SETIcon: Where Science Meets Sci-Fi
PR was tasked by the SETI Institute (yes – the people searching for extra terrestrials) to help push fundraising.
PR took inventory of the internal events at SETI and discovered that Jill Tarter (played by Jodie Foster in the movie “Contact”) was retiring – and the organization was hosting its convention, SETIcon. PR leveraged both events, embargoing Jill’s news to break for select top-tier reporters in exchange for their coverage of SETIcon. PR then positioned SETIcon as not only the nexus on understanding ETs but also the host of Jill’s retirement party.
All of the top media covered Jill’s departure, from the New York Times to the BBC and CNN. SETIcon was a media and business success, securing coverage from top outlets and a million-dollar donation from a Hollywood director synonymous with aliens but anonymous by request. Bospar would then secure a partnership between SETI and PayPal to produce “PayPal Galactic” with astronaut Buzz Aldrin – PayPal’s greatest media success.