We have a penchant (and a wealth of experience) for automotive PR and communications, so it’s only right that we take a look at some standout motoring PR campaigns – both recent and historic - in our latest LIT Communication blog post.
Renault masterminded the creation of pollution-activated car billboards that dropped the price of their electric vehicles (EV) to coincide with rising smog levels. The DisCO2unt billboard was placed in Bucharest – the capital of Romania and one of the most polluted capitals in Europe.
What better incentive to switch to EV than seeing hard-hitting live pollution levels in the city you choose to call your home? The clever PR campaign also confronted the affordability aspect of EV’s, with many Romanians claiming that the eco-friendly vehicles were simply too expensive.
Stepping outside of the UK for this smart publicity example, Argentinian insurance company La Caja decided to take road safety into their own hands with a clever campaign to light up the city’s most dangerous roads. The forward-thinking company used strategically positioned lighting and advertising billboards to illuminate Argentina’s most accident-prone roads (instead of the billboards themselves), with help from the National Road Safety Organisation.
Jaguar Land Rover
Automotive manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover went all political on us recently to mark International Women in Engineering Day (only 11% of the world’s engineers are female). The brand released a public relations campaign to directly address the lack of female engineers and gender bias in the motoring industry.
The video content was designed to demonstrate the effect of exposing young children to inspirational female engineers, resulting in a moving video that addresses the root of the problem, highlighting why engineering isn’t just a ‘job for boys’.
An old but gold PR example comes from Lamborghini, who donated two of their coveted Huracan LP 610-4 supercars to the Italian state police some years ago now (not neglecting to train the feds on how to drive it). The specially-designed vehicles were custom painted blue with the words “Polizia”, white stripes and lettering – ensuring they fit right in with the existing fleet and Italian police uniforms.
The gesture of goodwill from Lamborghini’s CEO generated global PR coverage, achieved coverage in multiple national news websites such as CNBC and a wealth of automotive news websites, including Daily Auto News and Motor1.
In 2017, Bugatti replicated the stunt with the French police force – designing them a sleek and equally impressive new Bugatti Chiron Gendarmerie Nationale to serve as a rapid intervention vehicle.
If you’re looking for a PR agency in Huddersfield, get in touch today to see how we can help shape the perception of your brand and make sure your business is at the forefront of your audience minds.
Contact our Founder Sophie at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 07792734259 to see how our Yorkshire PR services can help you and your brand.
As brands tap further into social listening, customer feedback and trending news to generate publicity, we explore some of this quarter’s most reactive and creative marketing campaigns.
Everyone’s favourite burger joint may have taken inspiration from KFC’s witty digital media strategy with this. After a recent revelation from a significant number of McDonald’s customers that they love to dip their fries in milkshake, the fast food giant decided to run with the theme in a creative social media post.
The brand duped customers into thinking that they’d released new milkshake sauce pots with an unexpected announcement. Naturally, the social media post sent long-time McDonald’s fans into a meltdown as they tried to work out whether all their dreams really had come true.
Free m*lk in the midst of Brexit
Whilst on the subject, a bold PR stunt from plant-powered drinks brand Plenish went viral recently. The organic brand tapped into viral news about a wave of milkshake attacks on right-wing political candidates leading up to the recent UK elections.
In response, Plenish announced that they had set up a ‘free m*lkshakes’ stand’ outside local polling stations in Kent, giving away vegan milkshakes to Farage and his supporters, while strategically drawing people’s eyes to their new milkshake range.
Despite the media attention, the campaign was met with a spate of negative backlash from social media users, and Plenish later had to clarify that it was all a “light-hearted joke” in a follow up post.
Flammable vampire posters
Appreciation goes out to the agency commissioned by Fox, who recently masterminded poster advertisements with a difference to promote new vampire series the Passage. In true vamp style - when the sun rises - the vampire on the posters (encased in glass) is designed to burst into flames on exposure.
The successful stunt certainly garnered the interest of passer's by in São Paulo, as well as attracting international attention from all the key top-tier marketing publications.
Step closer to the ‘upside down’
Last but not least, IKEA UAE hit the nail on the head with their latest PR campaign ‘Real Life’. The campaign demonstrates how customers can recreate memorable interior design choices from iconic TV living room sets using the IKEA catalogue and products. This is a simple way for a big brand to attract publicity and benefit from the popularity of some of the world’s favourite television series.
The Simpsons, Stranger Things and Friends superfans can now channel the interior design choices of everyone from Will Byers to Monica Gellar. IKEA is taking it a step further by hosting a live event where each of the TV show favourite rooms will be brought to life and on display for customers.
It’s always a good idea to seek specialist help in areas outside your expertise, but there are also some failsafe beginner tactics for every business owner to follow to begin generating positive PR for your business whilst getting the word out there (in the right way!)…
Lit Communication shares five quick PR tips for every business to put into practice, with good sentiment at the top of the agenda.
Shout about what you do
Lead by example and share your successes with everyone that wants to listen. Whether this is a quick social media snap and a thoughtful caption or exchanging a business card with someone you speak to at an event – seize every opportunity to get your name and message out there.
Give everyone the same courtesy as they do for you and listen to them tell their business story. You never know, you might just be able to help each other out.
Do good things
The words on the wall of one of the Lit client offices; do good things. Literally. People will forget what you did, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel. Share advice when you can, help other endeavours if time allows, actively support local businesses on social media and in turn they’ll likely do the same. People will remember you when they need a service that you can offer, and likely to approach you about working together, and vice versa.
