Special Olympics

Special Olympics: This Special Event Required Special Media Coverage

In July 2006, more than 3,000 athletes and 30,000 spectators gathered on the campus of Iowa State University for the Special Olympics’ inaugural USA National Games. To raise early awareness for the event, the Special Olympics tapped GFM Talk, the media and influencer relations practice of GroundFloor Media. The GFM Talk team started by thinking big, distributing photographs and local news feeds of an enormous corn maze cut in the shape of the event’s logo to the Associated Press, Gannett News Service and broadcast outlets across the country including “Good Morning America.” Next, we conducted a press conference at the Des Moines Airport to announce plans by the Cessna Aircraft Company to conduct the largest private airlift in aviation history to bring Special Olympics athletes to Iowa for the games.

As the event drew closer the GFM Talk team worked hand-in-hand with PR coordinators from the 50 Special Olympics state programs to generate local coverage and secured pre-event coverage in long-lead magazines such as Country Living, Nick Jr. and SkyWest. During the games, our team coordinated interviews, announced photo opportunities and distributed daily media advisories to more than 200 media attending the games. These efforts resulted in more than 112 million media impressions including more than 2,000 news stories that ran in local, regional and national outlets like TIME for Kids, The Des Moines Register and “The Today Show.”