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The National Gallery exhibit of the unique dogs available only in Costa Rica.

Creativity in PR: re-branding abandoned dogs in Costa Rica

I’m a fan of a recent PR campaign designed and implemented by BBDO in Costa Rica, for the Territorio de Zaguates, a private dog shelter in the country. Read more

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Thai Airways: What not to do in a crisis

Thai Airways has just shown a massive #fail in crisis management when it blacked out its logo on its plane after a crash which injured 14 people yesterday (8 September 2013). The airline initially said it was following Star Alliance’s crisis management procedures, something that the alliance instantly rebuked. Read more

HMV screen shot

Case study: HMV’s Twitter #Fail

At the end of January 2013, the community manager for HMV’s Twitter account @hmvtweets  ”live Tweeted” the mass firing of several employees.

Over a span of about 15 minutes the 70,000 followers of HMV’s official account were treated to an account of what was going on at HQ: Read more

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Top creative PR campaigns

Working in the PR training business, I always get asked about creative PR campaigns – which ones I loved and which ones can be used for inspiration for developing your own creative ideas. I’m always following the media and looking out for fantastic campaigns that can get the creative juices flowing. There are a few campaigns that are absolute PR legends – such as the “Torches of Freedom” or “Needle in a Haystack” as well as newer ones that have used a number of different such as Queensland Tourism’s “Best Job in the World”. These are a list of my personal top creative PR campaigns and I plan to add to this list as time goes on. If readers have other favourite campaigns or personal examples, please share them.  Read more

Recent Articles

30
Oct

Intelligent public relations

 

I recently spoke at a PR conference where I was asked to talk about my view of “Intelligent Public Relations”. There was lots of debate and discussion about what makes PR “intelligent”. Here’s an excerpt from my paper and some points that I raised.
Wordle: Intelligent PR

Read more »

15
Sep

Thailand’s short film “Giving” drives social media traffic for mobile company

I am a big fan of some of the creative advertising films that come out of Thailand. Remember the anti-smoking campaign a few months ago?

Here’s a recent one produced by Thai mobile phone company TrueMoveH. The film is simply called “Giving” and follows the story of a poor boy over a 30 year period and the man who once helped him.  The film doesn’t necessarily link to the mobile phone company, but the film is certainly memorable. At more than 13 million views, I would think that the mobile phone company must be pretty chuffed by the film — whether this translates into increased mobile phone subscriptions remains to be seen.

Enjoy the clip nevertheless!

 

4
Sep

Google and KitKat: a bit of creativity

Google has just announced that its new Android operating system will be called KitKat. Nestle seems to have taken this new name as a advertising, marketing and PR gift.

 

A new KitKat wrapper featuring the Android robot.

Read more »

6
May

UNICEF Sweden hits out at “slacktivists”

Last week UNICEF in Sweden launched a new social media campaign and TV commercial entitled “Likes Don’t Save Lives”.

 

 

The campaign hits out at people who are quite happy to “like” and share pictures and videos, but not willing to part with any cash. As the video with Rahim and his brother highlights – for only 49 SEK (that’s $7.50 USD)  they can vaccinate 12 children against Polio.

Definitely a creative twist for an NGO – it will be interesting to hear about if this campaign has actually increased their donations in UNICEF Sweden.

If you are inspired to be more than a “slacktivist” and help out children in need,  I’m climbing Kilimanjaro this July to raise money for the orphans from HHFL in Nairobi, Kenya. We’re setting up a scholarship fund for this kids to help pay for them to go to university. My donation link is here: http://www.canadahelps.org/GivingPages/GivingPage.aspx?gpID=24587

 

17
Apr

How to quit your job and create a buzz on social media

This week, Chris Holmes, a UK border force agent at Stansted Airport, handed in his resignation on a cake. As you can read on the cake, he decided to leave the Border Force to focus on his new budding cake business that he’s been building up in his spare time. He handed in his resignation cake on 15 April 2013 and the image of the cake went immediately viral. His brother in law posted the cake image to his followers on Twitter and it was picked up and shared by users all around the world. The story of the unique style of resignation went from Twitter shares to attracting the attention of the world’s media as well, with press coverage in the Guardian, Huffington Post, MSN.com, BBC, ABC, the Herald Tribune in Australia, etc.

In this instance, it was a pretty creative way to generate publicity for his new business  - although he probably didn’t think about it at the time. According to media reports he’s had plenty of enquiries for baking cakes and his employer seems to be very positive as well: “he leaves with our very best wishes,” said the assistant director of the Stansted Border Force.

Chris Holmes’ resignation cake

 

16
Apr

A creative anti-smoking campaign

Top marks to the Thai Health Promotion Foundation that recently produced a video to get people to stop smoking. Instead of bombarding smokers with lots of negative messages that they already knew – they used children to help deliver the message. In the video you’ll see young children go up to smokers and ask if they could have a cigarette. All of the smokers refused to give the kids a cigarette and rolled off lots of reasons why they shouldn’t smoke. Pretty strong stuff. Check out the video:

 

8
Apr
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What not to do in a crisis: spokesperson gaffes

For many spokespeople it’s their worst nightmare – having to communicate terrible news and face up to the media who are looking to find a story or lay blame on the company or organisation. Some spokespeople are better than others – some are unflappable – even in the worst possible crises, while others crumble as soon as the tough questions start to come. Any decent PR person would recommend that their spokespeople have regular media training and if there is a crisis that crops up, this should be urgently repeated before stepping in front of the camera. Here’s some examples of spokespeople that didn’t follow those examples. Read more »

31
Mar

Understanding cultural differences

Working in a very international environment, I’ve had the opportunity to experience the unique cultural dos and don’ts from many countries. Whenever I start working in a new country or market I spend lots of time researching the market, the culture, the business culture and of course the history. All of this makes it easier to work in the environment – whether it’s for a few days or a couple of months.

Read more »

5
Mar

Getting creative with deodorant

Hats off to Nivea in Germany who recently ran a pretty creative PR stunt at an airport in Germany called the “Stress Test”. Read more »

3
Mar

Creativity in the air

We’ve all sat on airlines and ignored the safety briefings. After all there are only so many times that you can watch the same video. Well, Air New Zealand seems to have cracked it. Start it off with some pretty beautiful New Zealand scenery, a few boy scouts and Bear Grylls – the famous British adventurer. Take a look  - would you pay attention to your safety briefing?

 

Last year they also put together a clever briefing based on the Hobbit: