Last week, my good friend (and client) ultra-marathon swimmer Chloë McCardel attempted her dream of swimming from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. Although thwarted 11 hours into the 170 km swim by severe jelly fish stings, the direct preparation for the swim took around 9 months.
The publicity required to support such a swim was intense, essential, and formed an integral part of the entire strategy. The resulting media coverage, and the subsequent online trends, say much about the shifting power of the media, but also cement much about what we should already know.
In the months prior to Chloë’s attempt, a search of her name returned about 10,000 results on Google. At the peak of interest during her swim, that figure rose to a staggering 29,000,000. And while the ‘power of the internet’ and discussions on social networks and blogs contributed to that figure, the vast majority of the search returns were due to mentions on sites owned or controlled by traditional media. That is: TV, radio and newspapers.
This demonstrates that even in this exciting age of online media, the fundamental core of traditional publicity foundations must not be overlooked when mounting a promotional campaign.
While the penetration enjoyed by ‘new media’ works to the advantage of every publicist, the mere fact that so many ‘traditional’ media outlets also have a significant online presence, insists that any campaign must never brush-aside traditional media as being irrelevant or old fashioned. Clever publicists use all opportunities to leverage further interest, and depending of the budget, the allocation of the ‘spend’ must consider the multiplication effect gained using conduits that already have significant market presence.
This should all sound very familiar.
It sounds a lot like the modus operandi of PR people prior to the rise of online.
Stackpool manages ultra-marathon swimmer Chloe McCardel’s media and publicity.
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