March Madness at Blanc & Otus

By Chelsea Murillo


It’s the most wonderful time of the year for college hoops fans! March Madness is upon us and the Blanc & Otus office is buzzing with excitement! Whether it be the joy of watching your alma mater make it to the final four (shout-out to Gonzaga and Oregon Alums), the sadness of watching your bracket get absolutely busted because you choose Duke or Villanova to win it all or the grewling anticipation of waiting for that next game to start, March (and the first weekend of April) is truly a time of ups and downs -- a true roller coaster of emotions.

And nothing is more emotionally taxing or stress inducing than making your bracket picks. For some, the bracket selection may have been as easy as randomly choosing the best mascot. But for others (such as myself), the process of meticulously selecting every team moving forward was a bit of a process (I will neither confirm nor deny that I spent 3 hours making my bracket). In the end, the odds of picking a perfect bracket were 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you made a few mistakes.

With only four teams remaining to duke it out in the final rounds of the tournament, everyone is watching with anticipation. Will it be South Carolina, the Cinderella story team who “tripped up” Duke and rolled past Florida to it’s first ever final four? And then there’s Oregon, a typical college football powerhouse showing that it can hang on the basketball court too. North Carolina is the least surprising team in the final four, in its 20th appearance, making them a front-runner to snag the title. Finally, there’s Gonzaga from little old Spokane, Washington -- a team bursting with talent and a stellar future-hall-of-fame coach who FINALLY broke through to advance to the school’s first final four.


As I was thinking about who will take home the trophy in Phoenix, I also started thinking about the similarities between picking a winning team and pitching a winning story to media. I might sound a little nutty, but just stay with me here and read the following breakdowns.


South Carolina – You really went for it and tried something completely out of left field, whether it be throwing an emoji into your email pitch subject line or pitching a story claiming that in 2020 Kim Kardashian will be president! You made a gutsy decision that could either make or break the chances of you landing a piece of coverage. Props for being different!

Oregon - You used a hot topic in the media/pop culture as a new hook -- trying to grab the reporter’s attention with something flashy (cough cough the Duck’s uniforms) and timely. This technique can definitely pay off but you’ll need to act fast before the news cycle dies, or before metallics go out of style.

North Carolina - You played it safe and went for the old trusty pitch geared toward that friendly media target. Pitching a reporter you know will cover the news is a great way to snag an easy win or 5, like the number of NCAA Men’s championships the Tar Heels have already won.

Gonzaga - You have obviously been doing this for a while and proven that you have great media relation skills but sometimes fall short of snagging that awesome piece of coverage. But not this time! For this pitch, you’re pulling out all of the stops and you are determined to land that coverage. You utilized your fellow Blanc & Otus team members for advice and support and you never give up hope,

And guess what? You landed a piece in the Wall Street Journal. BOOOYAAAAA! Mic drop.


DISCLAIMER: the author of this post may or may not be a huge Gonzaga fan - unclear.