Tag Archives: paper

Let’s be Frank about Austravel’s PR stunt…

3 May

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If you walked down to Liverpool Street station this week, you were in for a PR surprise. But, you had to look carefully. If you blinked, you’d miss it (probably).

Frank PR teamed up with Austravel, a tour operator, to promote its holiday destinations by creating a hole in the ground to show consumers what they’re missing.

Unfortunately, it just didn’t have the ‘wow’ factor.

Here’s three ways it could’ve made the stunt better:

1. Take us away
Problem: The hole in the ground showed ‘real time’ footage of Bondi Beach.
Solution: The stunt would’ve been stronger if Londoners who looked into the hole were linked up to see Australians ‘show us around’ the area. We can all dream about a beach but it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going. People engage people, so connect the dots and strengthen the stunt in both countries.

2. Tidy up Twitter
Problem: Austravel’s Twitter account wasn’t ready for the campaign. It had less than 150 followers on launch day, which hasn’t steadily increased during the stunt period.
Solution: Tease the stunt to ‘lock people in’ to the hashtag – #LondonDownUnder – and engage with stakeholders to help them promote the campaign, to encourage it to snowball to success. Social media marketing is vital but it’s brands that have to put the legwork in – not the other way round.

3. Speak up!
Problem: There was a ‘builder’ on site to manage the stunt but when I walked past on a couple of occasions nothing was said (obviously people should have lots to say when I walk past, but you get what I mean).
Solution: You can’t rely on a piece of paper with a brand’s Twitter handle to drive the campaign forward – have a conversation. This could’ve seen more people stop by to see what all the fuss was about.

So, there you have it. Austravel may have wanted a ‘soft launch’ and Frank PR may say that its client didn’t have a decent budget. I say that the brand now has an uphill struggle to contend with.

Where does it go from here? Is this campaign quickly going down under?

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7 year old tells off Lego boss for making toys for boys

3 Feb

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I wouldn’t say I’m a feminist but I do have strong opinions. Even tonight my Mum told me to calm down and not get so fired up by other people’s choices.

It was only over the weekend that I was discussing with a PR friend that Kinder Surprise‘s move to package its chocolate in blue and pink is a bit ridiculous. When I was young it wasn’t about the type of toy you got, whether it was a car or a doll, it was the experience I had when I was enjoying the chocolate and the toy – I knew I was winning.

Which is why I don’t think girls should be backed into a corner to opt for stereotypical pink accessories. That’s right – I’m with Charlotte Benjamin.

Who’s Charlotte I hear you ask? She’s a seven-year old with a kick-ass attitude to gender ideals. She makes me wish my mum and dad were handing me pieces of paper and a biro to jot down my thoughts at that age because I’m sure I had them.

She’s written a letter to Lego to point out that on a recent shopping trip she noticed the following things:

1) Where are the girls?
There were fewer Lego girls to choose from compared to Lego boys.

2) The girls stayed at home
While the Lego boys were able to have adventures and play the hero, the Lego girls were at home, at the beach or just pampering themselves.

This letter has now gone viral and been covered by national newspapers such as Metro, Daily Mail and The Independent. And Lego’s social media manager has been working around the clock to engage with its 113,000 Twitter followers to explain that it does listen to its customers’ views and, with over 450 products available each year, it’s hoping there’s something for everyone.

But, for once, I actually have more respect for this iconic brand (for now). There’s a golden PR opportunity to respond to Charlotte’s letter and address the theme of gender roles. And, if I was the boss, I’d use its upcoming Ghostbusters Lego launch to do just this and run a witty, tongue in cheek across Twitter, Facebook and Vine.

It may be too late to turnaround a reactive campaign, to complement its Lego Movie in cinemas on Friday, which is why Ghostbusters is one of the next best hooks.

This way, it can find a way to publicly acknowledge the letter, apologise for the inconvenience and promise to do better – the perfect formula to transform this viral storm into a positive PR stunt.

What do you think?

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Christmas campaign round-up 2013

13 Dec

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With Christmas just around the corner, PRs are working at top speed to make the papers with their ‘quick and dirty’ festive stunts.

And because Christmas is the season of giving, I’m doing the digging to present you with the industry’s top campaigns this month. I’m actually giving you two gifts because I’ve just noticed a perfect pun in that previous sentence, but who’s counting?

The survey one
Costa Coffee has banned Sir Cliff Richard’s festive favourite – Mistletoe and Wine – after research revealed that it was most likely to make its customers exit the store.

But Costa has gone above and beyond to make this headline stand out by donating £10,000 to charity Youth Music, to encourage young people to record their own versions of Christmas classics.

The clever one
Retailer GAME has made up for its reduced presence on the high street in recent years by prioritising PR – and it’s paid off.

Hiring nine-year old Joe Leslie this month, as a ‘non executive director’, is a genius way to help clueless parents know their Call of Duty from their Grand Theft Auto.

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The charitable one
St Mungo’s, a charity to help homeless people, has created limited edition Christmas wrapping paper, detailing the scientific viruses that they might face this winter.

For a charity that seeks to tackle homelessness, it’s successfully delivered a fresh message with an innovative angle.

The mad one
To complement O2’s Be More Dog campaign, the network provider is planning a party for the dogs from Battersea Dogs Home – and it’s getting its customers involved.

The more times you tweet using the campaign hashtag – #tweetattreat – the better the party will be. Now you wouldn’t want to let the dogs down would you?

The relatable one
Of all the retailers, I didn’t expect Harvey Nichols to launch a ‘canned laughter’ campaign (you don’t laugh at it, more smirk and think ‘I should get that for someone’ and then never do because it’s fluff).

The brand’s launched a range of gifts for women to give to their loved ones as a token to simply say ‘I spent the money on myself’. From a Christmas lunch in a tin (which has been done to death) to a sink plug, it’s been cited as ‘original and perfectly timed’ by Golden Goose PR. I say, they haven’t read this blog yet.

So, there you go – the top five Christmas campaigns of 2013 to date. If yours didn’t make the list just tweet me your favourites at @dmhwhite. I may even shuffle the leaderboard around!

Merry Christmas Prime Timers and a Happy New Year!

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