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A UK first, a sex trap and big stink – a recipe for strong editorial coverage

August, 2020

Having a ‘UK first’ is often an advantage when trying to secure media interest, add in a sex angle and a possible dystopian future, and you have the basis for a strong news piece. Maxim director Andrew Metcalf recently had the pleasure of helping to tell one such story for our client NIAB EMR.

At the heart of the story was the first UK capture – by the horticultural scientists at NIAB EMR in East Malling – of a nasty little critter responsible for decimating important crops such as apples, pears and soft fruit all around the world.

Add in the bug’s capture using a sex-pheromone lure to trap it, combined with the schoolboy humour name of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, and you have the basis for a great pitch to engage with the media and secure interviews.

Having talked to the scientist leading on the project, the key was making the story relevant to the media. We quickly got to work drafting a pitch email and a press release which, when approved by NIAB EMR, we shared with the press office at DEFRA as well as other interested parties.

Selling in

Maxim got on the phones and spoke with key trade media outlets, emphasising the importance of the discovery in relation to the potential impact on crops and the commercial wellbeing of growers. BBC Farming Today ran it as their lead story and carried a lengthy interview with one of the NIAB EMR scientists involved in the project.

The story also hit the right note with the mainstream national media, securing coverage by numerous national titles including the Daily Telegraph, Daily MailThe Sun and – in a Maxim first – LadBible. In addition, it was quickly picked up by Horticulture Week and Fresh Plaza, two important sector outlets.

For the regional media in Kent, we played on the story’s local angle and what scientists in East Malling were doing to help save the nation’s fruit in the future. This resulted in a report on ITV Meridian and local newspaper and magazine coverage.

And with the stink bug having been caught in Rainham, we also had a strong Essex angle, leading to coverage on BBC Radio Essex.

Picture: T Haye, CABI

Andrew Metcalf - Director

Andrew Metcalf

Maxim / Director

posted in: maxim/client news, media relations, public relations,

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