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From the depths of hell, to the heights of space aboard the space shuttle Columbia. A powerful journey of the human spirit.
332 backers pledged $52,175 to help bring this project to life.

Our Final Update

Posted by Dan Cohen (Creator)

Dear Kickstarter Family,

We are delighted to share the great news with you that the premiere for “Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope” (formally "An Article of Hope") on PBS to date has been a wonderful success. The documentary has aired in prime time around the country, and the response has been overwhelming and heartwarming.

Thanks to the underwriting funding we raised on Kickstarter and elsewhere, we were able to meet all of the PBS programming requirements needed to prepare the film for broadcast, as well as design and execute a very strategic nationwide promotion campaign.

It included:

• Promotion within the Public Broadcasting network of stations, to coordinate and communicate with program executives to schedule the documentary.
• Promotion and outreach to traditional print media, television and radio, and web media.
• Creating a web site and Facebook page for the film, and setting up Twitter.
• A specific focus on social media to attract a wider demographic beyond the traditional PBS audience, using the Facebook page, the Twitter account @ColumbiaMOH, and communicating with blog writers, and support from NASA sharing our link and messages with the space community.
• A radio media tour scheduling radio interviews that targeted the top media markets across the country.

Because each PBS television station had the option of running the film during the network slotted time, or at a different time, (or not at all) promotion was a challenge just within the Public Broadcast system. The clearance was significant. According reports provided to us:

• We covered 95.928% of total markets
• If you add up broadcasts, re-broadcasts, and running on digital channels, the film will have 1,063 total number of broadcasts across the country by the end of February.

Our reach was:
• 196 - Total # of Markets
• 25 - # of Top 25 Markets
• 46 - # of Top 50 Markets
• 95 - # of Top 100 Markets
• 245 # of primary channels
• 730 # other digital channels

We received wonderful reviews and blog postings. “Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope” was also:

• Chosen as one of Entertainment Weekly’s “Top Ten of the Week”.
• NBC News science writer’s top pick.
• Numerous guest blog posts including The Huffington Post.

Here is a sample of one review typical of just about every one we received:

Home Front Communications achieved numerous radio station broadcast interviews with the filmmakers and special guest Astronaut Mike Massimino who jumped on board to help. The broadcasts included morning drive time live appearances, and entrainment segments. Other broadcasts included CBS television, and a radio podcast with CBS News radio correspondent Peter King who specializes in covering the space program. (A special thanks to Home Front for the services they donated to the film.)

We also received tremendous support from Astronaut Garrett Reisman who appeared in the film, and introduced the documentary for the PBS broadcast.  We are really grateful to both Garrett and Mike for appearing at couple of film festivals and special screenings when the film toured film festivals around the country. 

On the premiere evening of the film, we hosted a “virtual viewing party” on Twitter; the results were significant for the size of the effort:

• 231 people participated in the virtual viewing party (by using the #ColumbiaMOH hashtag or Tweeting at @ColumbiaMOH).
• The #ColumbiaMOH hashtag was used in 885 tweets, reaching 1.5 million people.

We are also proud that the showcase premiere night in DC market was a prime time broadcast last Tuesday evening on Maryland Public Television MPT.  The station featured our documentary on the cover of their February program guide, (see the image below) a significant honor making the film their choice promotion during the critical February ratings month.

We are not finished. The documentary still has a few more airings through February,(check our web site for the complete schedule) including WETA’s first broadcast on channel 26 & WETA - HD in Washington, DC February 17th @ 5pm. (Set your DVR!)

We would like to give a special thanks to the four companies which were part of this great promotion team: DeShields and Associates; CaraMar, Inc.; Geben Communications; and Home Front Communications.

While this cycle of broadcasts is winding down, the documentary will live on through PBS over the next three years, with the network broadcasting the film again next year. The film is also being distributed around the world through FremantleMedia.

Meantime please share our web site with your friends, Copies of the film are available through the link to PBS on our site. And continue to follow our progress by liking us on Facebook,

Once again, from all of the filmmakers of “Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope” thank you to everyone.


Dan Cohen

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