Oskar Blues | Utilizing Social Media to Obtain Traditional Media Coverage

  • Challenge

    Oskar Blues asked GFM to help obtain national business media coverage of its 10-year “CANniversary.”

  • Solution

    GFM developed a social-first strategy to engage reporters via social media to secure traditional media coverage

  • Results

    CNBC.com authored a 2,000-word interview with founder Dale Katechis titled, “The Man Who Made Canned Craft Beer Cool.”


Craft brewer Oskar Blues wanted to use its 10-year “CANniversary” (the tenth anniversary of its decision to become the first craft brewer to sell its beer in cans rather than bottles) as an opportunity to elevate its presence in business media nationally. The company started a trend that has been adopted by more than 225 craft breweries globally for numerous economic and environmental benefits, and it asked GFM to help it leverage that industry leadership.


The GFM team recognized that it needed to connect with business reporters in an interesting and unique way, so it developed a “two-pitch” strategy. The team researched media contacts from national, business-related media outlets to pitch the story via traditional channels, but the team also identified those contacts on social networks. The strategy was helpful on two levels: First, the information that influencers and journalists provide on social networks offered the GFM team insights, interests and fodder about the individual that a typical blog post or news story does not. That information helped GFM customize traditional media pitches. Second, the social media platforms gave GFM and Oskar Blues the opportunity to interact with journalists outside of their over-stuffed email inboxes.

GFM followed and interacted with targeted journalists on Twitter. In particular, writer and producer Tom Rotunno writes CNBC’s “Beer Buzz of the Week” blog and is fairly active on Twitter. The GFM team followed Tom and engaged with him via relevant and timely posts and retweets. By building credibility with Rotunno, GFM and Oskar Blues were able to break through the noise and clutter of traditional pitching methods and establish a genuine connection with him. Shortly after Rotunno followed a GFM team member back, we sent him a direct message indicating we had a story for him: Oskar Blues’ 10th CANniversary. Rotunno responded with interest in the tweet shortly thereafter.


Rotunno wrote about Oskar Blues the following week in his “Beer Buzz of the Week” column. More importantly, his interview with Oskar Blues founder Dale Katechis went so well that Rotunno ended up writing a Q&A feature story titled, “The Man Who Made Canned Craft Beer Cool.” The nearly 2,000-word story was posted to the home page of CNBC.com on Aug. 29, 2012 (one month prior to the official 10-year “CANniversary”). The article was shared more than 250 times on social networks and ended up being reposted by more than 40 online news outlets including Yahoo! Finance and USAToday.com.