3 Media Lessons from “The Chadelor”

August 15, 2016

We’re calling it right now: Chad Johnson – a.k.a “The Chadelor” – is a modern media mastermind. We know that’s a bit controversial, but anyone who has indulged in “The Bachelorette” or “Bachelor in Paradise” can verify he’ll be the contestant we’ll remember long after the last rose ceremony.

The self-dubbed “Chad Bear” stormed the set of the show and immediately grabbed attention with his refusal to play by the rules. The show invited more than 20 men to vie for the everlasting love of Joelle “JoJo” Fletcher, and while the rest of the contestants fought to flatter, the Chadelor pretended not to be interested.20010

In a popularity contest, Chad positioned himself as the villain. He threatened other contestants, both verbally and physically. When contestants declared how much they cared for JoJo, he (correctly) questioned how that could be true after knowing her for days. He questioned the very conceptof the show and lived to tell the tale. Brilliant.giphy (2)

Ultimately, JoJo gave him the boot, but producers couldn’t resist inviting him back for “Bachelor in Paradise,” and he managed to pack enough drama into the first episode, he was already asked to leave the set. So, why do we think Chad is a PR genius?

He wasn’t going to win, so he changed the conversation. 

What do you do when your company or product isn’t leading the pack? To quote the great Don Draper: “Change the conversation.”

Anyone who took a look at Jordan Rodgers knew he would be the one proposing to JoJo at the end. Rather than wait for his fate to be determined in the editing room, Chad cast himself as the villain, knowing he’d ultimately dominate headlines.


For our clients, we have to always be looking for opportunities to cast them in the new role rather than wait for writers and editors to do it for us.

He wasn’t afraid to break the rules.

Sometimes we play by the traditional rules of media relations. We carefully plan an event, draft and fine-tune a press release and send it to our curated list of media contacts. But Chad didn’t play by the rules. He didn’t even wait to get his one-on-one dates with JoJo; on a few occasions, he just stole time in between dates or interrupted others.

Clients don’t have to rely on traditional public relations tactics to make announcements. They can drop news on social media or stage a guerilla campaign that brings curious media to them instead of the other way around.

img.buzzfeed.combuzzfeed-staticstatic2016-062716assetbuzzfeed-prod-fastlane03anigif_sub-buzz-26100-1467057839-2-4d123979b9dfd239995fdd18fe5d27f578e23fa3He leveraged coverage for more coverage.

Even after he was kicked off the show, Chad kept up momentum by posting funny observations about the show on Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. Those posts then generated media coverage, thus keeping the cycle going.

When our clients get awesome coverage opportunities, it’s important to tout them! Even when we pitch a new outlet, we can link to existing coverage to show our client has already gotten attention in a different market. And journalists love nothing more these days than content that’s already proven viral!

When it comes to commanding attention, Chad gets our rose. Think you’re ready to do the same? Contact The Meridian Group to learn how we can help!