You will undoubtedly see a great deal of media coverage of the upcoming Beach to Beacon road race, slated for Saturday, August 2, in Cape Elizabeth. But the dirty little secret the newspapers and TV stations never tell you is that many of those stories, and even the story ideas, are not generated in the newsrooms of Maine. Instead, they are dreamed up in Arizona by the capable - and friendly - folks at Wolfe PR (they used to be based in Scarborough, but aren't anymore), and spoon-fed to Maine journalists.
As a guide to the stories you'll see on TV, in the local daily, and in weekly newspapers, here's their official media pitch list, in full, as it arrived in the Phoenix's inbox just minutes ago. Note the cheery salutation (Hi Media).
To be sure, some of these are legitimately interesting stories. The problem is that they're being prepped, researched, and fact-checked not by the decreasing number of journalists working in Maine, but by former journalists now in PR all the way across the country.
Hi Media -- below
is a list of Story Ideas re: this
year’s TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon 10K. The race
is just 12 days away. We want to assist you with your pre-race news stories
about the race, which attracts runners from across Maine , NE and the world’s best to scenic Cape Elizabeth , Maine . Also, one-on-one interviews with Joan Benoit Samuelson are being scheduled
for next Tuesday morning at Fort Williams , July 29 - if you haven't set up
a time, call me at 520 207-9551 this week, or my cell at 520 399-5770, or e-mail
me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you need
help reaching any of the people below, let us know. We also can help you locate
runners from your coverage area for any advance stories – contact Jason at Jason@wolfenews.com for assistance.
Thanks! -- Beryl Wolfe
Susan L. Curtis
This year’s beneficiary of the TD
Banknorth Beach to Beacon 10K is the Susan L. Curtis Foundation, formed in 1971
after the death of Susan, the 11-year-old daughter of Maine Governor Kenneth and
First Lady Pauline Curtis.
The mission of the Susan L. Curtis
Foundation is to lift Maine children out of the cycle of poverty
with a strengths-based experiential outdoor education and a culture designed to
discover and develop each child’s individual talents.
Camp Susan Curtis opened in 1974.
Since then, more than 13,000 children living in poverty from every county in
attended. Each summer, more than 650 Maine kids ages 8 to 18 are provided this
remarkable experience of self-discovery, challenge and personal growth - tuition
Also known as the “Trout Lake
Campus”, the camp’s primary location is on Trout Lake in
second campus recently opened on Kezar
Lake at Hewnoaks, after the Foundation
entered into a partnership with the University of Maine for an Arts Education Center.
The foundation also provides a
four-week Leadership Education curriculum for 13 and 14-year-olds, combining
this with Venture-Out expeditions and weekend leadership retreats. Nearly half
Sue” counselors are
graduates of the leadership program.
To arrange a
story on the camp or the foundation, contact Alan Cartwright, executive
director, in Portland at 207-774-1552. The
foundation offices are located on Washington Avenue in Portland, and the camp is located in Stoneham, Maine, about an
hour and a half northwest of Portland.
If looking for an event to cover in
first “Kids to Campus” event will be held on Monday, Aug. 4 at the
USM campus. Kids to Campus will bring Susan Curtis Foundation (SCF) campers to
the USM campus for a tour to familiarize them with the higher education
environment and encourage them to continue their education. Larry Wold,
president of TD Banknorth in Maine and Joan Benoit Samuelson will join the
staff and campers for lunch and to accept SCF’s campers appreciation for the TD
Banknorth Beach to Beacon.
Contact: Call Julie
McQuillan, public affairs director at TD Banknorth, at 207-828-7558 for
For the first time, the TD Banknorth
Beach to Beacon will feature some of the top Masters 50 (M50) runners in the
States – and has added prize money for the
52-year-old Tom Ryan of
Cape Elizabeth – the second-ranked Masters 50 (M50) runner
in the U.S. last year – will be joined this
year by four other top M50 runners, who compete in the 50-54 age group. Ryan met
the other runners at national races and invited them to Maine to run this year’s
TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon.
