Established in 1998, AKA MEDIA INC. provides video content strategy and production services for top public relations firms, national non-profit agencies and Fortune 500 companies. 


Working with one of their long-standing clients, the All-American Soap Box Derby, AKA produces content and secures media coverage every year for the annual Championship Race. Because the event takes place in the summer, sports coverage can be a challenge.

“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.” (click to tweet)

Based on his research and previous experience, Rango knew he needed to build diverse and targeted contact lists to best position his message.

“I have been using Cision for over 12 years now,” said Rango. “I knew it would be my go-to tool for this project to help me find the right contacts at the right stations.”



AKA developed a pitching strategy to maximize its chances for coverage of the event. Using Cision for its PR needs, it deployed multi-touchpoint outreach to national and local news, sports and features producers and reporters.

“Using Cision, we were able to build our targeted list quickly and have access to all the information about the media contacts we needed,” said Rango. “Using the list we created, we initially promoted race week using video from the previous year. Targeting the right audience with this message was key to a successful promotion.” (click to tweet)

The AKA team followed its email campaign with direct phone call outreach.

“When using Cision, I can access more details about the contacts through their bios/profile, then find the right ones that fit our story, so it makes it easier to contact that person and deliver a targeted pitch,” said Rango.

“I also like that I can input personal notes that help me remember contacts for future campaigns,” continued Rango. “It’s great to be able to target producers directly and not just send our media alert to the general newsdesk. 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.”

The team completed its promotion with follow up outreach announcing the winners on the national and local level with targeted messaging for each outlet and contacts.


Following the initial outreach, a “LIVE with Kelly” show producer contacted AKA. They asked if one of the race winners would come on the show once the Derby took place. AKA’s client sent one of the racers to the show, and Kelly raced him in her own personalized racecar. The segment was a success, increasing awareness with new key audiences. (click to tweet)

“Our client was thrilled with the results of the campaign,” said Rango. “We were able to find the right producer to contact by using the Cision platform.”

The campaign drove high engagement. The 79th FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby B-Roll results include:

  • 135 national and local television airings and more than 31 million audience impressions – Double the airings from previous year (click to tweet )
  • Close to 300,000 Facebook mentions
  • More than 90,000 Twitter mentions (click to tweet )
  • More than 85 million online and print impressions
  • Close to 12,000 webcast views
  • More than 115 million total media impressions

“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. Whenever I call the customer line or my account manager, there is always somebody available to help and answer my questions. Customer service is at the core of what Cision does.”