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?

Why Startups Should Hire a PR Agency

You’ve made the big plunge! Congrats on your incredible startup adventure. You’re probably thinking, “Now where do I go next?”

It’s no secret that starting a new business, no matter how much professional experience you have under your belt, is a challenging endeavor. And when it comes to showcasing a new company, it can be intimidating (especially when you’re trying to stay on a budget). By partnering with a PR agency, some of that weight is lifted off your shoulders, allowing you to focus more intently on running your business.

Investing in PR
Public relations is about making news happen and ultimately allowing any new business to truly shine. Not only does PR help tell your story, but it’s also all about increasing visibility and building relationships. This is key when you’re just starting off!

Although the value of adding PR to a business is huge, there are a few things that you’ll need to be able to do before hiring an agency:

  • Define your target audience
  • Determine the spokespeople you’ll offer to the media
  • Determine your budget for PR
    • It’s crucial that you budget enough to see results, and this means creating a relationship with an agency that lasts beyond a couple of months.
  • Define your competitors
  • Outline your business objectives and initiatives

New owners are often attracted to a marketing regimen that immediately results in sales. How on earth does one measure success with public relations? Public relations actually CAN (and does) drive measurable results. Website traffic directed from secured media hits, media impressions and social media engagements are just a few examples of key performance indicators (KPIs) used to measure ROI in PR. And, in sharing your story with the right outlets and the right audience, you’ll discover solid success.

Sharing Your Story
Media relations is the bread and butter of what we do at Dittoe PR. Our ability to develop and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with the media enables us to consistently secure media coverage that builds awareness, drives engagement and influences behavior among our clients’ key audiences – all action items that are of utmost importance to any startup!

Interacting with journalists is a good reason to get all content, including your website, social channels and more, in a presentable format. It’s easy to focus internally on what your coworkers and professional connections think about your business. But interacting with journalists, and therefore getting your company’s story absorbed by your target audience, is when you’ll start to see your business thrive.

Forbes provides a helpful reminder to only create and document content that will bring value to your audience and build a lasting relationship with them. View starting a new business as a chance to do things right from the beginning.

Building a Positive Reputation
Your company is new. So you likely don’t have a plethora of reviews or testimonials to tout your amazing service or product. And no new brand can survive on self-promotion and advertising alone, making credible sources telling your story a key component of marketing for your business.

PR is an effective tool that can amp up one’s credibility with media coverage. Third-party articles, videos, reviews and more in reputable publications are items that can be listed on a website and included in other marketing materials. Honestly, this process can take some time, but in the end – you’ll have earned testimonial gold. Media coverage isn’t necessarily about gaining direct sales, but it’s about direct brand messaging and building awareness. And believe it or not, marketing and public relations are at their best when used together.

In short, marketing aims to achieve direct revenue while public relations is about sharing your company’s story through communication channels. So here’s our advice: start out strong and hit the ground running with a custom-made and results-focused PR campaign!

We’re here to help businesses succeed. If you’re interested in seeking public relations for your startup,  contact Lauryn Gray to schedule a meeting and learn more about what Dittoe PR could do for your business.

How to Build a Social Media Advertising Calendar

So, you’re ready to advertise on social media – congratulations! Now that you have a strong social strategy and content flowing regularly on your page, it’s time to increase the reach of your posts by putting ad dollars behind them.

Typically, at Dittoe PR, we build “ad cals” on a monthly basis for our clients, but you have the option to create a weekly, monthly, quarterly or even an annual advertising calendar.

From outlining your advertising goals to selecting content and setting a budget, below is a step-by-step guide to help you build a social media advertising calendar and further promote your business online.

Step 1: Set your budget
According to Web Strategies, businesses spend on average about 5-15% of their annual revenue on marketing efforts. Of that total marketing budget, 35-45% of funds should be allotted to digital marketing. From there, 15-25% of the digital marketing budget should be allocated towards social media advertisements.

For example, if your company reported a $100,000 revenue in 2018, your annual social media advertising budget should be around $1,500. Break that down on a monthly basis, and you should be spending about $125 per month.

