‘Happy, Happy, Happy’ makes for good PR

13 Sep
Source: breitbart.com

Source: breitbart.com

When I was at Wal-Mart last week, a huge “Duck Commander” display made me stop for a few moments before I hit the check out line. There was a life-size cardboard cut out of Jase Roberton, one of the stars of the A&E reality show “Duck Dynasty,” with “Duck Commander” sunglasses on. The glasses were available for purchase at the Wal-Mart optical center, along with bins of t-shirts, spiral note books, clipboards, ice chests and other show paraphernalia.

The first time I saw the show, I was not impressed. My husband loves fishing, hunting and being a guy-guy. Naturally, he DVR’s “Duck Dynasty” on our flat-screen TV, and I watch it with him when it’s his turn to pick the show. I just couldn’t see past the beards, until one of my good friends, surprisingly, was gushing about how she loves how family and faith-centered Phil (the family patriarch), the kids and the show are.

After that, I tried to pay more attention to what was behind the beards, and I could see where she was coming from. I still don’t watch it on my own, but it’s growing on me.

That’s good public relations – making you see something in a different light that maybe you hadn’t noticed before and giving something new a shot for a reason that personally appeals to you.

“Duck Dynasty” premiered on March 21, 2012. Nineteen months and 43 episodes later, it garnered a record 11.8 million viewers during the current season premier, “becoming the No. 1 non-fiction series in cable history.” The Robertson’s are giving another reality TV family a run for their money. “Keeping up with the Kardashians” pulled in just 2.8 million viewers during the same week.

Jason Mudd, CEO of award-winning national PR firm Axia Public Relations, laid out three strategic communication lessons that industry professionals can learn from the Robertson clan.

1. “Keep it real when it comes to reputation management.”

2. “Let key characters be key characters.”

3. “Shine on through strategic endorsements and merchandise – but line up closely with what the audience already expects from the message.”

“The Robertsons themselves seem to guide the format and the pace of messages that circulate about their family and their business, rather than trying to line themselves up with a series of stories or messages that are placed before them. After all, who knows the Robertsons like the Robertsons themselves? It’s a successful piece of a comprehensive reputation management approach,” Mudd says in his blog.

Alan Robertson, oldest son to Phil and Kay Robertson and the only beardless male of the clan, also does public relations for the show. He calls his position the official “Beards and Beauty Wrangler” of the family, which I suppose is to help people like me see through the beard to the message of faith, family and ducks.

Source: aetv.com

Source: aetv.com

In addition to full episodes and video clips, the official A&E website gives viewers plenty of opportunities to interact with the “duck community” through quizzes, online chat boards, Twitter and Facebook. There is also a “shop” link with tons of merchandise, in case Wal-Mart runs out.

The long-term effects of the “Happy, Happy, Happy” culture have yet to be seen, but for now, their PR people are right on the money.

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