Finding the angle everyone else has overlooked

By Michael Smart –

Michael_Smart_Headshot_Back in February, I saw a tweet from a journalist that said, “Props to the three businesses that have NOT pitched me a Super Bowl angle this week.”

Tying into a massive current event is a proven way to garner media attention for your business. But when you’re hooking into something as competitive as “the Big Game,” you can often get lost in the shuffle. Big brands spend millions on PR and advertising campaigns focused on one day.

Why fight that battle – why not just focus on the day after? Probably nobody is pitching something pegged to the Monday after the big game or national holiday or important election.

Here’s a prime example:

One Nov. 1st I was driving to the airport and heard an awesome story on the radio. A local medical clinic was hosting a “trick-or-treat trade-in” during the two days after Halloween. Kids could bring their candy in, combat childhood obesity, and receive a movie voucher for every three pounds of sweets they donated. The collected candy would be sent to overseas military.

What a fantastic brainstorm to get some attention for the clinic. Anyone who has ever tried healthcare marketing knows how difficult it is to highlight one particular facility over others. But getting the media to cover this is kinda like, well, taking candy from a baby.

Turns out the story landed coverage on two TV affiliates, the NPR affiliate, and the main newspaper in the clinic’s market, and the outreach brought in more than 500 pounds of candy.

I’ve since found other examples of the “trick-or-treat trade-in” idea online, but obviously it hasn’t reached a saturation point yet.

So whether you find an angle for “the day after” the Super Bowl or not, keep this tactic in mind when you’re brainstorming around the next big media event.

I’ll be sharing more tips like this in my key note address, “Secrets of the New Media Relations Superstars,” at the PRSA North Pacific District Conference, June 23-25 at the Peppermill in Reno. Check it out and learn what other tactics you may be overlooking to boost your company’s visibility. You can find more information at


Michael Smart is the CEO of MichaelSMARTPR. He has trained more than 5,000 PR professionals to improve their pitching success rate and enhance their PR writing. Learn more about Michael’s services at or follow him at @michaelsmartpr.