USA Network's Characters Unite Month Drives Viewer Participation To New Levels By Leveraging The Power Of Social Media Effort to Combat Hate and Discrimination Reaches More Than 19 Million Fans On-Air, On Digital Channels and On-The Ground

NEW YORK, March 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Leveraging the power of social media to activate consumers around its public service campaign, USA Network drove viewer participation to record highs – reaching more than 19 million people during its third Characters Unite Month this February. The multi-platform initiative was designed to promote tolerance and combat discrimination. 

"Digital and social media have taken our ability to engage audiences in pro-social causes to an entirely new level.  Fans turned out in droves and took initiative to serve as ambassadors, spreading the Characters Unite message of respect and acceptance to an even wider audience," said Toby Graff, USA's senior vice president, Public Affairs.  "As a result, we saw an outpouring of support for the campaign and people across the country speaking out against hate and discrimination in their homes, schools and communities."

The centerpiece of the month was the "I Won't Stand For..." campaign which illustrates that everyone, everywhere can make a difference to stop racism, bullying, religious intolerance, sexism, homophobia, ableism and all forms of discrimination simply by saying they "won't stand for" it anymore.

Integrated throughout all of the Characters Unite Month activities, the customized social media initiatives included a new Facebook app and its campaign-specific Twitter hashtag #IWontStandFor. Fans actively engaged across all of the social channels to share what form of prejudice and injustice they would no longer tolerate resulting in more than 41 million impressions. Fans created customized photos and became part of an interactive gallery on Facebook and on charactersunite.com. In four weeks, "likes" on the Characters Unite Facebook page increased by 50%.

Additionally, USA talent – including Matt Bomer, Dule Hill, Meghan Markle, Sarah Raffery, Patrick J. Adams, and Gina Torres – as well as athletes, students, elected officials, advocates and everyday Americans promoted acceptance in short "I Won't Stand For…" PSAs, videos and photos featured on-air, on the campaign's site, the Characters Unite YouTube channel, and through social media channels. The live, running tally of people participating on the site overall saw a quadruple-digit increase, with the "I Won't Stand For…" section logging the most visits.

Combining the power of digital with TV, over 19 million viewers tuned into more than eight hours of special Characters Unite month programming, including Academy-award winning "Schindler's List," the "NFL Characters Unite" documentary, and episodes of NECESSARY ROUGHNESS and SUITS. Committed to using its reach as the #1 basic cable network, USA more than tripled its on-air content over the previous year. The multi-episode Characters Unite-themed story arcs in USA's original series reached a total of 13.7 million viewers. "Schindler's List" – which also engaged viewers in a live, second-screen experiences with the zeebox app – delivered 3.2 million viewers and earned the distinction as top movie of the day in cable.

USA also launched a Characters Unite bus tour, which visited seven cities across America, with a special appearance from PSYCH star Dule Hill in Chicago. Clocking a total of 5,250 miles on the road, this road show offered people the opportunity to create custom "I Won't Stand For..." t-shirts, photos and videos. Nearly 10,000 people stamped shirts, and chose bullying, hate and discrimination as the top three issues they won't stand for. As a result of this outreach, other communities and organizations are planning to hold their own "I Won't Stand For…" events.

Please visit http://www.charactersunite.com/ for more information on the initiative and what you can do to make a difference.

Characters Unite Partners
USA's nonprofit partners in the year-round Characters Unite public service campaign include: American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), Children's Defense Fund (CDF), Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Human Rights First (HRF), Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Association of Counties (NACo), National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), National Council of La Raza (NCLR), National Council of Women's Organizations (NCWO), National Education Association (NEA), National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and General Board of Church & Society, United Methodist Church.

The #1 network in all of basic cable for seven consecutive years, USA Network is seen in over 102 million U.S. homes.  USA is a leader in scripted programming with a powerful stable of originals, spectacular live television and is home to the best in blockbuster theatrical films, a broad portfolio of acquired series and entertainment events. Viewers come to USA to find television's best in critically-acclaimed and award-winning original programming, such as BURN NOTICE, ROYAL PAINS, WHITE COLLAR, COVERT AFFAIRS, PSYCH, SUITS, NECESSARY ROUGHNESS and WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW, as well as the highest-rated acquired originals, including HOUSE, NCIS, LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT and CSI.  A trailblazer in digital innovation and storytelling, USA is defining, driving and setting the industry standard for Social TV.  USA is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal. The award-winning website is located at www.usanetwork.com. Characters Welcome.

SOURCE USA Network



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