Much of what appears in the news is PR. Frequently main businesses expend an excellent deal of money and effort to get their stories into print, and to alert the news media to what they're doing. For the astute PR person, this can offer an opportunity to hijack the publicity and piggyback a PR campaign on the strength of it.
A big American cellphone business arranged a main PR campaign to publicize its launch of what was then the world's smallest cellphone. A chain of restaurants cashed in on this by announcing a ban on all cellphones in its establishments, on the grounds that they annoy other customers.
The press picked up both stories, and asked the cellphone business to comment on the ban: stupidly, they refused to complete so, and the press therefore ran with the story of the ban without mentioning the new telephone at all.
This was a PR disaster for the cellphone company, but a triumph for the restaurateurs-the lesson being twofold: first, grabbing an chance can often pay off beyond expectations, and, second, if you have a PR campaign you have to Always be ready to talk to the press!
Most news stories come and go within a day-what is hot news these days is old hat by tomorrow. There are some exceptions, though, and these can offer excellent opportunities for businesses. General elections, the Budget announcement, and annual events like Guy Fawkes Night or Christmas can provide useful points for ongoing stories.
Or ideas, rather. One clothing business utilized a general election to publish a list of well-dressed (and badly dressed) MPs. This was a fun, human-interest story that offered a light-hearted look at what is a serious topic.
Every Budget, a firm of accountants in the West Country publishes a list of ten predictions, and pays £500 each for any that are not in the Chancellor's speech. Other businesses organise fundraising events for Kids in Need or other regular charity appeals, or piggyback on events like the London Marathon.
Regular events provide endless opportunities for PR activities: nearly any normal event can be turned towards the advantage of almost any business, having a bit of creative thought.
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Note: This article was sent to us by: Jeff Brown at 01242011
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