Turner PR

Taking Flight With Nebraska’s Sandhill Crane Migration

It’s one of nature’s greatest spectacles – the world’s largest sandhill crane migration brings more than 80 percent of the world’s population of sandhill cranes to the heart of Nebraska. But the event has flown largely under the radar… until 2018. In collaboration with Nebraska Tourism and the state’s central region DMOs, TURNER targeted top media to attend the March 2018 migration, giving the event the national attention it deserves.


In tandem with proactive pitching efforts, TURNER invited some of our favorite writers, editors and content producers to experience the migration in person – on both group and individual trips. We promised them an unforgettable journey, referred to by Jane Goodall as the world’s best animal migration second to the Serengeti wildebeests, and delivered. While the trip focused on the crane migration, it also showcased some of Central Nebraska’s best attractions, activities and personalities.

Attendees included media representing:

  • Red Tricycle, The Daily Meal, Modern Luxury
  • Thrillist
  • Mother Nature Network
  • Hemispheres, 5280, Denver Post, Outside
  • National Geographic print and video production
  • Associated Press

Experiences included:

  • Expert-led crane viewing experiences that took media to the largest Sandhill Crane roost on the Platte River, where they spent time with biologists/scientists/farmers who shared insights into the science and the mystery of the crane migration and the river’s unique ecosystem.
  • A private wing sauce-making lesson with Fire Captain Todd Morgan, who turned his tailgating hobby of making wing sauce into the wildly popular and world-renowned Sparky’s Wing & Dipping Sauce.
  • Crane-themed paint and sip lesson in Hastings, NE.
  • A day in Kearney, NE, including a visit to The Archway, flights of beer on brewery tours and more.
  • Photography bling crane viewing experience at the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center.
  • Overnight accommodations and VIP sunset blind viewing experience at the Crane Trust.


Our results really took off.

  • Feature article & video on National Geographic: Generated 26+ million UMV, 68 million on social reach and 20K+ views of the 5+ minute video.
  • Feature coverage on Mother Nature Network: Generated 4.7+ million UMV and 1+ million on social.
  • Feature story on Nebraska in Thrillist: Included the crane migration as the “best time to visit Nebraska, other than football season,” reaching more than 11 million UMVs.
  • Best Places to Travel in March on Thrillist: Included Central Nebraska as one of the best places to travel to in in the world for March, specifically for the crane migration.
  • Best Places to Travel in March on Travel + Leisure: Featured Central Nebraska and the crane migration for a March travel destination recommendation to its 3 million+ UMVs and nearly three million Facebook followers.
  • More to come: In addition to the short-lead coverage above, we anticipate a number of long-lead stories to appear in advance of the 2019 migration including Hemispheres, Modern Luxury and Associated Press.