Grassroots effort propels 'Great Warming' release

LOS ANGELES: When Stonehaven Production's environmental-action documentary The Great Warming opened last week, it came armed with a multi-tiered PR platform.

LOS ANGELES: When Stonehaven Production's environmental-action documentary The Great Warming opened last week, it came armed with a multi-tiered PR platform.

Crafted by the film's producers, with help from PR firms including LA-based New Venture PR, grassroots outreach efforts were designed to "show people there are things they can do right now" to make homes and lifestyles more green-friendly, said agency principal Hal Bringman.

Though the film, playing in select Regal Cinemas theaters and soon available on DVD, features voiceovers by Keanu Reeves and Alanis Morissette, the campaign does not rely heavily on celebrity participation. Instead, a key part of message outreach involved preaching to the choir - literally.

New Venture and Stonehaven held advance screenings at churches and synagogues and reached out to religious leaders like the Christian Coalition's Rev. Joel Hunter and the National Association of Evangelicals' Rev. Richard Cizik, Bringman said.

The film has also partnered with "green" companies, including reinsurer Swiss Re and cosmetics retailer The Body Shop. Each has shared finances, time, and expertise to create consumer awareness and help drive ticket sales.

In addition, Krystal Planet, a Lenexa, KS-based provider of energy-saving equipment for homes, businesses, and cars, sent representatives to Regal theaters to distribute literature provided by the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, Climate Crisis, and other environmental groups, said Troy Helming, founder.

Filmgoers who send their ticket stubs to Krystal get a free Home Energy Review, an analysis of how to turn their house into a more environmentally-sound - and money-saving - living space.

Other campaign components, said Bringman, include a making-of-the-film podcast, MySpace pages, and a Web site with tips on "how the average citizen can take their first step in going green."

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