December 18th, 2018

Linking announcements to current trends or events in the news can be an effective way to attract the attention of the media and generate positive publicity.

A case in point: There is growing interest among the public, local governments, and the business community in abandoning or prohibiting plastic straws that are harmful to the environment and encouraging the use of eco-friendly paper alternatives.

Hoffmaster Group, Inc. capitalized on these concerns in a news release about their purchase of Aardvark, Inc., the only U.S. manufacturer of paper straws. The company said that their acquisition of Aardvark, “will provide Aardvark with the necessary resources to fulfill orders in light of the increasing demand for viable plastic straw alternatives.”

The news release included the following copy about the environment:: “Plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time, with statistics showing that there will be more plastic in the ocean than there are fish, by volume, by 2050. Restaurants, venues, and establishments worldwide are working to combat plastic pollution by switching from plastic to Aardvark paper straws.”

The announcement also referred to the current trend of prohibiting or switching from plastic straws. “Within the last year, Seattle, Fort Myers, Florida, and Carmel, California, have banned plastic straws, while New York, San Francisco, and more communities are considering them. Notable brands such as Starbucks, Disney, and American Airlines, have also announced they’ll eliminate plastic straws from their establishments.”

The strategy of linking the announcement to concerns about the environment was a success. The news release, which was prepared and distributed by Aardvark’s PR firm, Dittoe Public Relations, resulted in more than 230 stories or mentions about the acquisition including coverage by USA Today, Fortune, and CNN. The PR firm said that the news release and the publicity it created resulted in the equivalent of almost $2 million in advertising.