Race organizers added $500 in prize
money for the winner of the M50 category. Here is a brief description of each of
the top M50 runners coming to Maine to join Tom Ryan. Each will be
designated as an elite athlete.
Contact: Tom Ryan -
during the day at (207) 688-4339 or Dave Weatherbie, race president, at (207)
773-3533 ext 4016.
Race First in
Nation to Offer Personal Health Record Service to
This year the race has launched a
pilot program to collect the medical history of runners and enhance care on race
day. Race officials are urging runners to participate in the groundbreaking,
voluntary program. The TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon is the first road race
nationwide to implement an online personal health record service as part of the
medical care provided to runners.Race officials are partnering with a
company called MedicalSummary.com to offer the 2008 race field an opportunity to
submit vital medical information safely and securely online. In the past, race
officials relied solely on a rapid medical team response from a well-educated
staff to help an ailing runner, as doctors had no way of determining medical
history along the course. With the new program, the medical team will use
secure codes to access potentially lifesaving information, such as whether
someone has diabetes or is prone to anaphylactic shock.Participation is
voluntary and free for runners from the point of registration through a two-week
period following the race. Race volunteers also are eligible to
Troyanos, ATC, the medical coordinator for the race Christopher.Troyanos@chtrust.org,
and Margie Kelly, the owner of Athens, Georgia-based MedicalSummary.com and a part-time
Elizabeth resident, (706)
This year, race
organizers are expected to unveil an all electric motorcycle for use at the
races. Shawn McKenna, the coordinator of the motorcycles that are primarily used
by media along the course, rode this type of bike during this year’s Boston Marathon and U.S. Olympic Women’s Marathon trials.
The potential story
line here is a beginning of an ‘all green’ environmental friendly lead vehicle
program that will someday include hybrid press trucks. Another step toward this
goal is the race has replaced a large, diesel flatbed press truck with two
smaller trucks – reducing the exhaust factor for the runners and spectators.
If you have interest in
this story and want background, go to the Vectrix web site and scroll down to
“Vectrix in the Boston Marathon” - http://www.vectrix.com/corporate/US/news.php.
Contact: Ron Kramer,
DMSE, at (561) 252 5159.
Let’s Go – Story
TD Banknorth is a
founding partner in the United
Way’s “Let’s Go” program to fight childhood obesity, and one of the ideas they have been
testing is to take a children’s book and put one page at a time on a poster, and
then place the pages along a trail and have the kids run/walk from page to
page. It gets them outside and active, and at the same time promotes reading.
They are setting one of these up at Fort Williams to keep kids active and to
promote the Let’s Go program.
This year, Let's Go has developed a
Story Walk with the children's book “Scoot!” written and illustrated by
Cathryn Falwell (jpeg available).
The Story Walk was featured at the
Morse Street School
in Freeport on
June 10, and the Windham Summerfest on June 21.
New Portland Symphony Orchestra Conductor to Run Beach to
Moody, the new Musical Director for the Portland Symphony
Orchestra (PSO), will properly introduce himself to life in
Maine and his new community by making his first
road race in Maine in this year’s TD Banknorth Beach to
Beacon 10K. Moody was impressed with the outpouring of community involvement and
the outstanding reputation of previous years’ races, and is thrilled to be
involved. Executive Director of the PSO, Ari
Solotoff, will join Moody in the TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon, his
first competitive race. The duo can be found training together around Portland’s Back Cove.
PSO Board Member Harper Lee
Collins, inspired by the motivation of Moody and Solotoff, will also
complete the PSO trio of TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon
Contact: Gillian Britt,
gBritt PR, email@example.com,
The TD Banknorth Beach
to Beach 10K Road Race attracts some of the world’s best road racers from around
the globe. Another stellar elite field is expected for the 2008 race, including
returning men’s champ Duncan Kibet and
Gilbert Okari, a fellow Kenyan who recently won the race three times in a row
and is looking to regain his crown. They will be pushed by Terefe Maregu of
Ethiopia, who recently won the
prestigious Peachtree 10K.