Businesses should be conscious of their internal affairs and treating staff with kindness and respect, because it is well known that conducting business with integrity goes a long way in generating good PR. Employees who see you ‘showing the love’ will sing your praises to friends and family, and even on social media, creating positive sentiment for your brand and the way you do business (as well as helping you share the news of your successes). Employees treated on the contrary, could spread negative sentiment like wildfire, and sometimes even publicly (take Glassdoor and LinkedIn as prime examples of where this can occur). Something, that’s simply not worth the risk.
Share your expertise on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great way to share your expertise and engage a wider audience in a short space of time (make sure you track your post metrics). If you see someone asking for help on a topic that you consider yourself an expert on, jump in and answer it. LinkedIn posts can quickly attract a lot of attention, and when you share valuable expertise, people will take notice and be more inclined to use your service or buy your product.
Alternatively, offer your prowess openly through writing your own LinkedIn articles and daily updates. Business professionals love to hear personal stories and case studies, along with internal company updates and accomplishments. Audiences also love a light-hearted LinkedIn debate, but keep this related to your business and avoid commenting on political issues or any other topics that fall within shaky territory.
Seek new and interesting opportunities
Do your research on a weekly basis – both on and offline. This means you’ll be among the first to find out about new events and opportunities that you and your business could get involved with. Being proactive and showing that you can get involved and get stuck in gives a positive perception of you as an individual, and your brand as a business.
Lit Communication clients’ have been part of the judging panel for local awards events and even participated in annual parliamentary reviews to ensure that their business voice is heard when it comes to important policy changes and governmental issues.
Make local connections
Having a local presence and building relationships with like-minded businesses all contributes to good PR. Maybe there’s a complimentary business that you can partner with to provide referrals and vice versa. Or maybe you’ve made a few friends at a monthly networking event? Ask them if they want to team up on social media to mutually boost and engage with daily posts to help build traction – a great way to build a network and influence the wider audience.
These may sound like small changes, but it is important to put the basics in place to provide a solid basis for any extra public relations activity.
Get in touch for a free PR consultation and to find out how Lit can give you a helping hand to boost your business voice through our strategic PR, influencer marketing (new service alert!!), content and social media services.
It has been a busy first quarter for international PR departments, with several unforeseen brand blunders, and an equal amount of crafty campaigns engineered to win back the hearts of audiences. Lit Communication explores three standout PR responses from some of the world’s biggest brands, so far this year.
A technical issue prevented thousands of millennials from claiming one of Virgin Train’s 26-30 railcards in March when they launched. With only 10,000 available, completing the application process was rumoured to be as tense as bagging a coveted Glastonbury ticket.
After a very public social media uproar, Virgin Trains responded with something that the age category in question hold dear to their hearts. The everyday avocado pioneered Virgin’s light-hearted PR response, and the disruptive travel brand announced that 26-30’s could receive the equivalent discount – for a limited time – simply by presenting an avocado. Virgin even published dedicated terms and conditions for customers planning to take their #avocards on board.
FCK - We’re Sorry...
KFC’s recent chicken shortage is no secret, and became the feature of national headlines last month as journalists scrambled to interview scorned customers (literally clucking for their weekly fix). The fast-food brand remained relatively quiet whilst ‘Chicken Gate’ forced its customers towards rival outlets with their loyalty left in question. Whilst customers were left feeling like KFC was burying its head in the sand and ignoring the issue, its PR team were strategising and waiting to pounce. No sooner than the chicken delivery logistics issues were fixed, KFC published this simple, but incredibly powerful advert in a targeted selection of national newspapers. Chicken shortage? Consider it forgotten by the brand’s humour-loving customers thanks to their genius tongue-in-cheek apology.
Facebook’s Data Sharing mishaps
You’ll have most likely read about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which uncovered a huge hole in Facebook’s data sharing activities and a general lack of protection for users. In true Mark Zuckerberg style, the social networking CEO took to Facebook to post a personal apology for its role in the data mishap. Mark’s statement reassured users that protecting their data is Facebook’s utmost responsibility, complete with a timeline of events that explained how the data breach occurred. Alongside he explained Facebook’s immediate plans to implement tighter control on user data. Here’s an extract:
“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you. I've been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn't happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there's more to do, and we need to step up and do it.”
After that came further data sharing accusations, and additional bad publicity for Facebook. Undeterred, the Facebook Founder showcased just how well years of media training has equipped him to deliver the right messaging under the spotlight. Zuckerberg stood in front of congress to face a barrage of questions about the social networking site’s policies and practices, including queries into why it allows reported or inappropriate content to remain live. Facebook has since responded with actions to deliver on its promising words, publishing content removal policies for the first time. Well done, Mr Zuckerberg.
Whilst these very public reactions have taught a lesson in responding perfectly to crises, other brands missed their chance to make things right. Some let the opportunity to transform the public’s negative perception of their brand simply, slip through their fingers. United Airlines and their unfulfilling crash landing response springs to mind, along with Uber's lacklustre reaction to a host of disturbing accusations, ranging from sexual assaults to utilising software that is capable of defrauding customers and drivers.
Despite the negative public attention surrounding the initial brand mishaps from Virgin Trains, KFC and Facebook, being under the spotlight paves the perfect opportunity to turn things around with your audience, so make it count.
Need PR tips or support for your brand? Get in touch with us at LIT Communication to book a PR consultation for your small or independent business.
Sophie Marsden, owner and PR specialist at LIT Communication