How Do You Hydrate? Dittoe PR Supports Lonely Whale’s Latest Campaign, Starting in Manhattan

When it comes to recruiting media to client events, Dittoe PR is no stranger. So when clients Lonely Whale and Vita Coco tasked us with getting top tier media out to Lonely Whale’s pop-up Museum of Plastic in Manhattan, New York, we were up for the challenge.

In September 2017, we organized a press conference for Lonely Whale’s Strawless in Seattle campaign, and we were thrilled to have the privilege of serving as the ocean health leader’s PR partner for their latest massive movement.

The campaign
The Museum of Plastic was the culmination of Lonely Whale and Point Break Foundation’s new Question How You Hydrate campaign, which empowers consumers to choose and champion sustainable alternatives to plastic water bottles. To combat the reality that a whopping 500 billion plastic water bottles are used around the world annually and by 2050, the ocean is expected to contain more plastic than fish (by weight), Lonely Whale launched three components within Question How You Hydrate:

  1. The campaign PSA featuring Zooey Deschanel, Aquaman Jason Momoa, Lonely Whale Co-Founder Adrian Grenier and more, committing to stop using plastic water bottles and challenging others to do the same; and
  2. The social media challenge #HydrateLike that asks individuals, organizations and brands to pledge their commitment to remove single-use plastic water bottles from their daily routines and replace them with sustainable alternatives, such as reusable bottles, household cups or aluminum cans; and
  3. The pop-up Museum of Plastic, which incorporated brand collaborators HP, S’well, Ever & Ever and attn:.

To support Lonely Whale’s campaign, the makers of leading coconut water brand Vita Coco introduced new aluminum canned water brand Ever & Ever as a sustainable alternative to plastic water bottles for consumers on the go and partnered with Dittoe PR to promote the new product. (We recently bought Ever & Ever for the office and we can’t stop raving about them!).

Our strategy
Our approach to announcing the launch of a new campaign, PSA, pop-up museum and new product was multi-faceted: Pitch media under an embargo, arrange one-on-one media sneak peeks at the Museum of Plastic before the evening launch party and target multiple media audiences who would be interested in this news, including local NYC where the museum was launching, national consumer, conservation, beverage trade, advertising and marketing trade and more.

Other tasks we took on for the Museum of Plastic launch event include creating and overseeing the very detailed run of show; managing all party RSVPs; supporting Lonely Whale and Ever & Ever onsite; assisting in coordination of speeches for the event for Lonely Whale Executive Director Dune Ives, Adrian Grenier and the President of the United Nations General Assembly; collaborating with museum partners HP, S’well, attn: and event and PR agencies; and creating press releases, messaging documents, a media advisory and a fact sheet.


The embargo for stories about the campaign and the Museum of Plastic lifted the week the museum opened to the public, and it was so effective that thousands of New Yorkers visited the museum in the five short days it was open!


The (highly anticipated) results
The Museum of Plastic launch event was a full house with 291 guests (capacity of space was 275), including notable VIPs Hayley Law, Riverdale actress and singer; Nev Schulman, host and executive producer of MTV’s Catfish; Paige Alms, Hawaiian big wave surfer and many more. Dittoe PR secured media attendees from nearly 20 influential media outlets, including Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Fast Company, The New Yorker, Business Insider, BuzzFeed, Cosmopolitan, HuffPost, NowThis and more.

In just two weeks, we had over 100 pieces of media coverage about Question How You Hydrate, Ever & Ever and the Museum of Plastic in our identified key target media markets. Our digital media monitoring tool Trendkite reported that Ever & Ever had 97% share of voice in the media compared to other aluminum canned water competitors. Google Analytics showed us that there was an influx of website visitors to Lonely Whale’s website on our media embargo lift date.

We are so proud to have contributed to an incredibly successful campaign, product launch and museum opening. Question How You Hydrate makes a real difference in the world, and we’re continuing to challenge ourselves, colleagues and friends to #HydrateLike the future depends on it and remove plastic water bottles from our lifestyles! Will you join us?

Tips for Securing National Media Coverage

“No thanks.”

“Not at this time.”

“I appreciate your persistence, but I’m not interested.”

 

If you’re in PR, you’ve more than likely received a response similar to this from national media journalists. In my five years at Dittoe PR, I’ve heard this, well… too many times to count. While it can be discouraging to get so many rejections about your story idea, especially after you’ve spent hours coming up with the strategy and writing that perfect pitch, a PR professional must never give up. Hearing that “yes” makes the flurry of pitches worth it—for yourself and for your client.

 

National media outreach is often perceived as the most difficult kind of pitching. But if your client’s preferred coverage is a story in Forbes, The Today Show, and USA Today, or if you want to thoroughly impress a new client, you need to know how to become an expert in landing outstanding media hits in national outlets.

 

Using the below tips to secure national media coverage will help to blow your clients out of the water:

 

Do your research.

 

As with all media pitching, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re reaching out to the right journalist. Study their beat. Tailor your pitch to make it about what they typically cover. Personalize the intro of your email by expressing how much you loved their recent article on the best way to earn a college scholarship, and THEN share your story idea about caddying for a full ride to college.

