A Day in the Life of a PR Pro
It’s 7:15 a.m. on day two of the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America. The local Fox-affiliate is already in the parking lot of The Wigwam, the hotel all 200 motorcyclists and support staff stayed at for the night outside of Phoenix.
Anchor Courtney Griffin is interviewing Kyle Petty, former NASCAR driver and NBC Sports racing analyst, on the Ride he founded 22 years ago that is now one of the most successful and popular charity rides in the country. They discuss how the Ride raises funds and awareness for Victory Junction, a camp dedicated to providing life-changing camping experiences for children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses. The camp was started by the Petty family in honor of Kyle’s late son, Adam.
Griffin then turns to Kyle’s father Richard Petty, a NASCAR Hall of Famer and seven-time champion, for another interview. The segment is broadcasted live and shared across the Phoenix viewing area in real time.
In about 15 minutes, the mile-long motor brigade will hit the road, continuing its week-long, 2,150-mile journey that started in Palm Springs, California and ends in Biloxi, Mississippi.
And this year – Largemouth is on the Ride.
By 7:30 a.m., it’s time for us to hop in our Jeep and take our place in the caravan. Our minds are already racing towards the Ride’s first pit stop of the day, mentally preparing for what media will be there, what community groups will need to be recognized, how the mayors will deliver his or her speech and more. In a sea of 200 motorcycles, we’re one of just five support vehicles where the behind-the-scenes work gets done.
There are three pit stops today before we reach our final destination. At each one, we get into a rhythm between managing media interviews, coordinating the fan autograph line and live reporting via social media. The Eastern Arizona Courier interviews Kyle, Richard, and former NFL great Herschel Walker. Walker is caught teaching kids to line dance with NBC Sports NASCAR personality Rick Allen and our social media engagement skyrockets.
Dinner tonight is held at Barnett Harley-Davidson in El Paso, Texas, the world’s largest Harley-Davidson. Destination El Paso delivers a proclamation, officially naming May 1, 2016 “Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America Day.” Interviews are arranged with the local FOX, CBS and ABC broadcast stations. Somewhere in there – the riders and celebrity riders grab delicious Texas-style barbeque.
Once we arrive at our hotel for the night, planning for the next day begins. We connect with our media relations team back in North Carolina who are securing interviews further down the road.
When our heads hit the pillow, we fall asleep immediately, knowing there is another busy and exciting day ahead.
To put it into perspective, here are some numbers outlining the results of our jam-packed week of media relations:
- 7 days
- 2,150 miles
- 32 broadcast / radio stories
- 41 print / online stories
- 11 million media impressions
- Lots and lots of coffee consumed (we lost count!)
In addition to coverage earned prior to and following the Ride, we secured more than 177 million media impressions across 336 stories.