PR Play of the Week: ’Survivor’ thrives on stealth PR bid

The new CBS reality series Survivor might seem like an overnight sensation, but the show’s success can largely be attributed to one of the best stealth PR campaigns in some time. Get the survivors a nice rib-eye steak and a PR Play of the Week figurine.

The new CBS reality series Survivor might seem like an overnight sensation, but the show’s success can largely be attributed to one of the best stealth PR campaigns in some time. Get the survivors a nice rib-eye steak and a PR Play of the Week figurine.

The new CBS reality series Survivor might seem like an overnight

sensation, but the show’s success can largely be attributed to one of

the best stealth PR campaigns in some time. Get the survivors a nice

rib-eye steak and a PR Play of the Week figurine.



A team led by CBS SVP of communications Chris Ender and bolstered by CBS

publicists Colleen Sullivan (who traveled to the island) and Michelle

Hooper was among the key components in a pre-debut PR push that resulted

in more than 15 million viewers tuning into the show’s first

episode.



Ender, who is currently averaging around 100 press calls a day about

Survivor, credits foresight for the success of the publicity

campaign.



’By giving USA Today a story back in October, we set out to give

potential viewers a first hint of what was to come,’ he explained,

adding that Survivor executive producer Mark Burnett didn’t turn down a

single media opportunity to promote the show.



Ender decided against sending out review cassettes but kept the

curiosity level high by sending out an electronic press kit. He also

allowed the media to join the 16 castaways on the island, netting

mentions in Entertainment Weekly and TV Guide and on Access Hollywood

and Entertainment Tonight.



All media attendees paid their own travel and accommodation costs and

agreed to an embargo.



CBS president Leslie Moonves said the Survivor ratings were a great

’corporate victory.’ Hey, that kind of includes PR, right? Nice to know

he’s paying attention.





- Nominations for PR Play of the Week should be sent to

news@prweekus.com.



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