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Since 1934, United Airlines has been a global leader in passenger airline service, both domestically and internationally. Currently, United Airlines serves nearly 200 destinations.
In 2007, United introduced new, 180-degree lie-flat business class seats for its substantial international fleet. United Airlines approached MultiVu, PR Newswire’s broadcast and multimedia company, to assist with the announcement of the new features. MultiVu created a Multimedia News Release (MNR), which was used to showcase the new amenities offered by the airline.
To create awareness of the new features offered by United Airlines by targeting television and online audiences simultaneously, and within a short timeframe.
United Airlines’ target audiences were broadcast television, print and online media, in addition to consumer audiences on a global level.
United had limited experience with multimedia public relations efforts, and MultiVu helped the client develop the most efficient way to re-purpose its existing material.
MultiVu recommended using a MNR to promote the new seats because the MNR could incorporate text, videos, sound bites, screen shots, documents and social media links for maximum outreach on a limited budget. MultiVu scripted, voiced and produced a 60 second segment for strategic placement on leading networks. In addition, MultiVu produced, pitched and fed (via satellite) a B-Roll package, targeted to broadcast journalists worldwide, displaying the features of the new seat. A sound bite was incorporated in the MNR, featuring Graham Atkinson, executive vice president and chief customer officer at United Airlines. There were two screen shots included in the MNR. The first screen shot is of the chair in the sitting position. A second screen shot displayed the chair in “bed mode.”
Additional documents were embedded in the MNR, providing online, print and television journalists with all the information they would need to build a story. These documents included: a comparison chart of the former first class seat and suite with the new product; executive biographies of Atkinson and John P. Tague, executive vice president and chief revenue officer at United Airlines; an experiential backgrounder explaining the features of the seat while the user is working, sleeping and dining; a route map, displaying the international premium travel that incorporates the new seat and five different seat maps of United’s fleet featuring the new seats.
In the MNR, a section was included where journalists could input their information (if they so desired) to download a specialized MPEG2 file. The MPEG2 video, once downloaded, can actually be aired on newscasts by broadcasters.
Finally, the MNR included social media links from del.icio.us, Digg, Technorati, Reddit, newsvine, Google, and Yahoo!. These services offer different ways to bookmark, search for, or share the MNR.
The MNR was distributed on July 23, 2007. This distribution included PR Newswire’s premium national newsline, US1, which reaches nearly 5,000 newsrooms, more than 4,000 Web sites and PR Newswire for Journalists which has 86,000 + registered journalists. Additionally, MultiVu provided custom distribution of footage to video portals, including: YouTube, Google Video, Yahoo!Video, Metacafe, AOL Video, MSN Soapbox, Blinkx, Revver, Clip Syndicate, Broadcaster, Vidilife, Veoh, Vsocial and others.
The results are staggering: there have been more than 105 airings of the clips in over 81 stations in 63 markets, reaching over nine and a half million viewers. As of October 2007, the MNR had nearly 20,000 page hits and over 10,000 streams, making the campaign a true success.