As a PR pro, I know from experience that one of the hardest types of pitches to land is the calendar-based one.
This may sound counter-intuitive.
One would think that pitching a veteran’s non-profit around Veteran’s Day or an innovative family leave program around Labor Day would be a slam dunk.
Here’s the problem – everyone’s got the same idea.
Reporters receive tons of these pitches, so the chances of breaking through the noise to land your client an interview for a calendar-based pitch is actually slim.
Which is why one Wall Street firm’s unique and creative take last month was so notable:
In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, State Street Global Advisors sponsored the creation and temporary placement of the “Fearless Girl” sculpture at the corner of Broadway and Morris Streets in New York City.
She stands directly in the path of the iconic sculpture of the Wall Street bull, staring him down and daring him to do his worst.
Fearless Girl was created by artist Kristen Visbal for advertising agency McCann on behalf of hedge fund State Street Global.
State Street aimed to draw attention to the company’s broader initiative to increase the number of woman on the corporate executive boards of large companies throughout the U.S.
Despite research showing that companies with women on their boards outperform those without, nearly 25% of large public companies in the U.S. have no female board representatives.
In a statement discussing Fearless Girl, Ron O’Hanley, president and CEO of State Street said:
“Today, we are calling on companies to take concrete steps to increase gender diversity on their boards and have issued clear guidance to help them begin to take action.
A key contributor to effective independent board leadership is diversity of thought, which requires directors with different skills, backgrounds and expertise.”
The Fearless Girl statue proved immensely popular — not only becoming an instant tourist attraction, but also gaining massive attention — both for advertising firm McCann and for client State Street Global Advisors and its public education campaign to increase female membership on large corporate boards.
Hundreds of news articles and thousands of social media posts resulted.
While the statue was initially due to be up only until early April, it has proven so popular that yesterday her tenure was extended through at least April 2018.
New York Mayor Bill De Blasio said yesterday that:
“In her short time here, the Fearless Girl has fueled powerful conversations about women in leadership and inspired so many.
Now, she’ll be asserting herself and affirming her strength even after her temporary permit expires — a fitting path for a girl who refuses to quit.”
There’s precedent for this.
The famous Wall Street bull himself started as a piece of unauthorized guerilla art by Italian-born artist Arturo Di Modica back in the late 1980s.
The bull symbolized optimism as the American economy rebounded after the 1987 stock market crash.
Regardless of whether Fearless Girl stays for just another year or (likely) becomes permanent, this was a unique public relations play by a trillion dollar asset management firm that succeeded wildly, and for a good cause.