First of all: A big ‘thank you’ to reddit users. It’s thrilling to see this kind of response and I’m sure this will only result in more outreach from public media.

And note: I am a consultant for PBS (and former employee) but do not speak for the organization in an official capacity on this blog.

A quick, focused social media campaign netted awesome results for PBS on reddit over the last 24 hours. More than anything, it was a response to the flood of good will from the community to a PBS tech quickly addressing a user’s issue. Without revealing anything proprietary, the campaign generated over 30,000 clicks to the PBS donation URL, over 22,000 ‘upvotes’, and over 1200 comments. Oh, and reddit users gifted me 3 months of reddit ‘gold’, the membership status for Nice.

Moderating this floor of traffic was insane – and extremely gratifying. Users posted so many great stories, requests, questions, “donated!” notes that it was a scramble just to keep up with “thank you’s!”

It’s a great example of what can occur when you meet a community where they are. Trying to engage reddit on PBS’s terms – or at a typical corporate speed – would almost certainly have killed the organic momentum. Going forward, this will hopefully be an instructive example for public media more broadly about the type of good will that exists in untapped and under-engaged communities. If you doubt me, just check out the UGC at the bottom of this post.


Reddit: PBS loves you back!

Thanks for all the love the last couple days. We noticed, and it’s made us even more excited about building awesome products for the American public. We work really hard to bring you great programming and want to remind you that your local station really makes everything you see on PBS – and everything we do – possible. We rely on your support, so thanks again and send some of this love to your local station here:

TL;DR We love you. You help us when you make a donation (any amount) to your local station here: Post a comment if you donate!

And the awesome accompanying photo, which was organized by Melanie:


The Artefacts:


  • Drew

    Awesome job, Cam! It was amazing to see that the fans are as passionate about PBS as we are. Gang signs and all!

  • Cameron Nordholm

    Thanks! All credit needs to go back to the team for getting that original customer issue. Glad I could help in some way… really just a coincidence because I spend too much damn time on that site!