Foundation appeals to 'News Hour'

The News Hour with Jim Lehrer (PBS), September 11

The News Hour with Jim Lehrer (PBS), September 11

Who is your client, and what are its media goals?

Tony Berlin: The Peter C. Alderman Foundation was founded by Steve and Liz Alderman, who lost their son in the Twin Towers attack. Its role is to help train doctors and healthcare providers in countries around the world to treat victims of terrorism and mass violence. The Aldermans were looking to raise national awareness for both the foundation and the cause.

What made The News Hour with Jim Lehrer such a good hit, and how did you pitch the producers there?

Berlin: The News Hour with Jim Lehrer is very well respected and has the time and resources to really delve into stories. I knew one of the reporters there, and while discussing another story, I mentioned the foundation and how the Aldermans had taken a personal tragedy and turned it into this global cause.

Is it difficult these days to get media outlets interested in 9/11-related stories?

Berlin: There is some 9/11 fatigue, but at the end of the day, the media still want to talk about related issues every anniversary. The fact that the foundation is very forward-looking ended up being a very compelling angle for the News Hour producers.

Did you media train Steve and Liz Alderman for their segment?

Berlin: We sat down and gave the Aldermans some talking points, and a News Hour producer did a preinterview with them before they went to Washington to tape their segment. We also provided b-roll and photography of clinics in other countries that the producers packaged into a piece that aired before the Aldermans' interview.

What was the impact of the hit?

Berlin: The segment showed how the Peter C. Alderman Foundation was one of the few foundations formed in the wake of the 2001 attacks that was still going. It triggered a flurry of donations, as wells as calls and e-mails from people around the US and the world looking to get involved.

Name: Tony Berlin, media relations manager, Padilla Speer Beardsley (New York)

Placement: The News Hour with Jim Lehrer (PBS), September 11

Pitch timeline: Two weeks

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