First Act strikes chord with 'Times'

First Act is one of the world's leading makers of musical instruments, including guitars. Its overall media goals are to reach both consumers and music retailers.

Who is your client and what are its media goals?
Nick Baily: First Act is one of the world's leading makers of musical instruments, including guitars. Its overall media goals are to reach both consumers and music retailers. In this case, the company wanted to raise awareness for First Act during the International Music Products Association - formerly the National Association of Music Merchants or NAMM - convention in Anaheim, CA, in January.

What made the LA Times such a good hit? How did you pitch the reporters/editors there?
Baily: The LA Times is not just the biggest paper in California; it's also the biggest outlet that covers NAMM, as the convention is still called. The editors tend to have a different reporter cover the event each year, so we initially didn't know who to target. Once it assigned freelancer Greg Burk, we contacted him directly with a pitch on environmentally friendly guitars.

Is the whole move toward green instruments a new trend?

Baily: First Act is not the only company making green musical instruments, but [it is] on the cutting edge. We noted to Burk that many guitarists are also environmentally conscious, but that there were few options for them until now.

Did you have to media-train any of company executives for this piece? What other information did you provide to help clinch the placement?
Baily: We didn't have to do any media training. Burk came by the First Act booth on the show's first day and [met] with the company's experts - including the director of product development - talking about its bamboo guitar. We also provided him a media kit on First Act.

What was the impact of the hit?

Baily: The LA Times' Calendar section piece on the highlights of NAMM mentioned First Act high in the story. The placement not only created a lot of buzz during NAMM, it helped trigger interest from other media, including a wire service and a major business TV show.

Name:
Nick Baily, director of publicity, Shore Fire Media (New York)
Placement: LA Times, Jan. 21, 2008
Pitch timeline: Four weeks

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