Detroit Free Press, October 3
What are Comerica Bank's current media goals?
Wayne Mielke: Our primary goals include getting positive coverage of Comerica in the market where we have a dominant presence, Michigan, as well as in our growing markets of California, Texas, Arizona, and Florida.
What made the Detroit Free Press a desired placement for Comerica, and how did you go about pitching business columnist Tom Walsh?
Mielke: The Detroit Free Press is the largest newspaper in our home state of Michigan and was an obvious target. We already had a great relationship with Tom, and he knows I call him first when I have solid news.
The success of the 2006 Detroit Tigers is a huge sports story, but what made you think Comerica's naming rights to the team's ballpark could be a big business story, as well?
Mielke: Since the Tigers were absent from the playoffs for 19 years before this season, we knew the Detroit media would fill entire sections with stories about the Tigers, their fans, the ballpark, and the benefits to the city and region of the team's playoff success.
You were able to provide Walsh with statistics noting the media value to Comerica of a long Tigers playoff run. Did you have those numbers in place before your pitch?
Mielke: Yes, I had worked with Eric Smallwood of Front Row Marketing Services a year earlier, when the Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played at Comerica Park, so I knew he could deliver the analysis. With those numbers in hand, I contacted Tom, who immediately recognized a good story and had it in the paper the next day.
What was the impact of the hit?
Mielke: Since Walsh's column, headlined in part, "Why Comerica is smart..." ran, we've received other media interest, including a piece in The Detroit News that focused on coverage of the dramatic ninth-inning home run that put the Tigers in the World Series in which the Comerica Park scoreboard is clearly visible.
Name: Wayne Mielke, VP, corporate communications, Comerica (Detroit)
Placement: Detroit Free Press, October 3
Pitch timeline: Less than 24 hours