After appearing on Live with Kelly, an American syndicated morning talk show, the B-Roll from the All-American Soap Box Derby made over 115 million media impressions.

AKA Media has provided video content strategy and production services to the All-American Soap Box Derby for many years. Each year, they are tasked with securing media coverage throughout the summer months, when the Championship Race takes place and when competition for sports coverage peaks. AKA Media decided a targeted pitching strategy was essential to secure coverage.

“Sports coverage peaks over the summer,” said Vince Rango, Social & Media Relations Strategist, AKA MEDIA INC. “It can be difficult to stand out through that noise, which is why we needed a very targeted approach.”

Here are the tactics that AKA Media used to gain media coverage for their client, the All-American Soap Box Derby.


Build a targeted list

Too often, a “batch and blast” strategy is used by time and resource poor agencies, looking to hit as many inboxes as possible with their news. Marketers taking this approach will see little success. Journalists and influencers have long been preaching that it is the targeted, relevant and timely pitch that will earn media coverage. Using the Cision platform, AKA Media could quickly build a targeted list and gain the information about the media contacts that they needed to craft a compelling and relevant pitch.


Before you put a journalist or influencer on your targeted list, read several of their latest articles and check out their social media to ensure they are still covering your specific industry. Also, look at who your targeted influencers follow: you will discover new people with the same interests to share your news with. – Cision Expert


Target more than just news desks

While reaching news desks is important, the key to maximizing the success of your pitch lies in getting your story directly in front of producers and journalists that are specifically interested in your news. The Cision database allows you to target the producers directly: a tactic which proved critical for AKA Media.

“We wanted to conduct our outreach to producers personally to increase our chances of reaching them. They might miss a mass email to the news desk, but if they get a personal email, there’s a greater chance it will be viewed,” explains Rango.


Don’t pitch more than one journalist at a specific publication: this indicates that you are unaware of their individual beats and who is best to cover your news. Be aware that it’s often the attention of the researchers, chase producers and the assignment editors that you need to catch so don’t forget to pitch to them! – Cision Expert


Write a tailored pitch

Relationships are fundamental to PR professionals and as AKA Media discovered, a database that allows you to add personal notes and comments can be instrumental in building and maintaining these relationships.

“Cision is an integral part of what we do here at AKA,” said Rango. “The platform is so much more intuitive and user-friendly than other platforms available in the market.”

The ability to add in personal notes to database to help remember contacts for future campaigns allows users to craft a story that is tailored specifically to certain journalists and influencers. It was this very targeted and direct messaging that helped AKA Media secure the TV slot for their client, the All- American Soap Box Derby that generated more than 115 million media overall impressions.


Use the personal notes section on the Cision database to help you remember what you said and to whom. This can help avoid any uncomfortable faux-pas going forward. Be sure to also record their pitching preferences to help you with upcoming campaigns. – Cision Expert


If you would like to see the complete tactics and results from this campaign by AKA Media, simply download our case study here.

About Amy-Louise Tracey

Amy-Louise Tracey is the Communications Manager at CNW Group. Follow her @AmyLouiseTracey.

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