Guest Contribution from Andrew Blum*
On February 11, 2014, it was just another day for the PR department at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky. The next day, a sinkhole opened up under the museum, swallowing eight corvettes with it and leading to an overwhelming flood of media coverage.
As a result of all the sudden media attention, the 20-year-old museum signed up with Critical Mention to track the coverage. The sinkhole appeared on February 12, 2014 and media coverage has been going on since then right up until today.
“It’s still going,” said Katie Frassinelli, Marketing and Communications Manager of the museum, who said the staff was deluged with media calls and tracking coverage so it started to use Critical Mention. “We thought it would be nice to track all of the publicity we were getting,” she said.
From February 12 to July 23, the museum has received 7,309 TV and radio hits, with a publicity value of $15.4 million. That includes broadcast 2,000 outlets, Frassinelli said.
The museum has received international coverage of the sinkhole. CNN, NBC and CBS have all filmed there live. The Weather Channel has included the sinkhole in three different programs. History Channel, Discovery Channel and Velocity have also included the museum on shows.
Along with all the media attention, the museum’s Facebook page likes skyrocketed to 162,000, and the number of visitors to the museum rose by 63%.
“There is no way” the museum could have tracked all the coverage without Critical Mention, Frassinelli says.
The museum even made the clipping service part of exhibit in the museum about the sinkhole.
*PR consultant and media trainer Andrew Blum of AJB Communications has directed PR and high-profile and crisis PR for professional services and financial services firms, NGOs, PR agencies and other clients. As a PR executive, and formerly as a journalist, he has been involved on both sides of the media aisle in some of the most media intensive crises of the past 25 years. He is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org
or follow him on Twitter @ajbcomms