PR

Journalist of the Month

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Rachel Tompkins is a freelance writer, journalist and editor with more than 14 years’ experience working for national magazines, newspapers, websites and apps. Rachel began her career as a writer for Take a Break magazine before going on to work on the launch of Pick Me Up Magazine in 2005. Debuting with a readership of half a million, it was the most successful magazine launch of the decade and won the BSME launch of the year. Today Rachel works as a freelancer feature writer for the national press and has taken time away from her busy deadline schedule to answer the notorious Sunny Bird PR questions.  

1.              What are the 5 words that best describe you?

That would depend who you asked! Colleagues have previously called me a terrier - because of my tenacity when chasing a story. I'm conscientious and a worrier, which means I feel an immense sense of responsibility when being trusted with someone's story. I'd like to think that my friends and family would describe me as kind and funny too.

2.            What magazine do you love reading and why?

Take a Break will always have a special place in my heart because it's where my journalism career started when I left City University. The same goes for Chat and Pick Me Up because I worked on the launch of Pick Me Up and was the Features Director of both titles before going freelance. I love their clever headlines and eye for a great story.  When I'm relaxing, I love Top Santé for some health and fitness inspiration and Guardian Weekend for thought-provoking longer reads.

3.            What is your favourite book? 

Through The Wall by Caroline Corcoran. It's out on October 17th but I was lucky enough to get a preview press copy and I literally can't put it down. It's dark women's fiction, or a psychological thriller, which is extremely relatable to me on so many levels. 

4.            Which song makes you dance?

Don't Stop Believin' by Journey, I first heard it in a piano bar in San Francisco on my honeymoon and it's become the anthem for so many nights out.

5.            What has been your best career moment? 

Getting my first job for Britain's top selling magazine felt pretty incredible at the time. Back then Take a Break sold well over 1million copies a week and I went on to learn so much there. Since becoming freelance there have been many little moments when I stop and pinch myself, for example a recent article I wrote for The Guardian Weekend about women without children. It took a lot of work to pull together and it was very moving and insightful to speak to some of the women involved. I was really proud of the end result. 

6.            What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? 

Believe in yourself and worry less. 

7.            Where are you happiest? 

At home in Oxfordshire with my family. After living in London for about fifteen years I cried the day we left. London will always hold so many fond memories, both with my career and also family and friends, but I've made a home in Oxfordshire now and I love our life here but also the fact that I can get the train into town in less than hour so I still feel connected.

8.            Who would be your number one dinner guest and why?

Can I be cheeky and say two - Prince Harry and Meghan! They intrigue me so much, I would just love to know what goes on behind closed doors with those two!

9.            If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

To be able to fly, very quickly! That way I could whizz over and see my sister (who lives the other side of London) in seconds and catch up with friends who live far away without having to waste time getting there and back. Many of my good friends have migrated out of London like me now and one of the things I miss about living there is being able to hop on the tube and meet up with them easily. 

10.        If you had to ask us one question what would it be? 

What's the most unusual campaign or client you've worked on? 

We pride ourselves on being a creative agency and thinking outside the box to get results for our clients. Here are a few of our favourite unusual campaigns we’ve worked on…

Three Pregnant Dads

Our client The Book of Everyone came to us with the objective of launching its latest bespoke book; a personalised gift for Mother’s Day called ‘The Book of Mum’. To ensure the brand wouldn’t get lost amongst the Mother’s Day gifts already on the market, we needed to really grab the media’s in the run up to Mother’s Day – the concept of ‘The 3 Pregnant Dads’ was born. The company directors, themselves three middle-ages dads, wore “Empathy bellies” that weighed 33lbs/15kg for the duration of the month. This included; when attending client meetings, using public transport and even when heading to the pub! Everything was filmed and documented and shared with the media. The campaign secured 383 pieces of national and international coverage across 38 countries within a 3-week period. ‘The 3 Pregnant Dads’ were featured across all national titles and TV, including Lorraine Kelly, This Morning, Good Morning Britain, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, Huffington Post and Times Magazine US amongst many others. Our 3 Pregnant Dad’s campaign led to a 2,765%, increase in sales, 2,000 shares on one Daily Mail article alone as well as a 1,850% increase in Facebook social media engagement.

