American public broadcaster PBS calls in Braben to aid UK launch

American public broadcaster PBS has drafted in PR support ahead of its UK launch.

PBS: Martin Scorsese series The Blues
PBS: Martin Scorsese series The Blues
PBS is a US-based non-profit TV and radio network, funded by 354 American TV stations and the federal Government.
 
The broadcaster will launch a commercial, advert-funded UK channel in November, the first time PBS has launched an operation outside of the US.
 
PBS UK, which will be shown on Sky Digital, has asked Braben to handle the launch and boost brand awareness as it looks to target ‘upmarket adults’ under the banner ‘where television matters’.
 
Rebecca Edwards, head of PR and marketing at PBS UK, said: ‘In America PBS is huge, it’s known for its high journalistic values, but remains unknown in the UK.’
 
More than 124 million viewers watch PBS’ science, history, current affairs and arts programmes every month in the US, including long-running current affairs shows Frontline and PBS NewsHour.
 
Braben will be tasked with a consumer and brand remit to position the channel as one of quality. The trade PR will be handled in-house by Edwards and her team.  
 
Edwards said: ‘I will be talking to TV press and the trade media to help drive a deep sense of engagement in the brand. This can’t be communicated by a one-off event - stunts just wouldn’t quite cut it.’
 
Braben director James Matheson added: ‘Our job is to make the channel famous.
 
‘We will do this by commissioning research, creating advocates of the channel and targeting the intelligent TV viewer, for want of a better word.
 
‘We will position the channel as a British curator of American content and help it gain the trust and reputation that it enjoys in America.’

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