Now that we’re in November, it’s safe to say that we’re now well into to the last quarter of the year. The leaves have fallen, pumpkins are back and, dare we say it, Christmas is just around the corner. In a new segment on the Ricemedia blog, we’ll be looking at the top 8 PR campaigns and news that we can learn from. So without further ado, here are the things that happened in PR which you need to know…
Bell Pottinger Gate
We couldn’t do a PR round-up without mentioning the biggest public relations news in September. PR giant Bell Pottinger has gone into administration after a racially charged campaign in South Africa. The firm was ‘heavily financially impacted’ by the scandal and were also struck off by the PRCA, the UK’s public relations industry body. Racism isn’t ever okay – there are no excuses for it. We shouldn’t have to say what Digital Marketing agencies around the world should take from this, but we are going to. Don’t be racist or a bigot.
Stranger Things pop-up
To coincide with the second season premiering in October (the 27th to be exact, for all you fans) a pop-up bar in Edinburgh was launched with a Stranger Things theme. In the bar you can sip on Upside Down inspired drinks, take selfies with a life-sized Demogorgon and relax in Eleven’s pillow fort! We loved this innovative campaign – it is great to see PR taking a creative approach, creating hype both on and offline. We know just how important PR stunts are for a successful campaign.
Anti UBER campaign
At the end of September news broke of Uber losing their licence to operate in London, with many users of the app calling for a rejudgement as the hassle-free taxi service is a lifeline for a large number of Londoners. The country was all collective shocked at the ban, however the judgement didn’t come out of nowhere. A campaign for the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association had been running for a while using scare tactics on posters around the city to help shift perception of minicabs, including Uber. Aggressive PR campaigns do work, but it is important to remember that it only works for the minority. After all, the campaign to give Uber’s London license back retained more than 600,000 signatures. Instead of berating competitors, there are better PR strategies out there.
Pool inflatables sanctuary
In a more lighthearted campaign to come out from September, Hotels.com set up a ‘sanctuary’ for abandoned pool inflatables at a hotel in Spain. Each year the inflatables are left behind by tourists at the end of their holidays. Guest at the hotel can now ‘adopt’ these forgotten inflatables and provide them with a new home. If ever you’re stuck for ideas, go down the simple, sweet and light-hearted route!
Prue Leith’s Twitter Blunder
Hours before The Great British Bake Off final, judge Prue Leith accidentally revealed the winner of the series. The tweet happened seconds after Prue announced that she would be returning for Channel 4’s second series of The Great British Bake Off, alongside Paul Hollywood, Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding. Understandably, Prue was mortified and said the error was down to ‘time difference’ as she was in Bhutan. What made the situation worse was The Sun’s ever so thoughtful associate editor Dan Wootton retweeting it. ruining the finale for a lot of people. First things first, it is important to remember that human error happens. Secondly, if you’re a person of influence, don’t retweet something that will inevitably ruin something for all of your followers. Oh, and always double check the time zone!
Study reveals how consumers feel about brands
Foresight Factory published a study that looking into where brands fit into consumers’ emotional landscape. The survey produced some interesting results, such as:
- “Emotional brand associations have the power to significantly enhance the tendency to recommend a brand to others.”
- “Emotional attributes provide fertile ground for commercial differentiation, UK consumers’ associations with automotive brands reveals that functional attributes are relatively less impactful than emotional ones in their ability to differentiate brands.”
This is a lesson that every PR agency should take into consideration with every campaign – the consumers’ feelings should always be taken into consideration.
The Walking Dead billboard
It’s not only Stranger Things coming back in October, we’ll also be seeing the long-awaited return of The Walking Dead. Back for its eighth season on the 23rd, theme park Thorpe Park have created a live motion billboard to promote their new zombie-filled maze. The billboard comes complete with actors dressed as the undead pouncing out at the unknowing public. Working with other big named brands to create a PR campaign that will create buzz on and offline is the perfect way to build hype!
China QR code maze
In more maze news, China- who have seemed to only just cottoned on to QR codes- have created a giant QR code from trees which can be seen (and scanned!) from the sky. The code takes you to Xilinshui’s official tourism page. It could be argued that QR codes are not a dying art, and creativity really does pay off!
If you’d like some advice regarding your Digital PR strategy, then do not hesitate to get in touch with Ricemedia – we’re more than happy to help!