CNN conducts a yearly event live on TV, celebrating people around the world making a difference in their locales. The focus is on people and their non-profits. I remember seeing the show for the first time and thinking it was odd - a large media titan fostering social causes?? But it all seems to come together really well. Here are some of the pieces that make it work:
- Timing: The event is around Christmas time, when everyone is in the holiday and do-good spirit.
- Media: Having a media company sponsor this means the marketing for these causes is fantastic! CNN raises their brand image by fostering world benefit social causes. They also get some programming mileage by replaying bits of the event throughout the year. Being a global company, they can also leverage the event to the various regions they serve.
- Heroes: Wonderful people who tirelessly work for their causes, and are finally getting some recognition. In fact a lot of recognition! CNN rebroadcasts their stories throughout the year.
- Causes: Hero's organizations receive cash prizes from CNN and donations from the public. In addition to the amazing PR.
- Celebrities: Can't have a gala event without celebs! Having celebs involved further raises the profile of the event and of the Heroes and their causes.
- General Public: People get invested in the program by nominating and voting for Heroes. By following them on fan pages. And by making donations to the causes.
- Anderson Cooper: 'Nuff said!