Donna Karan adds substance and style by touting Urban Zen on Piers Morgan Tonight

Donna Karan's Urban Zen is the philanthropic effort of the well-known fashion designer and includes a space in New York where it does educational initiatives.

Name: Colleen Cleary, VP, Euro RSCG Worldwide PR (New York)
Placement: CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, September 21, 2011
Pitch timeline: One week

Who is your client and what are its media goals?
Donna Karan's Urban Zen is the philanthropic effort of the well-known fashion designer and includes a space in New York where it does educational initiatives.

A recent Urban Zen project is an artisan jobs program in Haiti, which is still grappling with the effects of the devastating 2010 earthquake. We sought to raise the profile of this work in the mainstream press.

CNN is a high-profile outlet, but what made Piers Morgan Tonight such a good target for this campaign? How did you pitch the producers there?
Haiti is a serious topic, but when you have Donna Karan involved, it does provide a bit of a style/celebrity angle that we felt would be ideal for Morgan.

We knew one of the show's producers and pitched the idea of a roundtable discussion with Karan, Michel Martelly, Haiti's new president, Rwanda's president Paul Kagame, and Dr. Paul Farmer of Partners in Health, whose book, Haiti after the Earthquake, was recently celebrated at an Urban Zen event. Morgan's producers loved the idea and moved quickly to set up the segment.

What were the challenges in terms of logistics in making this placement happen?
Because it involved getting together two sitting presidents, this dynamic businesswoman, as well as a scholar, the biggest challenge was getting all the schedules to work. Once we figured that out, everything else fell into place.

Everyone was familiar with Morgan and his interviewing style, so we didn't have to do much media training. We did, however, send over a copy of Dr. Farmer's book, as well as background on all the participants and their involvement in the Haitian cause.

What was the hit's impact?
Heading into the campaign, Karan told us, "I really want to be on Piers Morgan," so making that happen was a big deal. The segment also helped position her as someone who does a lot more than make fabulous clothing. In addition, it raised Urban Zen's profile, so everyone was thrilled with the segment.

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