Public relations takes time and depends on regular contact with the right reporters. When our client, Vaisala, came to us with exclusive lightning data, we knew we had to develop a strategy that would result in consistent media coverage over time.
The scientists at Vaisala, a global leader in products and solutions for environmental and industrial weather measurement (including lightning), were able to utilize the information gathered from their GLD360 lightning detection system to create a map depicting lightning density around the world.
Preparing the PR Strategy
MAPR developed a plan to release the map in coordination with spring storms, when lightning would be top of mind for the public. After developing a news release to highlight interesting data from the map, MAPR strategically pitched science and meteorology media contacts across the U.S. in mid-April.
Initial interest came from reporters who used the data and map to inform readers of lightning “hot spots” across the world, including a segment from the Weather Channel. MAPR knew that there would be additional interest in the spring, especially as storms continued to develop in heavy fashion across the U.S.
The Right Reporters, the Right Story at the Right Time
MAPR proceeded to research reporters who would be interested in sharing the data and garnered interest from Axios, who had spoken with a Vaisala expert earlier in the year on a different topic and was aware of the company’s reliable and precise data. Axios was interested in utilizing the data to create its own interactive visual and published an engaging piece more than a month after the initial data was released to the public.
MAPR continued pitching the story in coordination with National Lightning Safety Awareness Week, which came at the end of June. It was then we saw additional interest from a Washington Post reporter, who had originally seen the story when we pitched it to her back in April. The topic was now timely for her audience and The Washington Post published a story at the very end of June, sharing the map with their readers and highlighting Vaisala’s accurate data nearly two months after the original release went out.
MAPR’s continued efforts to utilize established relationships resulted in wonderful coverage and over time, developed new relationships for our client and continued to introduce Vaisala to new influential reporters. By combining this story with other weather-related pitches for Vaisala, we were able to secure nearly 20 interviews and story placements in a single month, including both local and top-tier national media.