Who is your client, and what are its media goals?
Ashlee Stubits: Orkin is a global leader in pest-control services for both homes and industries. It was looking to us to drive awareness of its brand and services among residential homeowners in the US.
What made the Associated Press such a good target for what amounted to a new angle to a breaking sports story? How did you pitch it?
Stubits: I was watching Game 2 of the Indians-Yankees playoff series on television, and the announcers began talking about all the small bugs swarming the field. I felt this would be a good opportunity to offer Orkin as an expert to explain why it was happening, so I called the AP editors in New York and pitched Orkin training director and board-certified entomologist Dr. Ron Harrison. They were interested and contacted their Cleveland bureau, which called me back in minutes.
Given how fast you needed to make Harrison available, were you able to prepare him at all for the interview?
Stubits: Harrison had gone through Jackson Spalding's formal media-training program, so he was comfortable with this type of interview. He wasn't watching the game, so I brought him up to speed, and he did some quick research on why the midges were all over the players.
Did you provide any follow-up information or statistics to help the story?
Stubits: No, but Ron did come up with several additional incidents of sporting events that had been affected by bugs that he wove into the interview.
What was the impact of the hit?
Stubits: The AP story ran that night and was picked up by more than 1,400 outlets, including the San Francisco Chronicle, USAToday.com, the Chicago Tribune, CBSnews.com, ESPN, Forbes and Sports Illustrated.com. We also did a separate story with the New York Post. Because Orkin counts on us to be nimble and take advantage of opportunities, it was thrilled with this placement.
Name: Ashlee Stubits, Jackson Spalding (Atlanta)
Placement: The Associated Press, October 5
Pitch timeline: Three hours