Promoting a Documentary Heralding Civic Innovator John Gardner

In 2001, the Twenty-First Century Initiative, Washington, did post-film production and market outreach for a one-hour documentary titled, John Gardner: Uncommon American.

Narrated by Richard Dreyfuss, this documentary is the first account of the life and accomplishments of John Gardner. Gardner helped define and shape our nation's civic society yet he is largely unknown by Americans.

The documentary, which was produced by Tom Simon of Working Dog Productions, aired nationally on 33 PBS stations in the top 50 markets from October through early November 2001.

Key Results

  • The initiative mounted an aggressive promotional effort to assure interest in, airing of, and viewing of the film that included:

    • Five separate screenings for national and community leaders, political leaders, opinion makers and the media to build interest in the documentary.
    • Distribution of copies of the film to opinion leaders, executives of leading organizations and journalists.
    • Creation of an online network of national and local organizations that publicized the air dates of the film using their websites, listservs and electronic newsletters.
    • Distribution of a press kit that included a videotape of the film and Gardner's best-selling book, Self-Renewal, to programming directors at all 187 PBS stations.