Corporate Responsibility award entry

AMC Networks is committed to elevating awareness of Black History Month by sharing poignant and educational stories and messages with viewers across the country.

For the fifth anniversary of its powerhouse and award-winning Black History Month PSA campaign, AMC Networks sought to create its largest Black History Month initiative to date.  The campaign strategy was to invite prominent leaders to help inform AMC Networks viewers about the importance of diversity and Black History Month.

PSA examples can be seen here:  2018 Black History Month PSAs

The company determined the PSAs would feature esteemed members of The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and its distribution strategy would be to leverage all of its national networks platforms to drive buzz around the annual celebration.  In the past, AMC Networks had tapped WE tv as the central conduit for the campaign. In 2018, AMC Networks expanded the PSA airings to run across all its influential national networks – AMC, BBC AMERICA, IFC, SundanceTV, and WE tv – throughout the entire month of February.

To create the campaign, AMC Networks utilized the following tactics:  1) identify CBC Representatives who would have a compelling story and viewpoint to share in relation to Black History Month 2) film/edit the PSAs 3) place the PSAs on-air and on-line and 4) promote the PSA series through all of its networks’ websites and social media channels.  



AMC Networks’ PSA series helped to educate viewers about Black History month, delivering on the project’s objectives and impacting millions of viewers and social media users.

During February 2018, the PSAs aired more than 330 times across AMC, BBCAMERICA, IFC, SundanceTV and WE tv, yielding an on-air value of almost $500,000.  The spots were available to over 90 million viewers nationwide, and more than 5.6 million unique visitors through a combination of AMC, BBC AMERICA, IFC, SundanceTV and WE tv’s websites and was featured in Cablefax, Politico and Cynopsis.

The members of the Congressional Black Caucus emphasize the importance of honoring Black History Month best in their own words:

  • “We have come too far and we are not going back. We are going forward.” Congressman John Lewis [GA – 5]
  •  “Black History Month is American history. African Americans have made substantial contributions as far back as this country’s inception.” Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. [NJ – 10]
  • “What’s important is to look back so that you can look forward. If you don’t understand your history, then you don’t know where you’ve been and how far you have to go. And that’s why history is so important.” Congressman Gregory Meeks [NY – 5]
  • “They [women] helped advance our civil society and without their contributions we wouldn’t be where we are today.” Rep. Yvette Clarke [NY – 9]

AMC Networks’ award-winning campaign highlights the people, events and movements that inspire Members of Congress.  The PSAs are innovative because viewers hear directly from the leaders themselves, which lends credibility to the campaign and reinforces its importance.  Nine members participated in the 2018 PSA series, which was anchored to four thematic spots, including:

“Women Paving the Way”: A look at the past and present “sheroes” who paved the way for other women of color. Features Congresswoman Joyce Beatty [OH – 3], Congresswoman Karen Bass [CA – 37] and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke [NY – 9].

“John Lewis: Trailblazer”: This PSA honors civil rights trailblazer Congressman John Lewis [GA – 5]. Featuring Congressman James Clyburn [NC – 6], Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. [NJ – 10] and Congresswoman Val Demings [FL – 10].

“Progress”: A look at some of the most notable moments in the fight for civil rights. Featuring Senator Tim Scott [SC], Congressman G.K. Butterfield [NC – 1] and Congressman Gregory Meeks [NY – 5].

“Past to Present”: A look at past and present leaders and honoring black history. Featuring Congressman James Clyburn [NC – 6], Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. [NJ – 10] and Congresswoman Val Demings [FL – 10].

PSA examples can be seen here:  2018 Black History Month PSAs

AMC Networks is extremely proud of its Black History Month activities, highlighted by the annual PSA series.  The campaign’s objective was to use the reach of cable TV to communicate the ever-increasing importance and impact of Black History Month by featuring prominent Congressional leaders discussing, in their own words, figures who continue to inspire and advance the legacy of civil rights advocacy. 

AMC Networks originally branded the campaign specifically to WE tv which has a diverse base.  Known for hit shows such as “Braxton Family Values,” “Growing Up Hip Hop” and “Mary Mary,” WE tv is the number one network for African-American adults on Thursday nights.

In 2018, AMC Networks determined it should grow the campaign even larger by leveraging all of its networks (AMC, BBC AMERICA, IFC, SundanceTV, and WE tv) across multi-platform offerings (websites and social media channels), which increased its reach year over year.  The corporate communications team learned from the success of past years efforts help to make this significantly larger effort possible moving forward.

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