I found a great one on Friday when I checked into the Radisson Greentree in Pittsburgh.
On the front counter, flyers alert guests to a nationwide rash of auto break-ins by thieves who are looking for electronic devices such as iPods, GPS navigation units, cellphones, Blackberries, laptops and satellite radio receivers.
“A nationwide trend has developed regarding an increase in automobile break-ins…As a reminder to our guests, we ask that extra caution is used when leaving such items or any items of value in your vehicle so as not to draw attention to them and become an easy target for theft.”
The smash-and-grab thieves hunt for their prey, particularly rental cars, in hotel parking lots and industrial parks. Tourists who usually don’t know their way around strange cities and rent cars with GPS units are particularly vulnerable. This is also a great story for television because it offers visuals.
Here are nine groups that can piggyback off this trend and pitch stories to the media:
- Police departments and other law enforcement agencies
- Hotels and motels
- Industrial parks
- Shopping malls (Great for the holidays. See 103 Sizzling Story Ideas from July through December)
- Tourist attractions
- Companies that sell car alarms and other security devices
- Companies that sell customized stereo systems, cellphones or other electronic devices
- Parking garages
- Insurance companies
If the break-ins aren’t occurring on your property, you can still tie into this trend and offer a list of safety tips.
Don’t forget to pitch the bloggers and website owners who who write about crime prevention.
What other groups can you think of that can use this topic as a publicity hook?