Tag Archives: gesture

A child Picasso gives Waitrose a helping hand

26 Aug

20140430-231008.jpgThey say the ‘kids are all right’. But, the phrase should be the kids are always right. Earlier this year a little girl wrote a letter to Lego complaining that boys had all the fun because they got the chance to play the hero, whereas female figures had limited prospects sunbathing on the beach or relaxing at the beauty parlour. Lego listened and promptly launched a limited edition set of inspirational female scientists that have sold out in stores in the US.

Now, seven-year old Harry Deverill, from Dorset, has taken it upon himself to redesign Waitrose’s bottle of brown sauce. He couldn’t work out what the current picture was meant to be, so supplied the supermarket chain with three alternatives. And, as a result, it’s replaced its essential range’s brown sauce label with one of his images.

It was always going to be a success.

Up-market supermarket Waitrose, which previously slid to PR success, has not only shown that it listens to its customers’ suggestions (note suggestion, not complaint), but that it’s also open to change. And, in doing so, has proved that it understands good PR.

I’m sorry Harry but, in the foodservice industry, updating packaging that has existed from the beginning of time is not high on its list of priorities. After all, it’s got shelf space, profit margins and new products – such as Curiosity Cola, Birds Eye Mas#Tags and Warburtons – to contend with. But, in spite of all this, it knows that putting a call into its printing factory is worth generating content for its own publications (Waitrose Kitchen and Waitrose Weekend) and national consumer titles such as the Daily Mail, Daily Express and the Metro.

Although, this wouldn’t be Prime Time if I couldn’t find a way to critique the perfect PR stunt.

Taking a proper look at the previous label’s artwork I can conclude that it’s bad – really bad. Why Waitrose has been precious about it for so long is beyond me. So, why not extend the opportunity and launch a competition for other children to submit their designs for its essentials range? I appreciate that redesigning the entire collection might be a bit much, but it could start with the condiments and table sauces and work it’s way through the shop slowly.

This will generate even more content for the brand to roll out across its:

a) Social media channels
Competition entry galleries where fans are encouraged to vote for their favourite image.

b) Marketing magazines
Features on the children behind the winning designs.

c) TV shows
PR through cookery demonstration discussions.

A competition would also lend itself to a local PR campaign in hotspot areas, with the results transitioning into advertising slogans.

It’s come this farand I salute Waitrose for its willing gesture. But, it doesn’t have to be a one-hit wonder. Keep the momentum going by involving more customers and sit back and enjoy the results.

What do you think?

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Remember, remember the success of Movember

27 Oct

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In just a few days time, men (and some brave women) will spend the month growing and grooming their moustaches for Movember, a fundraising campaign to support Prostate Cancer UK.

Launching 10 years ago in Australia, the rise and rise of the Movember movement has taken the world by storm. In 2012, 21 countries took part raising more than £92m.

Here’s a look at how some of Movember’s partners are making the most of their involvement. Please note, I’m bypassing Gillette because a PR match made in heaven like this doesn’t need an extra plug.

HP Sauce
HP Sauce is continuing its sponsorship of Movember by giving its bottles a tache makeover, but going one step further to create a Mo Bros roadshow. Packed with competitions and games for university students across the country, this PR and marketing stunt is supported by Facebook.

Byron
Byron is giving away a free burger to every Mo Bro that raises more than £25 for charity. With hundreds of thousands of participants in the UK alone last year, this is a very brave gesture for the restaurant chain. But it’s also hoping to attract customers with a new limited edition Mo’shroom burger. Fifty pence will be donated to Movember for every one sold next month.

Mr Men
The creators of Mr Men have launched a new character – Mr Mo – to star in a new book. As the first new character in four years, it’s sure to be a collectors’ item and is a great PR story to continue raising Movember’s profile. But Hargreaves should be careful not to over expose his collection, following Mr Funny (Red Nose Day) and Mr Cheeky (Children With Leukaemia). If every charity has one it will lose credibility.

The Movember autumn collection
TOMS, Eleven Paris and Links of London have created a bespoke collection of t-shirts, shoes and accessories for Mo Bros. A proportion of the profits will be donated to charity to make a difference. So if you can’t grow a tache, you can wear one.

My only issue is that moustaches have been marketed by lots of retailers earlier this year, encouraging people to cheat the system. In any other situation you could argue that imitation is the best form of flattery, but not when charity’s involved.

But, the reason Movember’s been so successful is a) it has its own identity that doesn’t shout about ‘cancer’ and b) it focuses on the positive, adopting the ‘here’s what you can do for us’ approach, making Movember interesting, intriguing and fun. So many others have a ‘here’s what will happen if you don’t help us’ attitude.

It’s also refreshing that its partners put the initiative first. No piggybacking or promoting, these brands have come up with genuine ways of raising extra cash. Maybe that’s why journalists don’t mind writing about it. The likes of MSN, Daily Express, Daily Star and the Metro have already picked it up and will undoubtedly do so again during the month.

Are you prepared for Movember? Watch this space to see how much is raised.

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PRs: How to host the perfect journalist meeting

24 Jan

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There’s no doubt about it. When you’ve been in the PR game for a while, you get lazy. There’s no one turning point as to when this happens, but it’s not too long after you’ve found the gem of a journalist that will put something online moments after you’ve sent it – and they’re nice enough to send you the link. When you have relationships like this, why try?

The answer’s simple: to produce results that go beyond simple coverage cuttings.

With many clients cutting back on PR and marketing budgets, it’s vital that teams show they’re adding the type of value to clients that shows up on their bottom line. That, my friends, is platinum PR (nothing fluffy about it).

Today, I met with a trade journalist to better understand how I can improve my clients’ share of voice within the magazine and connect with its readers.

Don’t take these meetings for granted.
Here’s some tips on how PRs can host the perfect journalist meeting:

1. Make them feel special
It’s not always effective to take time out of the office to meet with just one journalist, but the editor of this B2B title felt flattered that I’d gone out of my way to find out how I can meet her editorial needs. She was so charmed, she bought the coffee for me!

2. Go to their neck of the woods
It’s obvious, but meet in the place that’s most convenient for them. They tend to be more relaxed knowing they’re close to HQ.

3. Come prepared
However well you think they know your client, bring a press pack full of details about the business, along with information on projects and case studies they’ll be interested in. If it’s not relevant to them now, it will be later.

The editor was also touched that the information was personalised for her. Again, a small gesture that goes a long way in showing that you’re genuinely interested in developing a longstanding relationship with the title.

Also have a latest copy of the magazine with you. Think of it as a shield. You wouldn’t go into battle without one, would you?

4. Share the floor
The best PR/journalist meeting is where both parties have something to gain. Talk a bit, listen a lot and talk again to ensure you’re sharing the conversation.

5. Don’t think you know it all
Bounce ideas off each other and discuss the sorts of things the editor and the client would be interested in pursuing. I’d never have thought from my meeting, she’d be offering my client space on a table at an influential industry event. Or, willing to do an industry profile on the business I’m representing (a spot that’s normally reserved for advertisers.)

A little bit of thought goes a long way – and pays plenty in PR value.

What are your tips for when dealing with journalists?

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