'Times' helps build interest in LA development project

Frederick and Laurie Samitaur-Smith are Los Angeles-based entrepreneurs, developers, and longtime patrons of the arts renowned for revitalizing communities and creating jobs, including spearheading the Conjunctive Points mixed-use development project in Culver City.

Name

Christy Cossman, senior PR account executive, Sabatino/Day (Los Angeles)

Placement

Los Angeles Times Magazine, July 4, 2010

Pitch timeline

Six months

Who are your clients and what are their media goals?

Frederick and Laurie Samitaur-Smith are Los Angeles-based entrepreneurs, developers, and longtime patrons of the arts renowned for revitalizing communities and creating jobs, including spearheading the Conjunctive Points mixed-use development project in Culver City. They sought to leverage local media to build awareness and excitement for Samitaur Towers, a series of planned towers along the Expo Light-Rail line that, when completed, will run through parts of Los Angeles.

What made the Tastemakers section in the Los Angeles Times Magazine such a good hit for them? How did you pitch the editors there?

The Los Angeles Times is the leading media outlet in Southern California, making it a terrific platform to highlight the Samitaur-Smiths' commitment and contribution to Los Angeles and the purpose of their urban redevelopment efforts and individual projects.

I initially reached out to the publication's design and culture editor Mayer Rus to pitch a profile of the first Samitaur Towers, but Rus quickly realized the couple would be ideal to profile as part of their annual Tastemakers issue.

Were there any challenges in terms of setting up interviews, media training your clients, or providing art in order to secure this placement?

Making the article happen required a lot of coordination with our media contacts and client alike. We not only set up the initial and subsequent interviews, but also handled the complex photo shoot of both the Samitaur-Smiths and the first tower.

We also created a timeline to establish the historical perspective and context for the story and produced a number of supporting materials - including renderings. Finally, we also did some coaching of our clients, who are intensely private about their personal lives and wanted the piece to focus on their work and not on themselves.

What was the hit's impact?

The two-and-a-half-page spread ran in the July 4 issue of the Los Angeles Times Magazine and quickly triggered interest from other media outlets. In turn, the Samitaur-Smiths were extremely pleased with the piece and our work.

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