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Mountain Lake PBS Finds Creative Side in PBS Campaign to acquire New Donors




“A Roku is better than a box of chocolate”

Well, perhaps not to everyone - but as Kevin Cooney, Digital Marketing Specialist at Mountain Lake PBS explains “A Roku shows you care about what someone watches and thinks about - it can give you something to talk about”. And that was the genesis of the idea to offer a the Roku Streaming Stick and a special Valentine’s Day Thank You Gift.

Mountain Lake PBS, located in Plattsburgh New York, was one of 11 stations that participated in the PBS Roku Acquisition Campaign that just concluded in February. While standardized copy, graphics and templates were offered to stations, Mountain Lake was one of the stations who took the concept and made it more timely and brought some creativity to the process by offering the Roku Streaming Sticks as a Valentine’s Day gift.

It was the first time they'd done any Valentine’s Day offer, “I wanted to differentiate from the other ways we offered it during the campaign. How can we do something different? And I came up with the idea to tie it Valentine’s”, Kevin explained.

The flexibility of Kevin’s supervisor, Director of Communications, Jennifer Kowalczyk to let him try new things on the fly is key to the creative process. Kevin has been at Mountain Lake for just a few months, after spending 14 years in Tokyo, part of them working for NHK, Japan’s national broadcasting corporation. “Everything was very bureaucratic, so being able to take an idea and run with it is great.”


Kevin also created another clever angle on the campaign- this time by thinking about another segment of viewers reliant on PBS, parents. The graphic and language “Parents 101” featuring the Roku + the PBS Kids Logo = smiley face. "If you are a parent, become a member, get the Roku and you have an endless library of kids programming. I really wanted to put a little wine glass emoji after the smiley face... but decided against it.’






Creative part of Mountain Lake PBS’s 
Valentine’s push
One of the highlights of the project was sharing his concepts with other stations and getting ideas from them. “Don't be stingy with ideas. Why not share? It also makes the labor divided by the results and it’s easy to share visuals.”

So would Mountain Lake participate in a project like this again? Yes. “It was great seeing what other stations are doing and their efforts and connecting [with them]. A collaboration with a narrow focus works so well with something like this.”

*The final case study for results of the Roku Sustainer Acquisition Campaign will be available late March 2016.



Natasha Hilton | Senior Associate | PBS Development Services

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