Snoring Ruining the Nation’s Sex Life

In order to increase brand awareness and boost sales for our client Good Night Anti Snoring Ring we created a headline grabbing campaign. In order to secure column inches we set out to prove that the nation’s sex lives were suffering due to their partner’s snoring problems. We commissioned a survey that looked into the sex and love lives of our nation’s snorers. The survey revealed a whopping 30% of males admitted it took the spark out of their sex lives and 46.4 % of males felt embarrassed about their snoring.  One out of five males and females expressed that snoring put them off being intimate with their partner. To add a real life element we also worked with case-studies who were happy to speak to the press about how snoring affected their sex lives and relationships. On the back of our strategy we secured national PR coverage with the Daily Mail Online, The Daily Mail, The Sun, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Mirror. Other titles included; Woman and Home, Top Santé, Prima, Take a Break, Pick Me Up, Health & Fitness, Closer, Bella, Natural Health, Chat and DIVA magazine amongst others.

What Does Your Poo Say About You?

For our client, private healthcare provider Ramsay Health Care UK, we wanted to secure national coverage and generate web traffic around Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. We started with the headline we wanted to see in the newspaper itself ‘What does your poo say about you’ and then built a strong bank of assets to support it.

We created an exclusive infographic that detailed the signs of bowel cancer in stools that are often overlooked.  We then created and executed a survey to over 1,000 people asking them if they would recognise the symptoms of bowel cancer and if they would do anything about them. This enabled us to source attention-grabbing statistics to add to our press release. Finally, we rounded off our assets with an expert comment from a Ramsay Health Care UK Bowel Cancer specialist. We approached the Mail Online and offered them the exclusive story. This resulted in the Mail Online running the piece in advance of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. Once this was secured, we then rolled it out to further online titles, which resulted in the Express Online, Metro, Good Housekeeping, the Sun Online, The Irish Sun and The Scottish Sun. Not only did this boost the awareness of Ramsay Health Care UK within the national newspapers, but it boosted the website traffic by 208%.

The Good, The Bad and The Viral

The team have started 2019 with a creative bang (who said January blues?!) and scoured the world of PR for some inspiring and insightful PR campaigns. From a hard-hitting domestic violence campaign to gravy scented candles and gender-revealing pasta dishes, this month has it all.

So grab a cup of something warm and enjoy the team’s top picks for this month’s Good, Bad and Viral PR campaigns.

Domestic Violence Reversable Poems

Domestic violence charity Refuge launched a hard-hitting Christmas campaign aimed at turning attitudes of domestic violence on their head. Working in partnership with McCann Bristol, the charity ran a series of reversible poems, which, if read normally conjured images of a traditional family Christmas. But when read in from bottom to top the lines revealed the horrors of a household living with domestic violence.

The poetry campaign was promoted across Twitter and on the charity’s website, as part of a global initiative called 16 days of action (25 November – 10 December) to raise awareness of violence against women and girls.  It is part of Refuge’s ongoing mission to help victims of abuse, as research shows two women a week are killed at the hands of a partner or ex-partner in England and Wales, and another three women commit suicide each week as a way of escape.

Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge, said: "Domestic abuse is the biggest issue affecting women and children in this country today – it really is a life and death issue. Yet still too few women know how to spot the signs of domestic violence, realise that domestic abuse is a crime or know that Refuge is here to support them.

"We want women to know that, no matter what time of year, no one should suffer in silence and they should ‘turn’ to us for support."

The hard-hitting poems were featured in multiple publications including The Sun, Refinery 29, The Pool, Cosmopolitan and The Independent.


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KFC Sold Gravy-scented Candles

What could cheer you up more on Blue Monday than a KFC gravy scented candle?

KFC cleverly launched a limited-edition gravy-scented candle to bring happiness to KFC fanatics on Blue Monday!

