The CW: promoting television shows

The “Entertainment PR” session by he CW network at PRSSA National Conference featured two executives from the CW. Paul McGuire is the executive vice president of network communications and Jeff Tobler the publicity manager. The two talked about all the shows featured on the CW such as “Gossip Girl,” “One Tree Hill,” and “90210.”

The network is a single revenue stream that only gets paid through advertisements, compared to a dual revenue stream where the network gets paid by advertisements and by cable providers, such as Time Warner, Comcast, etc. They wanted the audience to know that public relationships are becoming more important in entertainment and that the shows they present are represent different genres that target the same demographic.

They did a lot of advertising for the network during the session, posting posters of the shows in the room, while also handing out posters and pens. The two mentioned how they’ll go through quotes from reviews of shows and instead of just posting the good quotes in advertisements sometimes they’ll put bad ones to create controversy. For Gossip Girl they advertised a quote that said “A Parent’s Worst Nightmare.”

Tobler talked about publicity strategy and how they will do tons of promotion for a premiere of a show, such as photo shoots every weekend. Many companies will want to cover the premiere of a show and the network will look through them and pick one to do all the promoting. For 90210, they chose ET to cover the premiere, and ET did a little clip on the set of the show every day until the night of the premiere.

Tobler talked about working with the research department and getting public perception early, then pitching it to major newspapers. He told the audience to read from because it’s a website that breaks stories. People don’t wait when it comes to shows and characters on shows, and you have to be prepared and respond quickly.

They also stressed how important it is to keep in touch at least once a month with possible employers and anyone you work with. You must always be nice to whomever you are in contact with.

Victoria Yu, Conference attendee


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