 

My client, Aardvark straws, was interested in national consumer media coverage about their NFL paper straws, as they are the only paper straw company that has the rights to print NFL team logos. I recall finding an editor from Southern Living who had shared that her favorite NFL team was the Dallas Cowboys. Well, did I have the pitch for her! I offered her samples of Aardvark’s Dallas Cowboys paper straws to use for a Super Bowl party, and she replied not even a minute later with interest. A week later, Aardvark earned coverage in Southern Living!

 

Don’t underestimate the power of newsjacking.

 

Newsjacking, or taking advantage of current events or news stories in such a way as to promote one’s product or brand, can really help your client steal the spotlight. It’s always good practice to pitch a story idea that is timely, so newsjacking works well if you pitch your story as soon as possible after the news breaks.

 

Our country was so divided after the latest presidential election that even employees were affected at work. Another client of mine, Culture of Good, guides other businesses on engaging their employees properly. Immediately following the presidential election, I took the opportunity to pitch national journalists about fixing employee morale and keeping everyone together, which resulted in interest with Fast Company.

 

Make your email worth opening with a catchy subject line.

 

A dry, dull subject line such as “New wireless retail partner” is not going to get you anywhere with national media. A PR pro should make their subject lines catchy and succinct, while getting the point of the pitch across. Using Emojis adds creativity, and often, addressing the journalist’s name in the subject line helps the writer know the pitch may be personal.

 

A subject line that worked well for one of my clients, Redux, grabbed the attention of Mashable, The Today Show, TIME Magazine, New York Magazine, Digital Trends, and more: SPLASH! How to revive a wet phone in a flash this summer

 

And, when following up with media, change up the subject line to see if it peaks their interest.

 

Add images when applicable.

 

If you’re pitching a consumer product, this is a given. What better way to help a national reporter visualize your client’s product than with a photo? But even if you aren’t sharing info about a consumer product, images can add flair to an email.

Who wouldn’t want to stay at Ironworks Hotel after seeing one of their suites?

 

Be persistent.

 

Persistence is key! It’s not uncommon for a reporter to accidentally miss your first email… or your second… or your third. Follow up emails are often the ones where I receive the MOST media interest from—local and national alike. As mentioned before, refresh your subject line, add new information in the follow ups the writer may be more interested in, and keep up the determination!

 

And you may need to become a bit of a stalker.

 

Not really. But kind of. Okay, you do.

 

It’s great to find the ideal national reporter to cover your client’s story, but it can be confusing as to why you aren’t receiving any responses.

 

Look at writers’ Twitter accounts to see what they have been up to. Maybe they are on vacation or maternity leave. They could also be at a conference or tied up with a big story angle. It might be nice to use that bit of information in a follow up once you find out when they’ll be back on the grind.

 

And if you can’t find a national reporter’s email address, you may be able to find it on social media, personal websites, or otherwise.

 

Calling both local AND national writers can be nerve wracking. So before picking up the phone, try to discover if they’ve blatantly told publicists not to reach them via phone. You don’t want them to blacklist you. But I’ve called plenty of national reporters who simply didn’t see my initial emails and have indeed been interested in my client’s story. It’s definitely worth a shot!

 

Most national journalists receive hundreds of emails daily. Make yours count by sharing a lean and impactful pitch with the appropriate writer who won’t want to miss your groundbreaking story.

Ironworks Indy Fall Block Party

What better way to kick off October than with a block party? Ironworks at Keystone, Indianapolis’ premier living and retail property, celebrated its one-year anniversary on Saturday, Oct. 3, by hosting a complimentary family-friendly block party featuring entertainment, live music, food, beer and more.

The event kept the kiddos entertained with bounce houses, face painting, balloon twisting, pumpkin painting and magic shows…all for free! This allowed parents to kick back (with local beer from Bier Brewery), enjoy touring the mixed development property and sampling free food from the property’s restaurant tenants: Ruth’s Chris, Sangiovese Ristorante and B Spot Burgers.

Not even pets were left out of this party! The Humane Society for Hamilton County was in attendance with a marketing booth and furry friends for those interested in animal adoption.

How Dittoe PR assisted in the Ironworks block party

At Dittoe PR, we know how to throw a great event. Our staff worked diligently to ensure the event was a success by300x170-image coordinating all media activity as well as handling the logistics.

Our team was responsible for:

  • Securing event vendors and certificates of insurance, W9s and contracts;
  • Working with each retail tenant for discounts offered to the public that day;
  • Keep track of budget we were given;
  • Coordinating charitable partnerships;
  • Developing the VIP and media list;
  • Getting the word out to the public;
  • Orchestrating the set up the day of the event.

We had more than 300 Eventbrite registrants, which surpassed Ironworks’ goal.

Dittoe was at the event to make sure that the nitty-gritty details were seamless for the big day. While the weather was not cooperative, we still had about 200 people come out to Ironworks’ first-ever Fall Block Party. Because of its success, Ironworks hopes to make this event recurring!

Happy (belated) Birthday Ironworks!