Norwegian Cruise Line extends positive PR from ‘Undercover Boss’ by months

Norwegian publicists milked their CEO’s appearance on the TV reality show in imaginative ways, while the PR fallout boosted internal morale and operations mightily for the cruise line.

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Its CEO, Kevin Sheehan, was given a chance to appear on the popular CBS reality show “Undercover Boss.” Norwegian was taking a real riskā€”its PR department had no say in the final televised show.

The idea was to generate bookings in the crucial WAVE season, increase engagement with three key audiences (employees, current cruise guests, and non-cruisers), and position Norwegian as a forward-looking, innovative, hungry competitor in the eyes of potential investors.

The calculated gamble paid off. CEO Sheehan proved to be a natural both on screen and off: humble, intelligent, at ease with people, blessed with an inborn ability to make fun of himself, eager to learn from new experiences. Sheehan was the perfect “Undercover Boss.” This is why Norwegian’s PR department won top honors in the Best Branding or Positioning category of PR Daily’s 2012 Media Relations Awards.

Norwegian’s PR staff leveraged the CBS reality show’s popularity to achieve a stunningly effective mix of traditional and social media PR:

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