Media Pitch

Suggestion box contribution leads to successful media pitch

Pittsburgh International Airport unveils sensory room based on idea from employee with autistic son.

A Perfect Place for Presley - Logo -

A heavy equipment operator at Pittsburgh International Airport—father of a four-year-old autistic son—dropped an idea into the airport employee suggestion box: a sensory room for people with sensory-processing sensitivities.

The idea became reality with the July 23, 2019 unveiling of Presley’s Place, named for Presley Rudge, the four-year-old diagnosed two years ago. The Marketing & Communications team developed a communication plan to take advantage of the room’s debut; their work has earned first place in the “Media Pitch” category of the PR Daily Awards.

The goals were simple: Let people know of the facility’s existence and position the airport as a global aviation leader whose model other airports could follow. The campaign took on multiple forms, including traditional pitching (both one-on-one and with a press release), articles on the airport’s news website, videos, events, internal communications and a message to all airport employees from the airport’s CEO.

The pitches were particularly effective, delivering an estimated reach of nearly 220 million people through media coverage of the event. Among outlets covering the room’s debut were the “Today” show, The Washington Post, NPR and Lonely Planet.

Ultimately, there were more than 200 placements in more than 200 media outlets. The other channels were also successful: Social media engagement, for example, produced more than 8,000 engagements and more than 7,000 page views.

Congratulations to Bob Kerlik, Paul O’Rourke, Ashlee Wallace, Matt Neistein, Kristin Cullen, Beth Hollerich, Natalie Fiorilli, Laura Whitaker, Jeff Martinelli, Elise Farris and Samantha Stedford.

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