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Ali Dalton Katrina Olson ADV 350 Spring 2014 Assignment 4 Pitch Letter March 7, 2014 The Pitch I am representing the Office of University Relations at UIUC. Philip Hersh, reporter for the Chicago Tribune, recently wrote an article about Paralympic athlete and former Illini, Tatiana McFadden. I will be pitching to the Chicago Tribune because most students at UIUC come from the Chicagoland area. The UIUC wheelchair basketball program recruits from all over the country, but potential athletes might not be aware of the program. By pitching to Philip Hersh and placing the story in both print and online forms of the paper, more people will read the article. Parents are more likely to read the newspaper, while students are more likely to access information online, hence why the story would be written for both forms if possible. Further, this feature story will be in the sports section, which is likely to be read by athletes and parents of athletes. The Strategic Objective By placing this story in the sports section of the paper and online, more people will be aware of the wheelchair basketball program and UIUC. The objective is that readers will talk about the article with their friends and families which will increase awareness about the program and will lead to increasing interest among potential athletes. The Key Message By featuring Patrick Tomic and his recent injury, other students in wheelchairs will see the potential in their situation. Since Tomic’s injury is recent, he serves as an inspiration to others with a similar situation. Tomic is proof that even a life-altering situation cannot deter one from succeeding. March 1, 2014 To: Philip Hersh Chicago Tribune 435 N. Michigan Ave #6 Chicago, IL 60611 Dear Mr. Hersh: I am representing the Office of University Relations at the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign (UIUC). As you know, UIUC has had its fair share of successful professionals, celebrities and athletes don the royal blue cap and gown. However, not many readers know about


the excellent wheelchair basketball program at the university. In an effort to bring awareness to the program, I am asking you to write an feature piece about one of the athletes, Patrick Tomic. Your recent article about Paralympian and UIUC alumna Tatiana McFadden was written in the style and tone I am looking for, so I think you would be the best writer for the job. As a writer for the Chicago Tribune, your piece would reach potential students and their parents. Most of our students are from the Chicagoland area, so having this piece in the Chicago Tribune would be a great channel through which to reach our audience.

Although Tomic is from Ohio, many students at the university come from the Chicagoland area. By sharing Tomic’s story of courage, determination and devotion to the sport, it is my hope that potential athletes will read the article and consider taking their athletic talents to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Tomic is a sophomore guard. Four years ago, Tomic caught a staph infection that spread to his spine and eventually cost him the use of his legs. A former swimmer, Tomic began playing wheelchair basketball to stay active and feed his love of competition. Tomic has aspirations of competing in the 2014 Paralympics and playing for the the National Wheelchair Basketball team.

Please let me know by March 10, 2014 if you would like to write this feature story. Feel free to contact me either by phone or email if you have any questions or to set up an interview with Patrick Tomic. I will be happy to help in any way I can.

Sincerely, Ali Dalton (847) 767-9708


adalto2@illinois.edu Office for University Relations 108 Henry Admin. Building 506 S. Wright Street, MC-370 Urbana, IL 61801


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