There were just 230 limited edition candles up for grabs, they were available on a first-come, first-served basis. They were also free! To accompany the delicious gravy scent, KFC unveiled a new KFChill experience which allows users to listen to sounds of their KFC Gravy Mega Box. Choosing between the sounds of frying chicken, falling fries or simmering gravy.

KFC have released a chicken scented candle and bath bomb in the USA before but this is the first time a KFC scented product has been released in the UK.

This campaign achieved coverage in national newspapers such as The Sun, The Evening Standard and The Mirror, and The Metro!

 

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The Gender-Reveal Lasagna

Is it gross or pure genius? The launch of the gender-reveal lasagna (yes, we know this is not how you spell lasagne – but it is how they’ve spelled it so we kind of have to too!) pretty much broke the internet this month!

US restaurant and catering service, Villa Italian Kitchen, announced that they were introducing a new dish that would reveal the sex of your unborn child – the perfect addiction for your next baby shower?

The Italian creation consists of a secret pink or blue interior, made from layers of cheese, Alfredo sauces and Italian pasta. It doesn’t come cheap though, the dish is priced at $140 and serves 12 people.

Journalists from around the world took to Twitter to discuss the bizarre PR pitch that had just landed in their inbox, with one announcing: “Possibly the best subject line in an email ever: "Gender Reveal Lasagna?! – Villa Italian Kitchen Invites Guests to Celebrate their Bundles of Joy with Boatloads of Cheese!". The noise of tweets resulted in the #LasagnaReveal trending on Twitter.

Despite many negative responses to the latest way to reveal the gender of your little bundle of joy, the stunt did exactly what it set out to do and had everybody talking about it. A cheap photoshoot and some food colouring, and your brand is being talked about across the world! Plus, we’re sure they have been inundated with requests for the sought-after dish, boosting sales.

The news was featured in many publications across the UK and US including Daily Mail, The Independent, The Mirror, Grazia Daily, BuzzFeed, MSN, Metro, I Heart radio.

 

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Clear Channel Homeless Billboard

A company called Clear Channel Sweden has teamed up with the government to protect homeless people when the weather drops to freezing conditions in Stockholm.

The company helped homeless people find their nearest shelter through innovative technology; they swapped the boring ads on billboards with directions to the nearest homeless shelter which we love. Across Stockholm, 53 billboards were activated for the program and they focused on areas that were most commonly used for homeless people. We think this is a brilliant use of technology and makes us happy that it is helping homelessness in one country, even if it is just a little.

Clear Channel International said “thanks to technology, we can develop solutions that can help people and cities”. This campaign had a positive response and featured in multiple publications including The Drum.

 

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Uber links up with Calm to offer wellbeing exercises whilst travelling

Mindfulness and meditation is definitely a buzzword at the moment and it’s something that we’ve got involved with in the Sunny Bird PR office, with many of the team trying out the Calm app for guided meditations, which is why we love this collaboration between Calm and Uber.

The two companies have teamed together to help bring some relaxation to our hectic lives with their meditation exercises for Uber passengers. The apps have released four exercises of varying durations designed to fill a taxi journey lasting 3 minutes, 5.5 minutes, 12 minutes and 30 minutes. The campaign is accompanied by a survey that shows that 54% of Uber riders use their time in a cab to scroll through emails, social media and the news on their smartphones. Uber are aiming to turn taxi rides on their head – turning them into opportunities to relax and unwind.

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This great campaign achieved articles in The Independent, Gizmodo, Metro and London Evening Standard.

 

                     

 

 

Journalist of the Month

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Melanie Giandzi is an official Food Tester at the Good Housekeeping Institute. Lucky Melanie spends her days taste testing the latest food and drink products from the coolest brands and penning copy for the title. Here, Melanie has taken a break from sampling the wares and compiling product round-ups to answer the notorious SBPR questions:

1. What are the 5 words that best describe you? Cheeky, caring, motivated, funny and personable.

2. What magazine do you love reading and why? I love reading all the grocer’s own in-house magazines as I love knowing what new products they are getting in and learning about what’s in season.

