Hunt.Fish.Feed Milwaukee and How I Wrangled an Invite to the Monkey Room

Michelle shucking corn at Hunt.Fish.Feed Milwaukee

We hosted yet another successful Hunt.Fish.Feed in Milwaukee this past week where we fed more than 400 people a tasty meal of venison Sloppy Joes complete with corn on the cob, macaroni salad and watermelon. A highlight of any Hunt.Fish.Feed event we do is to simply create an awesome meal with donated venison.  But the Milwaukee stop on our tour gave us something a little extra we didn’t expect – Milwaukee gave us a lot of media love.

We reach out to media on every Hunt.Fish.Feed stop and for the most part, we do well with a couple big TV mentions and some print hits.  Milwaukee went above and beyond and for the first time, I felt we really got the message across that hunters are the heroes here.

Milwaukee by the numbers:

  • 406 people fed
  • 115 pounds of venison donated
  • 45 huge watermelons purchased
  • 500 ears of corn shucked and boiled
  • 25 volunteers from Sportsman Channel and Time Warner Cable
  • One radio show – Cutting Edge Outdoors Show on ESPN 1250AM (where I was invited back AGAIN because the response was so good, click on the link to hear the show)
  • One national radio clip – CBS News ran the story nationally over the weekend
  • One AP article that was picked up by approximately 20 local outlets

That’s quite the media coverage! So what was the “secret sauce” that led to this success? I can only assume the following:

1. Serving venison at a shelter is not something you hear about – that makes it newsworthy

2. We are based in Milwaukee – that makes it local

3. The event was on a Tuesday and not much happens on Tuesdays, barring weather – that makes it timely

4. And – this is not something they teach you in PR/Journalism class – but Milwaukee is hunter friendly. The newstations had no problem promoting the event. The FOX6 station ran the clip they took of the event during five different news segments. FIVE!

The ladies from The Morning Blend, Michelle and Scott Leysath

Next week we head to San Diego and I doubt I can repeat this amount of media coverage. I am pretty much hitting #1 and #3 on my list. I know the area isn’t as friendly to our cause and that’s sad because it isn’t about hunters – it is about what we are ALL doing to help those during their time of need. This is the second largest group we’ve ever fed with 1,500 meals. That’s 400 pounds of venison! The largest group we served was in Detroit with 2,000 people served in 2009.

And the Monkey Room? That’s from the Cutting Edge Outdoors radio guys. One of the hosts of the show owns a bait shop and it seems they have a room above the retail floor with a table, chairs and a whole bunch of mounts. It is their “guy place” where women are invited (hence my invite) but they certainly don’t stay long.   I can only assume I received the invite for one reason: I took the time to drive to the studio and go on air instead of calling in.

Go the extra mile for media and it will get returned to you in double.

What is your “secret sauce” to get media coverage for your events? Why do you think you are, or aren’t, successful in getting local coverage?

P.S. I really doubt I will be visiting the Monkey Room anytime soon.