Campaign: Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism
Client: Rykodisc PR team Quite Great PR
Timescale: October 2004-January 2005
Rykodisc, the UK distributor for US-based political media firm The Disinformation Company, was looking to boost sales for last year's DVD release Outfoxed, a critique of media bias, particularly focusing on Fox News. Quite Great PR was hired to generate word of mouth among target groups, including university students and left-wing consumers.
To drive sales of the DVD, especially in the build-up to Christmas, and secure editorial coverage.
Strategy and Plan
The campaign had a two-pronged approach. The first was to reach out to consumers directly. This included screenings of the DVD at universities and contact with lecturers by phone.
Disinformation co-founder Richard Metzger answered questions from students by email.
The second aspect involved media relations. With print media, the aim was not only to gain review coverage but also to generate interest from feature writers. Journalists were delivered rotten fruit and vegetables by men in bio-hazard suits, while the film makers were available for interview by phone. These included Disinformation co-founder Gary Baddeley, film director Robert Greenwald and Metzger.
Radio producers and the print media were encouraged to use the film's content as topics for phone-ins and features.
Journalists were targeted from last October, with university screenings launched in December. The campaign was boosted by celebrity endorsement from, among others, REM frontman Michael Stipe and comedian Dom Joly, who mentioned in separate interviews that they enjoyed the DVD.
Measurement and Evaluation
According to Quite Great's evaluation, the story was covered in three national newspapers: The Observer, The Independent and The Guardian, which featured Greenwald in its My Media section. Elsewhere in print, 20 other publications, including Heat, NME and Socialist Review, featured Outfoxed, with Socialist Review mentioning the DVD in a feature on documentary film-making in its November 2004 issue.
Outfoxed was mentioned on 15 radio stations, including LBC and Radio Five Live.
Latest figures show that 3,456 DVDs have been bought in the UK, while the film has been rented 2,000 times.
Lee Gunther, reporter at Home Entertainment Week, which mentioned Outfoxed in a feature on marketing left-of-centre documentary films, says: 'Outfoxed fitted in with more high-brow readers and had something interesting to say.'