Top Women in PR 2014: Lynn Gardner

Lynn Gardner, SVP Publicity, HISTORY 

Repositioning an established network has been compared to rebuilding plane engines in mid-flight. Lynn Gardner has deftly managed this three times, without any crashes. First with hit reality show Ice Road Truckers, the epic mini series Hatfields, and finally the scripted series Vikings, Lynn’s positioning savvy made these transitions an understandable part of HISTORY’s growth. Critical acclaim and brand success followed, with HISTORY becoming a top-five cable network.

Lynn was tasked with keeping the hype from season one of VIKINGS, which was the number one new cable series, going strong between the ten month gap before the premiere of season two. Targeted events nurtured interest — a successful March panel at Wonder Con was leveraged to secure a major Comic Con panel. Comic Con kicked off a widespread season two buzz effort through massive press and fan outreach including a Vikings experiential exhibit for thousands of attendees and then a VIP/press party. All summer and fall, Lynn orchestrated set visits to Ireland, fed items to bloggers, and gained long form features. This press outreach culminated in a VIP cast screening, college promotional tour and dozens of interviews. Vikings Season 2 premiered to record breaking ratings, and a fast commitment to season three.