The women’s field is also deep. A
new champ is guaranteed as defending champ Luminita Talpos will compete in
China on the Romanian Olympic team.
That leaves the door open for a pair of strong Kenyans, Millicent Gathoni and
Lineth Chepkurui, as well as Wude Yimer of Ethiopia, another top-flight road
racer. Elite runner bios will be
posted at www.wolfenews.com as the race
CONTACT: FMI on the elite
field, contact Larry Barthlow, the elite athlete director, at (617) 438-8098 or
TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon Showcase Event for Maine
The elite distance
runners from around the world who converge on Cape Elizabeth for the TD Banknorth Beacon 10K
Road Race each year get most of the attention. But the growing and intriguing
competitiveness of the race among Maine's top runners is also a worthwhile
runners consider the race the jewel of the racing season. The winner of this
showcase event wears the unofficial title as the state road race champion.
Race President David
or (207) 781-5970, himself an avid, top-flight runner, could provide valuable
insights into the stature of the race among Maine runners. Also available as sources about
what makes the race special are Byrne Decker of Yarmouth (207-846-4461) and
Michael Payson of Falmouth (207-781-4617), both top Maine runners; and Julia
Kirtland of South Harpswell (207-781-4617), winner of the first three races, and
Christine Snow-Reaser of Dayton (207-499-2198), a two-time champ.
– A Gift that Keeps On Giving
Getting named the
beneficiary of the TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon 10K is a huge deal in Maine’s non-profit
community. And the $30,000 donation is only part of it. Another story idea might
include talking with some past beneficiaries and how the race did and continues
to benefit their non-profit organizations. Many of the past beneficiaries have
continued their involvement with the race. A list of past beneficiaries can be
found at www.wolfenews.com in the press
kit under the race logo. Media Contacts:
Sam Beal, Big Brothers Big
Sisters (207) 773-5437; Peg Libby, Kids First Center (207) 761-2709; Tory
Dietel-Hopps, Riding to the Top (207) 892-2813; are ready and willing to talk
about the race and its impact.
Each year, families
from Cape Elizabeth and surrounding areas invite elite athletes
and elsewhere around the globe into their homes. The home stays serve as a sort
of cultural exchange for the athletes and the host families as they swap recipes
and stories. Each year, more and more families from around the area are getting
involved. Media contact:
Janet McLaughlin, Host Family
Coordinator, 799-6190 JMcL1147@aol.com.
Founder of the race
with lead sponsor TD Banknorth, Joan Benoit Samuelson remains Maine’s most admired
athlete. She is an inspiration and a role model for girls and women around the
globe. Her quiet determination, on display for all the world to see at the 1984
Olympics, played a key role in making her dream of staging a major road race in
Elizabeth a reality. Humble
and deferential, Joan rarely takes credit, but this year presents a nice
opportunity to take a closer look at some of her most recent accomplishments,
including her induction into the Olympic Hall of Fame and her age-group (50-54)
record setting performance in the 2008 Olympic marathon trials in Boston.
If you would like to interview Joan prior to the press conference on Aug. 1,
one-on-one interviews are being scheduled with Joan on Tuesday, July 29 from 10
a.m. to noon that day. Contact Beryl Wolfe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 520-399-5770 to
schedule an interview with Joan that
The volunteer effort
necessary to make TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon 10K a premier event is often
taken for granted. It shouldn’t be. Coordinating more than 800 volunteers is a
monumental task that requires patience, perseverance and a certain amount of
guile. Volunteer Director Maya Cohen of Cape Elizabeth brings a personal touch to her
management of the volunteers. Her program is structured to include a host of
coordinators who oversee volunteers in different areas, including water
stations, parking, security, course set up and breakdown, and directing traffic.
FMI, contact Maya Cohen at
(207) 838-8816 or email@example.com.
McGillivray, Race Director Extraordinaire
Joan Benoit Samuelson
will tell anyone who will listen that the key to the success of the TD Banknorth
Beach to Beacon was getting Dave McGillivray on board to direct the event.
