Tag Archives: sample

PR: a step in the right direction

27 Aug

It’s amazing how many ideas you can come up with for brands that you don’t work for and today was no exception. In fact I was most productive during my lunch break, dividing a mini comms plan for new footwear company She’s So Shoes.

I was asked to pull together a quick press release to promote the new online retailer, which specialises in petite feet (that’s a UK size 4 and under if you’re wondering), to sell-in to the consumer and local press. But my mind is trained to think big. Or, in other words, think fee. And in this case: shoes.

Here are my three top-line ideas for this SME to walk towards an award-winning campaign:

1. Make the story personal
Research shows that more than a quarter of females in the UK have small feet (me included) – so I’d make the story personal by commissioning research to find the top 10 regions with the smallest feet, with a sample size of 2,000 for credibility. I’d then transform this data into an infographic to bring the topic to life before selling-in to fashion, lifestyle magazines and bloggers and national papers. The content can also be regionalised to the towns referenced in the study for extra impact and packaged as part of a radio day.

To go the extra mile, costs permitting, this PR story could also grab people’s attention by sending shoe samples to journalists and other fashion influencers – ideally those with small feet so they make use of the product. A single celebrity tweet can generate hundreds of re-tweets from fans who’ll drive traffic back to the brand’s website.

2. A picture’s worth a 1,000 words
It’s similar to what Carnaby Street did recently, but I’ve never been a fan of reinventing the wheel. So I’d compile a feature, working with the British Footwear Association, to put together a ‘who’s who’ of small feet. A blend of people from the past and present, famous and the unknown to place in the women’s national lifestyle supplements. Accompany with a photocall to bring the feature to life.

3. Pop up catwalk
PRs will want to position this company against other leading brands and what better way to show that these shoes can trample the rest by hosting a pop up catwalk in the capital?

With promotional models and members of the public, who can pick a pair of shoes to model, they can strut their stuff in an area that’s bound to attract attention. Think Millennium Bridge for photo purposes.

I’d recommend that a prize draw runs alongside the event and everyone that registers receives e-updates to get exclusive access to discounts to sustain campaign momentum.

These are three quick ideas that can help a brand to make an impact and get its ‘story’ started. A full campaign will require solid tactics to develop She’s So Shoes’ community and keep customers engaged with questions, offers and fashion ideas – driven by social media.

What would you do differently? Are you in need of some Prime Time PR ideas to get your brainstorm started?

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Extreme Meadowland has a strong message

17 May

I’ve previously said that it’s hard for the hospitality and foodservice industry to run sexy PR campaigns, but it doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t try.

Earlier this year, Pelican PR celebrated new research that showed that frozen food was on the up by using a wall of ice to attract attention to its client – the British Frozen Food Federation. But, I think Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) – the brand behind the Ambu-lunch – has gone one better.

With a chance to go viral, UFS has created six videos to demonstrate Meadowland’s, a dairy cream alternative, strength. Here’s a taster to whet your appetite:

The quick clips – packed with some smooth ‘slow-mo’ action – bring the metaphor to life that Meadowland is tough and won’t split when cooking, by putting it to the limit with a car, bench saw, angle grinder, chain saw and axe. And boy does it hold up!

Aimed at chefs, working in restaurants, pubs, canteens and hotels, that tend to be big personalities that run on adrenaline, it had to be hard hitting and appeal to their ‘need for speed.’ And Meadowland doesn’t pull any punches by challenging chefs to take it to the extreme.

The YouTube films are strong – just like the message it wants to convey – and chefs would be mad not to want to watch, request a sample and experiment in the kitchen with this kick-ass product.

Want another? Here you go:

When is a prize not a prize?

26 Aug

What encourages you to enter a competition?

For me, it’s a simple entry process and a prize that’s worth winning. I don’t make a living out of entering competitions, I just have the attitude ‘you’ve got to be in it to win it.’

So, when I picked up new! magazine a couple of weeks ago and saw that former TOWIE star and columnist Amy Childs was giving away some of her perfume to readers with the best answers to: ‘what’s your favourite summer scent?’ – it was a no-brainer.

I casually emailed Amy to tell her that the smell of cut grass always reminds me of summer. Corny I know. But, a week later the news editor emailed to tell me I’d been chosen as one of the winners.

When my package finally arrived from the publication I opened it up to find a sample size vial of Amy’s new Jigsaw scent. I had mis-read the email response where the editor had cleverly told me: ‘thank you for entering Amy’s perfume sample competition’. Note – only after I’d entered was I made aware just a sample was at stake.

What’s frustrating is that the magazine thought they could give away a prize that was the equivalent to a complimentary sample from a department store perfume counter. Most consumer magazines won’t contemplate a competition or giveaway with a prize worth less than Β£500. So, what changed?

Is Amy’s PR to blame for pulling a stunt like this? Perhaps they failed
to supply enough prizes – but that would be unheard of. I can’t think of a case when PRs don’t have access to endless supplies of whatever they’re promoting. The more they supply to journalists and bloggers, the more chance they have of getting coverage that will inspire consumers to buy.

Failing to partner with the magazine to deliver a worthwhile prize can do more harm than good. The focus turns to the brand and the reputation is damaged no matter what the product is like.

I’ll calm down soon. But, for now I’m taking it to the blog. Have you had an experience like this?

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