Discovery focuses on imagery in 'Life' campaign

SILVER SPRING, MD: Discovery Channel is backing the launch of its new series Life with a PR-heavy campaign, including social media and extensive media relations.

SILVER SPRING, MD: Discovery Channel is backing the launch of its new series Life with a PR-heavy campaign, including social media and extensive media relations.

The 11-part series, from the creators of Planet Earth, launches March 21, and the communications surrounding the launch focuses on the innovation and visual elements of the series.

"The goal was to build on the success that the network had with Planet Earth by introducing the next iteration of this overarching series Life," said Elizabeth Hillman, SVP of communications for the Discovery Channel and Science Channel, "and to build buzz for the program itself."

Media outreach is centered on two press kits featuring images and videos for long- and short-lead publications, including women's magazines, general lifestyle and news outlets, television and entertainment publications, and eco-writers. The short-lead kits featured a book-sized device from Americhip, which plays a video about the series.

"We wanted to set the bar extremely high for ourselves [with these press kits] and for the definition of what communications and PR means with this campaign," Hillman said, adding that the kits were well-received by the press. Media relations also included blogger outreach.

Life is on Twitter and Facebook and has an extensive Web site with video clips. Discovery began its communications for the new series in November, but as the launch date has neared, the network hosted several screenings of the first episode in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, backed by a full orchestra.

"The idea of having the orchestra play made it an event; it was a destination," said Amy Hagovsky, director of communications for Discovery Channel.

The network also partnered with The Nature Conservancy and Sierra Club to do more localized outreach. It provided screener copies to local influencers in those organizations, encouraging them to host home viewing parties and blog or use social media to discuss the show.

Discovery worked with Rogers & Cowan on program publicity and outreach for the New York and Los Angeles events.

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