Who is your client and what are its media goals?
Scott Smith: The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) is the air pollution control agency for the greater Los Angeles area. We work with its media office to raise awareness for AQMD programs.
What made the KTLA Morning Show such a good target for your client? How did you pitch the producers there?
Smith: KTLA is one of the top-rated LA morning shows, which made it ideal for driving participation to AQMD's lawnmower exchange program, whereby people can turn in old gas-powered lawnmowers for new, environmentally friendly battery-powered versions. We'd worked with KTLA field reporter Gayle Anderson in the past, so we pitched her directly, emphasizing that the average gas lawnmower pollutes as much as 43 new cars annually. [Anderson] loves this type of 'news you can use.'
Did you media train AQMD executives for this segment? What other information did you provide to help clinch this placement?
Smith: We reviewed the segment with AQMD spokesman Sam Atwood and arranged talking points for AQMD board member and Chino Mayor Dennis Yates, who appeared on camera. The shoot was held in front of City Hall, so we made sure they let the grass grow so the lawn could be cut during the segment.
What was the impact of the hit?
Smith: People had to pre-register by phone or online in order to get a $500 battery mower for only $100. All 4,000 registration slots were filled within days. Extra mowers were added, making the program a huge success.
Name: Scott Smith, president, Westbound Communications (Orange, CA)
Placement: KTLA-TV Morning News (LA) March 18
Pitch timeline: Three weeks