Portfolio | Titanic
Lyla Foggia has been in charge of the publicity on three separate Titanic projects: the historic first expedition to pick up artifacts from the ocean floor; the two-hour live television broadcast from Paris; and the pre-opening announcement of the Orlando attraction, Titanic~Ship of Dreams.
Two years after the Titanic wreck was co-discovered by Dr. Robert Ballard and the French Oceanographic Institute (IFREMER), the French returned to the site to remove the first artifacts from the ocean floor for posterity. The problem was, they forgot to announce it, putting both their intentions and integrity in doubt. So Foggia was recruited two weeks into the mission to solve what was quickly becoming an international media crisis. Within hours of her arrival in New York to meet with the Expedition Leader, the problem escalated when word leaked that the ship’s safe—presumably, full of valuables—had been recovered. Suddenly, every major news organization in the world was begging for interviews. To contain the mounting hysteria, Foggia scheduled a standing room only press conference in the major hotel ballroom. In the interim, she crafted the campaign-defining media kit that revealed how retrieving artifacts was just one facet of the expedition's unprecedented mission (equally important was how it was advancing science by providing the technology that was making it possible for a human to travel 2-1/2 miles down for the first time.) For the next 24 hours, the Titanic story— all positive— was on the front cover of every daily newspaper in the world.
Foggia was then asked to take on the world-wide publicity for the live two-hour television special, hosted by Telly Savalas, out of Paris. Relying solely on publicity to produce ratings, Foggia scheduled another press conference— this time in a Paris hotel ballroom, where she had the ship’s safe safely secured in a larger, old-fashioned bank safe, rolled in by uniformed French gendarmes two days before the airdate. An avalanche of global media coverage resulted. In the U.S. alone, 22 million viewers tuned into “Return to the Titanic…LIVE,” making it the 2nd highest-rated syndicated special in television history.