Who is your client? What are its media goals?
Erin Schaal: We have worked with HoMedics for years and have had success getting media coverage for [its] personal care products. When [it] expanded into a new category and launched the Brethe Air Revitalizer, a futuristic-looking unit that eliminates up to 99% of odor-causing bacteria using natural botanical extracts, [the company] turned to us to drive national awareness and sales.
Why was the Chicago Tribune such as good hit? How did you pitch the reporter and editors there?
Schaal: Not only is the Chicago Tribune a well-respected newspaper with one of the largest readerships, it's also a [Tribune Co.] paper. Any hit had a good chance of being picked up by outlets across the country. We decided to focus on the benefits the Brethe Air Revitalizer could bring to pet owners and reached out via e-mail and then phone to reporter William Hageman, who writes about pet issues and, at that time, ran the Unleashed pet-centric blog.
In addition to sending Hageman a sample, what other information did you provide to help clinch the placement?
Schaal: This placement did require persistence. Hageman originally planned to review it on Unleashed, but when the blog ended, he wrote about Brethe in the Tribune print issue. We provided background information, but Hageman didn't need testimonials to give it a great review.
What was the impact of the hit?
Schaal: The Tribune story was picked up by 21 newspapers and three Web sites, leading to more than 6 million impressions. HoMedics saw sales spike in markets that the article ran in, and was very pleased with our work.
Name: Erin Schaal, account executive at CRT/tanaka (New York)
Placement: Chicago Tribune, April 14
Pitch timeline: Ten weeks