Photo from thedesignnetwork.com
Furnitureland South is widely known as a top furniture destination in the Southeast. In April 2013, Furnitureland South executives Jason and Jeff Harris launched The Design Network, a broadband, all-screens network that aligns the best designers, architects and home enthusiasts to offer instructional and entertaining videos about home design and fashion. In just one year’s time, The Design Network garnered more than a million page views and approximately 10,000 subscribers. Due to this success, the decision was made that on April 1, 2014 The Design Network would make its debut on its own channel on Time Warner Cable in the Piedmont region of North Carolina.
The new Time Warner Cable partnership was a milestone for The Design Network and Furnitureland South. As such, Furnitureland South retained Clairemont Communications for media relations support surrounding the announcement of the launch. We established the objectives as follows:
- Build awareness of the new Design Network channel on Time Warner Cable in the Triad by securing placements in at least three top Triad area local media outlets.
- Build industry awareness of Furnitureland South and The Design Network by securing placement in at least one furniture trade outlet.
With a tight budget and quick turn around time, we devised a focused media outreach strategy to determine proper timing and pitch targets. Since the cable channel was scheduled to launch on April 1, it was determined the news announcement would coincide and be made that same day. We established our goals and objectives and created our media target list, which included local triad media (TV and print), trade media and design industry bloggers/influencers.
Once the targets were determined, we crafted a news release announcing the new Design Network channel. On the morning of April 1, we kicked off the campaign by reaching out to our media targets with personal calls to pitch the story. We also complemented our pitching efforts by posting the news release on Business Wire. The response was impressive, thus we spent a great deal of time in the days that followed scheduling and facilitating interviews with Furnitureland South representatives and key media contacts, including The Triad Business Journal and the Tomorrow Will be Televised radio program based in New York.
The media relations campaign was a success. We secured placements in three top local papers (Triad Business Journal, Greensboro News & Record, High Point Enterprise), a national online radio program and one top industry trade magazine. Additionally, the Business Wire release was viewed more than 1,700 times and the news was tweeted almost 21 times by a variety of Twitter accounts. Most importantly, traffic to The Design Network website increased, which the client attributed to the buzz about the new channel on Time Warner Cable.