Reality television is a genre of television programming that presents purportedly unscripted dramatic or humorous situations, documents actual events, and usually features ordinary people instead of professional actors, sometimes in a contest or other situation where a prize is awarded. One of these popular reality TV shows is Project Runway. Project Runway is an American reality television series on Lifetime Television, previously on the Bravo network, which focuses on fashion design and is hosted by model Heidi Klum. The contestants compete with each other to create the best clothes and are restricted in time, materials and theme. Their designs are judged, and one or more designers are eliminated each week.
A spin-off of Project Runway is Project Accessory. Lifetime proves attitude is the best accessory with the new series Project Accessory. On this show, hosted by actress and model Molly Sims, 12 designers will compete and showcase their unique vision for accessories and show audiences how to transform any outfit. The designers must dazzle Sims and the judges — designer Kenneth Cole and InStyle Editor Ariel Foxman — with their one-of-a-kind jewelry, belts, bags, shoes, headpieces and other wares, with the help of lifestyle expert Eva Jeanbart-Lorenzotti as their mentor. Emmy Award–winning actress Debra Messing and fashion critic and television personality Kelly Osbourne will appear as guest judges this season, among other fashion luminaries.
Rio Grande is supporting Project Accessory by providing the tools you see each week on the show, and each Friday they’ll have another jewelry project inspired by the same challenges Molly Sims pits the designers against!
So, how do you capitalize on this kind of national exposure? This is where Relationship Marketing really plays a very important part…Social Media. Let’s look back to the basics…
Hopefully you are already listening and have joined in the conversation. Once you have your bearings, you’re ready to participate in the community. Participation can include posting topics in online forums, replying to topics in forums and blog posts with your opinions, reviewing products or services, and even just bookmarking web sites you like. By building an online brand for yourself—by way of contributing to the social networks and forming connections—you now have an audience to share your content with. After you’ve built that online brand and online reputation, you can leverage it to help spread the word about content you create.
This is how Rio Grande is capitalizing on their Social Media presence to promote not only the show Project Accessory, but also the company Rio Grande Jewelry Supplies. The jewelry artists at Rio Grande will create similar projects as the designers on the show – participating each week like they are on the show. Then, they will invite their social media followers to do the same. Rio Grande supplies detailed project instructions and material lists each week. They are encouraging their followers to “put yourself to the challenge!” and sign-up to receive e-mail notifications as new projects are released. Every Friday (for 8 weeks) a new project will be posted on their web site, followed by a blog post and daily conversations on Facebook and Twitter. A weekly blog and Facebook competition will give away prizes for the best entries for that week. Participants will be encouraged to read and write product reviews on Rio Grande upload images of their own creations to the blog – The Studio, Rio’s Blog, and share on their Facebook walls, Twitter feeds and to their circles on Google+.
The core of any good plan is a set of goals. We all enjoy the success of hitting or exceeding a target and such an achievement stimulates that ongoing desire to succeed, as well as helping to maintain high levels of motivation and determination. Goals also allow you to establish your priorities and maintain your focus, as everything you do in a campaign must in some way be linked back to your singular objective. During the planning phase, achievable and realistic goals were set (increase in e-mails subscribers, blog, Facebook and Twitter followers, etc.) and progress will be measured against the baseline that was established before the campaign started.
Stay tuned for a wrap-up and assessment of how Rio Grande’s social media helped them spread the word about Project Accessory. Follow Rio Grande on Facebook at, Twitter at and the Rio Grande Blog at …and play along!