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The Singing Revolution

Strategy

Jim and Maureen Tusty sought out RLM to promote their documentary film, The Singing Revolution, the story of how David defeated Goliath without a slingshot. The Singing Revolution chronicles Estonia’s nonviolent struggle to reclaim its independence through song. RLM’s goal was to create buzz around the film and raise awareness of the story of fascinating historical events.

Tactics

When RLM entered the picture, The Signing Revolution was already playing in select locations and had garnered glowing reviews from The New York Times, Daily Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and NPR. With no advertising budget, though, this documentary about events with which Americans are largely unfamiliar was challenged to continue to draw audiences.

RLM immediately recognized that we needed to focus our resources on national media outlets and large media markets, where stories would reach people both directly and through word-of-mouth and syndication.

Results

During the initial 3-day run in Chicago, RLM secured an interview for Jim Tusty on WFLD-TV (FOX), which ran on the evening news, resulting in the Gene Siskel Film Center being packed to the rafters — and the film being asked back for a month-long run.

The Washington, D.C. premier coincided with the visit of Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves. Using the president as a news hook, RLM placed the story in U.S. News and World Report, Reuters, AARP Radio, The Washington Times and The Record (NJ). RLM also secured feature stories with the St. Petersburg Times, WTVT-TV (FOX) and WUSF-TV (PBS) in Tampa, where President Ilves traveled following his stop in Washington D.C. Additionally, RLM secured a more than 5-minute segment on the PBS program, Foreign Exchange with Daljit Dhaliwl, which has a viewership of 1.5 million.

In San Francisco, RLM secured an interview for Steve Jurvetson, successful venture capitalist and the film’s executive producer, with the San Francisco Chronicle, which resulted in an in-depth article. Focusing on Jurvetson’s reputation as an investor in technology and Estonia’s stature as one of Europe’s most technically advanced countries, RLM secured an interview for Steve and Jim with Business Week, as well as a review in the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

By concentrating RLM’s pitching power in major cities, reviews were secured in the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, The Boston Globe, Boston Herald and Boston Phoenix.