McGillivray, who was recently named a “Hero of Running” by Runner’s World
magazine, is considered one of the most talented race directors in the world.
And the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Participants marvel at how well
run and organized the race is in comparison to other events.McGillivray
and his ‘Team DMSE’ make it look easy, but there are endless steps, countless
details and innumerous obstacles in making the TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon
happen. He also directs the Boston Marathon and other events around the
country.McGillivray’s athletic exploits also are interesting, as well as
his work as a motivational speaker, author, and commitment to children’s fitness
and charitable organizations. In fact, McGillivray and his DMSE events have
raised more than $50 million for charities over the years.CONTACT INFO:
Contact McGillivray directly
at (978) 258-8226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TD Banknorth and
Without the help of
primary sponsor TD Banknorth and other major corporate partners, including Nike,
Hannaford, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maine, Poland Spring, WCSH TV-6,
Maine Health and Northeast Delta Dental, the race would not be the first-class
event it is today. TD Banknorth’s Bill Ryan met with Olympic Gold Medallist Joan
Benoit Samuelson 12 years ago to create this premier running event in her home
state.This year, Larry Wold, President and Senior Loan Officer of TD
Banknorth in Maine, will run the race for the 11th time.
Wold, a resident of Freeport, is an active member of the community
and is often involved in fundraising events and causes. He joined the company in
1991. If interested in an 11-year runner, Wold would make a great feature story.
Julie McQuillan of TD Banknorth at 207-828-7558, or visit the race web site at
www.beach2beacon.org or the bank’s
site at www.tdbanknorth.com
The use of advanced
technology is yet another aspect of the TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon that makes
it a premier event. Computer chips made by ChampionChip attached to each
runner's shoes determine each finisher's exact time for the race. The chips are
processed by Granite State Race Services to compile a list of finishers and
their times. In addition, because of a history of razor-thin finishes,
organizers will again use a finish line camera – unusual for a road race of its
size. Lynx System Developers, Inc., based in Woburn, Mass.,
is providing a FinishLynx, the world's most popular and versatile digital
photofinish and timing system. A FinishLynx line-scan camera only sees a very
narrow piece of the world: the finish line. It looks at the finish line many
times a second and stores each of these images. In case of a close finish, the
images become a vital tool for the race judge to use in determining the
Contact: FMI about
ChampionChip or FinishLynx, visit online at www.championchip.com or www.finishlynx.com. Also, at FinishLynx,
contact Giles Norton, Director of Corporate Communications, at (800) 989-5969 or
A Peek at the
Race’s Future Participants
A children’s 1K race –
touted as the Kids Fun Run – will again complement the TD Banknorth Beach to
Beacon. The race, which has received little media attention in the past,
continues to grow. Open to kids ages 12 and under, the event will be held in
Fort Williams Park following the 10K at 9:30 a.m. The kid’s race boasts a field
size of more than 500 youngsters.
The painting of the
Start Line will take place the Sunday before the race, July 27, beginning at
8:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. on Route 77 near the entrance to Crescent Beach State
Park on Route 77 in Cape Elizabeth. Media welcome to film or
photograph the event, which signals the final countdown to race
CONTACT: Beryl Wolfe, Wolfe
PR, email@example.com or (520) 399
The Town of Cape
Elizabeth really comes through for this event. Town officials serve on the
50-plus-member Organizing Committee and are involved from the time they begin
meeting in January to the day in early August when 5,500 runners and more than
10,000 spectators line the streets of this coastal town. For more information about the
town’s involvement, call Town Manager Mike McGovern at Cape Elizabeth Town
Hall at 207-767-3323.NOTE TO REPORTERS/EDITORS: For more information or
assistance with any of the above items that do not contain contact info, please
contact Beryl or Jason Wolfe at Wolfe PR – (520) 399-5770 or 5097, or by e-mail,
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com – or Julie McQuillan
at TD Banknorth – (207) 828-7558, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, bios, a Fact Sheet, statistics, news releases and other race materials are
available at www.wolfenews.com for your