At Dittoe PR, we recommend starting out with a budget of $250-500 per month in the first few months to allow for audience and content A/B testing.

Step 2: Create an audience
Understanding which platform(s) your target audience is active on will benefit you in the long run. The Pew Research Center conducts an annual survey to discover which platforms certain demographic groups gravitate toward.

If you’re trying to reach women between the ages of 30-49, Facebook is probably your best bet. But if you’re trying to reach men between the ages of 18-29, YouTube or Instagram might be the advertising platform for you.

Whoever your target audience is, the more specific you can be with demographics, the more likely you are to see a higher return on your investment. For example, let’s say you’re promoting an article published in an industry trade publication by your CEO on how to retain employees. You’ll probably want to promote the piece on LinkedIn and target users with similar work and education history and those working in overlapping industries since the content will be most relevant to them. It wouldn’t make sense to target 18-24-year-old users on Instagram, right?

Step 3: Outline your goals
After setting a budget and defining your niche audience, it’s time to align your overall business goals with your expectations for social ad performance. Are you interested in increasing foot traffic to one of your locations? Consider targeting people within a certain mile radius of your store. Are you interested in promoting a new product or service? Find common interests and overlapping demographics for your target audience and promote away!

Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn allow digital marketers to select an overall campaign goal when setting up new ads or selecting existing content to boost or sponsor. From brand awareness to consideration and conversions (a.k.a., website visits to engagement and lead gen), start with the objective that best aligns with your overall goals and go from there!

Step 4: Select the content
Now that you’ve set your budget, chosen your platform and outlined your goals and target audience, it’s time to select the content you want to promote! Personally, I like to look at the top performing content over the past few weeks and look ahead for any upcoming events or recurring promotions in the next month to help me get started.

You can also look at recently secured media coverage, top performing or under-performing landing pages on your website (shout-out to Google Analytics!) and upcoming holidays that align with your business objectives.

Are you trying to increase gift card sales before Mother’s Day? Did your media relations team recently secure a big national hit? Do you have an informational video getting a lot of views on your website? Is your business recruiting for new positions? The options are endless, especially if you’re willing to get creative!

Step 5: Build your calendar
Just like grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookie recipe, it doesn’t really matter what order you throw the ingredients into the bowl, as long as they’re all accounted for in the end! As long as you’ve checked all five boxes before launching your ad, you’re good to go!

Some digital marketers start by outlining which dates they want the ad to run first, then follow up with budget, audience, etc. This can be useful if you’re advertising a seasonal sale on a product line or promoting ticket sales for an upcoming event. Some start by dividing their budget equally between 4-5 ads and align the audience type with the content, which can be useful for businesses trying to build general brand awareness among target audiences.

At Dittoe PR, we use the following format for our ad cals, but feel free to make one of your own if you need more information!

AD DESCRIPTION: This is a brief description of the ad (i.e., Careers page or WaPo coverage)

  • Ad run: These are the start and end dates for your advertisement.
  • Medium: This helps to signify whether or not your team will be boosting existing content or creating a new advertisement, and on which platform the ad will run.
  • Creative: From a URL to a company branded graphic or video, the creative used can vary depending on the type of ad you’re running. Just be sure whoever is creating the ads understands what will catch the audiences’ eyes! (Hint: visuals > text)
  • Campaign budget: Here’s where you outline the total amount you want to spend on the advertisement over the lifetime of the ad. If you’re running for longer than a week, consider at least $1/day. Some platforms, like LinkedIn, require a $10/day minimum.
  • Audience: Use this section to break down the audience demographics including age, gender, employment status, job industry, interests, and much more.

Once you’ve got all the pieces to the puzzle, put them together in an easy-to-understand calendar format like the one below. This will help you reference the month (or year) at a glance and know when it’s time to launch a new set of ads. This format will also help ensure you’re not oversaturating the market with too many ads running at once.

If you’re still interested in assistance with managing your social media advertising efforts, contact Lauryn Gray to schedule a consultation or request a proposal. We’re happy to help!