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Media Relations: The Folio Society in The Observer – A Case Study

11/05/2018

Last month, a member of the PR team secured a brilliant four page feature for our client, The Folio Society, in The Observer, for their new title, The Snow Leopard. ‘Zen and the art of following in your father’s footsteps,’ which was published on the 8th April 2018, across both The Observer and the Guardian online. We were really excited to see this piece go live here in the office,  particularly from a media relations perspective, and so we wanted to share with you why we thought it worked so well.  It’s these moments that make this such a rewarding industry!

The Shey Gompa, Peter Matthiesson’s goal in The Snow Leopard. Photograph: George Schaller

New is Key

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of pitching a product, experience, or service to a journalist, is to present it as unique. If we can provide them with something that has never before been seen, or heard of, then, it’s got the potential to be a ‘story’ in the journalist’s eyes.  In this case, the new release of the book was a great hook, and the fact that we could supply both an exclusive interview and photography, was even better.

Photograph: © George B. Schaller 2018 from The Folio Society edition of The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen

Original, Unseen Photography

Another element of the feature that we think made it stronger, was the inclusion of the brilliant images from The Folio Society’s edition of the book. On top of being previously unpublished, the photographs of the trek across the Himalayas described in The Snow Leopard bring to life the adventure, which was ideal for the ‘Travel’ section of the newspaper. Only through effective imagery could the reader experience the author’s team crossing a mountain stream, with trekking gear intact.

© George B. Schaller 2018 from The Folio Society edition of The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiesse

An Excellent Story

At the core of a successful feature, is a really interesting story. The Folio Society’s edition of The Snow Leopard gave us the perfect grounds for this story, in the form of its introduction, written by the author’s son, Alex Matthiessen. As Mattheissen details his experience of recreating the very same trek that his father took, the story became very clear. In the piece itself, Tim Adams, the journalist, talks to Alex about his thoughts, feelings, and motivations on taking that same journey, in order to determine its’ spiritual value.

When we are putting together a feature idea for media relations, we focus on each of the elements to craft something that we believe would be truly engaging for the reader. In this case, this tactic was successful, and resulted in coverage we’ll definitely be putting up on the Cherish Wall of Fame.

Written by Jasmine Prasad, Cherish PR 

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