To build buzz for its new network, Discovery Communications needed to keep its foot on the eco-friendly gas pedal for several months before launch. They did so by revealing the Planet Green programming slate via exclusive articles in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Variety. Then the team shifted focus to its non-profit partnerships on Earth Day, such as its Plant a Billion Trees effort with The Nature Conservancy, and followed that with a massive media blitz on virtually every broadcast morning show, entertainment program and entertainment magazine. And let’s not forget that Planet Green joined forces with Major League Baseball in five cities to promote the network’s June 4 debut. In DC, the home team Nats wore green hats that day.

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Honorable Mentions:

ESPN for NASCAR on ESPN: ESPN scored stories featuring ESPN motor sports in 77 of the country’s largest newspapers.

National Geographic Channel for Expedition Week: With its Expedition Week press blitz for critics, science and travel writers and mainstream media, Nat Geo tapped into everyone’s inner Indiana Jones to fuel a big ratings rise.

Bravo for Real Housewives of Atlanta: With a cast that included NBA and NFL wives, Bravo smartly reached out to sportswriters for Real Housewives of Atlanta.

History for 102 Minutes That Changed America: The network used a light touch when promoting the 9/11 documentary, tapping key press for off-the-record reactions and presenting a screening for New York City fire chiefs.

IFC for The IFC Media Project: As part of its media campaign, IFC formed a panel of well-known journalists to discuss the state of the media business, led by author and blogger Arianna Huffington.

ABC Family for Secret Life of the American Teenager: The story of an unplanned teenage pregnancy garnered critical praise and best-ever ratings for an original series on ABC Family, thanks in part to a press effort centered on star Molly Ringwald.

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