Baltimore-based Earth Treks is the Eastern Seaboard's only climbing organization to offer indoor climbing, outdoor rock and ice climbing education, and international mountaineering guide services.  Earth Treks President Chris Warner is one of the world's premier mountaineers, spending more than half of the year leading and participating in climbing expeditions to the tallest and most perilous peaks in the world. 


Warschawski Public Relations (WPR) was retained by Earth Treks to increase its overall visibility and name recognition within the greater Baltimore Metropolitan area.  Within six months, Earth Treks wanted to become a household name in the Baltimore Metropolitan market.  The company also wanted to appeal to youth audiences, particularly marketing its services to Baltimore-based schools.


WPR faced the tough challenge of being responsible for generating ongoing, large-scale media coverage for Earth Treks in the Baltimore market when Earth Treks in no way had the news value necessary to achieve its goals.  It was a classic case of the PR agency having to create the news to achieve the client’s goal.  Not only was WPR responsible for PR, it now was responsible for creating the entire program around which the media campaign could be built.


After much research and brainstorming, WPR developed the Earth Treks Shared Summits (ETSS) concept.  WPR built ETSS from scratch, designing it as a philanthropic program that allows school students to become "virtual mountaineers" by communicating online with Chris Warner as he summits the most spectacular mountains of the world.  Upon Chris’ return from the trip, he gave presentations to the schools participating in the ETSS program.  Once the program had been built and the school participation had been secured by WPR, the media work began.  Fundamental to the success of this campaign was securing highly visible, ongoing, feature coverage on Earth Treks in major media outlets throughout Baltimore – especially Baltimore’s most important media outlet, the Baltimore Sun newspaper.  Based on the strength of the story that WPR had created, the agency was able to secure a seven-part feature series in the Baltimore Sun highlighting Earth Treks, the ETSS program, and Chris Warner.




WPR's success with the Baltimore Sun resulted in a dramatic increase in name recognition and visibility for Earth Treks in the Baltimore market.  Earth Treks was flooded with new business calls and increased its school participation rate from two schools to eight schools in a six-month period.  Most importantly, the Baltimore Sun coverage helped make “Earth Treks” a household name in Baltimore.  Everyone in Baltimore was talking about and rooting for Chris to successfully scale Mt. Everest.  Highlights of the success of the program include:

  • Each of the seven articles that ran in the print edition of the Baltimore Sun reached a circulation of 321,165 people.
  • As a result of the Baltimore Sun coverage, Earth Treks was flooded with telephone calls from Baltimore area educators interested in participating in ETSS or other Earth Treks programs.  Numerous new business opportunities outside of school groups also resulted from the Baltimore Sun coverage.
  • Throughout each of the seven articles, the names "Earth Treks,"  "Earth Treks Shared Summits," and Earth Treks President "Chris Warner" were prominently featured.
  • Every article ran on the front page of either the Baltimore Sun's "Maryland" section or "Today" section along with color photos.
  • Each segment in the Baltimore Sun coverage featured Earth Treks' web site address.
In addition to the articles appearing in the print edition of the Baltimore Sun, all seven pieces ran on the Baltimore Sun web site ( with a link to Earth Treks' web site.