Outside The Box Caskets

In a nutshell

GoodSense was able to help Outside the Box Caskets plan and then execute a PR outreach campaign, which resulted in media coverage by TVNZ Breakfast, NBR and Radio Hauraki.

What was needed

Outside The Box Caskets is the brainchild of NZ designer Becs Bartells, who won the 2020 Australasian Packaging Innovation & Design of the Year Award for her sustainable casket design.

It was a decade ago – while preparing for her Nana’s funeral – that Becs first got the idea to create a cardboard casket. She was being surprised at the limited range of coffins available and how much they lacked the opportunity to give people a unique and stylish send-off. With a vision to create a funeral casket that not only looks different from a traditional casket but is also better for the environment, Becs spent two years developing and refining an innovative cardboard casket design. She prototyped it in her garage and founded Outside The Box Caskets.  Outside The Box Caskets are the first caskets of their kind in New Zealand to be certified by Natural Burials NZ and are available to Funeral Homes all over NZ.

Becs approached GoodSense, after a referral from ATEED, because of our experience in marketing more sustainable solutions and knowledge of the sector.  The marketing challenge was to create widespread public interest, to coincide with the distribution to funeral homes, so funeral directors would get demand from their clients.

How GoodSense helped

GoodSense established that – as an experienced communicator with strong social media skills, and a great story to tell – Becs was an excellent candidate for a trained and coached approach to media outreach.

Image of Kylie Bailey

Kylie Bailey

This meant that, with the support of some Regional Business Partner funding,  we could collaborate with Becs to co-create launch messages for the media and develop a media outreach / PR plan with coaching for accountability.  We helped Becs identify specific journalists to contact about the story and to develop a compelling pitch for them. We were then able to coach Becs through the process and debrief after the first round of calls.

The cost-efficient process started by providing Becs with a structured questionnaire to focus thinking and help both Becs and ourselves to prepare.

The planning work was undertaken in a messaging and launch planning workshop, run by GoodSense team member Kylie Bailey, a former magazine editor and experienced journalist.  Following the workshop, we provided a written media relations and action plan to Becs. As Becs started to execute the plan with outreach to journalists, we supported this with feedback and coaching.

What this has meant for Outside the Box Caskets

Within weeks of launching, Outside the Box Caskets had received nationwide coverage on the AM Show, Radio NZ, The Spinoff and Newshub.  A second wave of coverage (following the award win) has included NBR and Radio Hauraki.

Media coverage - Becs

Media Coverage -Becs

The training and preparation meant that the messages were strongly delivered and helped Becs have the confidence to prepare for her first-ever live television interview, respond to questions and keep interviews on topic.

The collaborative planning and trained approach assisted Becs to achieve brand awareness and a substantial level of media coverage for Outside the Box Caskets, at a fraction of the budget of an outsource PR campaign. With GoodSense encouragement, Becs was able to make more ambitious choices in the media contacted about the story than might otherwise have been made.

“I would recommend working with GoodSense to anyone who hasn’t done PR before. GoodSense taught me the skills and gave me the tools I needed to do this on my own.  I’m sure I could have managed something on my own, but having GoodSense support me through the journey ensured I did a good job.”

Becs Bartells, Founder & Director

Read more about Outside the Box caskets.

Explore the GoodSense approach to content and channel planning – including our Cat on a Stool model – a strategic framework for media relations and social media.

To talk about how we can help you with media relations planning, train you in media relations or for our help in getting your story out to journalists on your behalf, please get in touch.