the message "what better feels like."
What made The New York Times Business section an ideal target? How did you pitch the editors?
Draznin: The Times reaches a broad, influential audience and we knew Enzymatic Therapy had a great story to tell about its Medicine Hunter... products, especially Maca Stimulant, which is made from maca, a root vegetable with [many] health benefits found only in the Peruvian highlands. It took several weeks of pitching editors and reporters, but we finally got Rio de Janeiro-based business writer Andrew Downie interested in going to Peru to see firsthand how maca is harvested and the... economic impact it's having on [the] region.
The logistics of this trip must have been daunting. How did you handle that, and what other media training or background material did you provide to help clinch this placement?
Draznin: The expedition took weeks to arrange, and traveling to the Peruvian highlands was [hard] because of the altitude. Luckily for us, the trek was led by University of Massachusetts ethnobotanist Chris Kilham, a respected medicine hunter who was first to establish trade with the maca harvesters a decade ago and helped Enzymatic Therapy bring it to the US market. Kilham [was] a great focal point for the story.
What was the impact of the hit?
Draznin: The story ran [on the] front page of the Business section on January 1 and was augmented by a multi-media slideshow on the Times' Web site. Before it ran, Maca Stimulant was struggling on Wal-Mart's shelves, but this placement helped buy it more time to attract customers, as well as generate interest from other retailers. Kilham has also been approached by several production companies interested in doing a regular "medicine hunter" TV series.
Name: Dean Draznin, president of Draznin Communications (Fairfield, IA)
Placement: The New York Times, January 1
Timeline: Four months