Video: How Roto Rooter Embraced Reality TV for PR Success

By Greg Hazley

Paul Abrams, PR manager of Roto Rooter, talked to PRSA’s Cincinnati chapter about convicing reluctant management to cooperate with a reality show called “Ghost Hunters” in 2004 as a way to reach younger people who don’t see the company’s $30M investment in Yellow Pages advertising.

For those who haven’t seen it, Ghost Hunters, now syndicated in 31 countries and run on the Syfy network, features two Roto Rooter plumbers who investigate paranormal claims on their off hours.

Also in this 14-minute clip, Abrams outlines how Roto Rooter leveraged its latest TV appearance on CBS’ “Undercover Boss,” which included tapping CBS’ PR department, as well as other endeavors like the decision to hire a local agency rather than a New York or Chicago-based shop.

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