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Discovery Health Channel: Birth Day Live

Challenge

Discovery Health Channel had a dynamic live event program featuring the live birth of babies on television. It had many of the requisites for high media interest: channel name-brand value, visual and personal drama, and the elusive “squirm factor” of keeping audience eyes glued to the screen despite the blood.

Their weakness, though, was that media didn’t know the channel existed, much less the show itself, since it was only available through digital cable or satellite service.

Tactics

RLM developed a media strategy to heighten awareness of Birth Day Live! by addressing pregnant women, fathers-to-be and couples planning families through outlets that they commonly turned to for information.

RLM expanded the scope of targeted media by stepping beyond TV critics and TV book editors, which Discovery Health Channel had traditionally focused on. RLM opened the pitch to health, family, parenting and features beats. This allowed for full stories and not just “hit-and-run” TV highlights placements, which resulted in a long article by Lifestyle columnist Paige Wiser of the Chicago Sun-Times in which she declared Birth Day Live! “must-Tivo TV” for a wide swath of viewing audience, from women to men to teens.

The internet is a primary resource for many pregnant women. RLM pitched not only the family and parenting magazines, but also their internet counterparts, as well as independent sites that provided factual information for expectant parents. RLM secured coverage in online sites such as ePregnancy, ParentGuide, and metroparent.

RLM was on-site at one of the three participating hospitals, working collaboratively with the hospital’s PR staff, as well as the press staff for the U.S. Surgeon General. RLM secured live broadcast coverage from several TV stations in the area and coordinated press attendance at the Surgeon General’s press conference at the hospital.

Results

Despite editorial restrictions that prevented many newspaper outlets from even running listings of Birth Day Live!, RLM secured on-message placements in a broad range of newspapers, magazines, broadcast outlets and Web sites. RLM worked to find creative pitches that attracted the interest of reporters and editors beyond the narrowly proscribed TV entertainment beat.