Cooking Channel brings new flavor

Scripps Network faced a major challenge with its launch of the Cooking Channel on May 31: communicating how the new offering is different from its well-known Food Network.

Company: Scripps Networks
Campaign: Launch of the Cooking Channel
PR Team: Internal and Rogers & Cowan
Launch: May 31

Objective: Scripps Network faced a major challenge with its launch of the Cooking Channel on May 31: communicating how the new offering is different from its well-known Food Network.
  
“It's a broader range of topics than Food Network and a deeper dive into the subject,” explains Michael Smith, GM of the Cooking Channel. Defining the new network was a major goal of the PR effort that kicked off when the new channel was introduced at an upfront event on April 20.

Idea: Working with AOR Rogers & Cowan, the Cooking Channel targets a younger demographic, one that's grown up with sophisticated food tastes and more food media.
  
The campaign “introduces audiences to these top culinary experts from around the world,” explains Maggie Gallant, SVP of entertainment and lifestyle at Rogers & Cowan, which will build the personalities of the hosts and talent, such as David Rocco (pictured) and Chuck Hughes. The channel looks to have a conversation about food and cooking, as a network and for its PR overall, she adds.

Tools: Social media plays a key role in the effort, with a new website, CookingChannelTV.com, and a Facebook presence. Show hosts are also tweeting to interact with fans.
  
“We have to get into the food blogosphere and into social media, where people are chatting and talking about food, recipes, and restaurants,” Smith says. Rogers & Cowan is also doing more traditional PR and media relations, targeting lifestyle, entertainment, and food outlets. It also hosted a launch event in New York on May 19.

Measurement: “In TV, the end measure is always ratings and whether people are tuning in or not,” Smith points out, adding that the network will look more long term in measuring its success overall. Gallant adds that the PR campaign will be measured by overall awareness and the reach of press covering the launch.

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