261 Fearless Case Study
In 1967, Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to complete in the Boston Marathon as an official entrant. Switzer’s run turned out to be an iconic moment in Marathon history after a race official attacked her on the course and tried to pull off her 261 bib number. Kathrine fended off the attack, finished the race, and became an international inspiration to female athletes for her determination and perseverance. In 2017, Switzer returned to the Boston Marathon to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her historic run, mark the retirement of her 261 bib number, and promote women’s empowerment through running via her 261 Fearless foundation. To manage this demanding media opportunity, Switzer and 261 Fearless turned to a small team of PR pros, including Joshua Milne PR, to support media events and manage press demands before, during, and after the 2017 Boston Marathon.
Joshua Milne PR and its partners executed a media plan to support Kathrine Switzer’s 2017 Boston Marathon run, the retirement of her number, and the promotion of her 261 Fearless organization, which included 125 sponsored runners participating in the Marathon. The PR team worked with Kathrine to address the following:
- Incoming media requests for interviews.
- Pitch the 261 Fearless story to local and national reporters.
- Organize a press conference prior to race day to discuss the impact of 261 Fearless.
- Draft press materials for local, national, and international media.
- Coordinate logistics and opportunities with the Boston Athletic Association, Adidas International, and the Boston Red Sox.
Thanks to the efforts of Joshua Milne PR and its partners, Kathrine Switzer’s appearance in the 2017 Boston Marathon was a highly visible press event, receiving positive and extensive media coverage. Results of the PR team effort include:
- A total of more than 40 interviews in a one month window with print, online, and broadcast media at the local, national, and international levels
- More than 380 pieces of local, national, and international coverage on Switzer’s historic run, her number retirement, and 261 Fearless. Over the more than 70 tier one media hits, highlights include NBC News, ESPN, The Boston Globe, Time Magazine, BBC News, The Guardian, and People Magazine.
- More than 15 members of the media attended our press conference on “Good Friday” before the marathon.
Runner’s World Sets the Pace at the Boston Marathon
Runner’s World, the world’s leading running magazine, wanted to leverage its connection to the historic Boston Marathon to raise the profile of the magazine and its editors. As part of this effort, Terry Lyons Sports Marketing hired Joshua Milne PR to provide media relations support for the Boston Marathon. Joshua Milne PR took on the challenge of ensuring that a variety of media coverage appeared in the run up to the Marathon promoting the reputation of Runner’s World and its editors as an unmatched source on information about running.
Joshua Milne PR drafted media advisories, calendar listings and media pitches that were distributed to more than 40 media contacts at print and online publications, as well as at radio, TV and web broadcast outlets. We worked with Runner’s World’s PR team at Rodale to brainstorm story ideas that would resonate with the Boston and national sports business media. Terry Lyons Sports Marketing and Joshua Milne PR created a one sheet titled “How Runner’s World Can Help You,” which provided the media with Boston Marathon-related story ideas to consider and offered Runner’s World staff as expert sources.
• Joshua Milne PR took this project on for the 2014 Boston Marathon and it was so successful, we were asked to help Runner’s World again in 2015 and 2016.
• We pitched Runner’s World editors, including Amby Burfoot, editor-at-large and a former Boston Marathon champion, as well, as David Wiley and Bobbi Gibbs in 2016.
• The majority of articles and interviews secured by the team were expert source opportunities providing tips on running and offering thoughts on the Boston Marathon, cementing Runner’s World’s reputation as experts on informing, advising and motivating runners of all ages and abilities.
• The 2015 campaign included hits in the Boston Herald, Boston Globe, Boston.com, ESPN.com, BostonInno, WBZ-TV, WGBH-TV, WZLX-FM and Boston Herald Radio.
• The 2016 campaign included 36 pieces of coverage resulting in an estimated 1.5 million views and 2,700 social media shares from stories and interviews appearing in outlets including WGBHTV’s “Greater Boston,” NPR’s “Here & Now,” New England Cable News, Associated Press, ABC News, The New York Times, New England Sports Network (NESN) and Boston.com.
The Boston Lobsters Gain Steam in the Local Tennis Scene
The Boston Lobsters, based in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, and part of the World TeamTennis league, were looking for media exposure to drive traffic and ticket sales for their match play lasting approximately two weeks in July 2015. The Lobsters turned to Terry Lyons Sports Marketing and Joshua Milne PR to tap into their media relations expertise and knowledge and experience with sports marketing and sporting event media coverage.
Joshua Milne PR reached out to local media of all kinds to inform tennis enthusiasts about the Boston Lobsters and their upcoming season using media outreach, interviews, onsite coverage and event listings. Terry Lyons Sports Marketing and Joshua Milne PR drafted media advisories, calendar listings and media pitches to promote the event, reaching out to more than 50 local media contacts at print and online publications, as well as at local TV and radio outlets.
We also leveraged a visit from tennis legend Billie Jean King to drive interest in the Lobsters’ matches, scheduling and staffing a one-day media tour around the Boston area for Ms. King.
During the tournament, Joshua Milne PR provided onsite support, attending matches to help media covering the events, and helping to facilitate interviews whenever possible.
• Joshua Milne PR secured and scheduled 15 print and broadcast interviews during the Boston Lobsters’ two-week season.
• We secured coverage in a variety of local media outlets, including Boston Business Journal, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Newburyport News, Salem News, Sports Business Daily, TennisIndustryMag.com, Boston Central, Baystate Parent, and GateHouse Media’s Wicked Local publications, which include dozens of local newspapers across Massachusetts.
Why You Should Hire Joshua Milne PR
- You are receiving senior-level PR counsel.
- I have primarily focused on securing media coverage for my clients over the last eight years.
- I have relationships with media in a variety of industries at the local, regional and national levels.
- I am thorough and will leave no stone unturned as I research media opportunities, awards, or speaking opportunities for my clients.