3. What is your favourite book? Can I say Harry Potter 1-7? 😉

4. Which song makes you dance? Tom Misch – Beautiful Escape.

5. What has been your best career moment? Deciding to change from the beauty world into food – a passion which always fills my mind.

6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Save your money!

7. Where are you happiest? Having a picnic with my partner Cam at Primrose Hill.

8. Who would be your number one dinner guest and why? Frank Sinatra – I’d cook him a delicious meal in exchange for a serenade.

9. If you could have any superpower, what power would it be and why? Teleportation for sure, all my family is back home in Australia, so it would come in handy for sure.

10. If you had to ask us one question what would it be? What is your proudest moment at Sunny Bird PR?

As a team, there is a lot we’re proud of so this one took some thinking! Here are the team’s proudest achievements to date:

Lizzie: Creating Bournemouth’s Biggest Ever Street Art for a client – a giant Spiderman painted on Pier Approach which achieved 20 pieces of coverage in just two days with a reach of over four million people and exposure on TV, radio, online and in print.

Georgie: My first piece of coverage for Sunny Bird PR which was in the Telegraph - I loved winning the PR tiara and Prosecco for the piece too!

Laura: Securing 90 VIP guests to a restaurant launch in just one week and achieving 10 pieces of coverage off the back of the event.

Jess: Smashing our targets  and achieving more than 20 pieces of regional coverage for our client Ramsay Health Care UK in just one day.

Alex: Securing TV coverage on BBC Spotlight for one of our newest clients and even encouraging the presenters to get dressed up and take part in a cycling activity.

Sunny: My proudest moment to date has been hosting our PR & Publicity Reaching Millions courses which enables start-ups and SMEs, which don’t yet have the budget for PR, get their businesses of the ground!

PR Campaigns - The Good, The Bad & The Viral

As another month whizzes by at Sunny Bird HQ, and we hope the good weather is here to stay, we look back at some of the best and worst PR campaigns we came across.

This month’s round up of thought-provoking campaigns include a tear-jerking Father’s Day stunt, a harrowing street art installation, and a clever anti-social media campaign.

‘Go Ask Dad’

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Father’s Day is still a very important date for brands despite it not gaining a fraction of the traction compared to the Mighty Mother’s Day. For a ‘male’ brand it’s an important peg for PR Campaigns that needs to be carefully thought out and executed to return the best results.

Having looked at a few Father’s Day campaigns, it was this one from Gillette that won us over in the office. The big-name razor brand created a truly heart-warming campaign that tackled the issue of sons not asking their dads for advice in this digital age.

Research by Gillette found that 84% of guys say their go-to source for information is their phone and only 13% go to their dads. To prove that dads still know best, Gillette set up a simple yet effective stunt, they invited father and son duos to a studio to film their reactions to a new AI app. The sons were in one room trialling this new app and were told to ask it for advice whilst the dads were in another room. As each son asked the ‘app’ for advice it was actually the father replying through the phone speaking as the app. The sons’ reactions were priceless with many saying how great the advice was. Afterwards, fathers and sons were reunited with some emotional scenes which certainly brought a tear to a few eyes in the office.

This Father’s Day campaign did really well getting featured in industry news as well as top sites such as Huff Post and Mashable.

Suicide Sculptures

Last month saw a poignant PR campaign make national headlines as CALM, the charity that works to prevent male suicide, installed 84 sculptures of men on top of the ITV Tower. #Project84 positioned the figures, complete with hoods over their faces, standing on the edge of the building on London’s Southbank to raise awareness of the number of men who take their lives every week.

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Simon Gunning, chief executive at CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), explained: "A non-traditional media route with physicality… gets an impact that you just can't get from any other kind of campaign.

"Seeing it on a screen would be a very fleeting experience and I think it would be impossible for people to understand the humanity in each of those statues. It’s that physical impact that’s jarred people."

The sculptures were created by American artist Mark Jenkins, who is renowned for his street art installations, with the support of bereaved friends and families who had lost loved ones to suicide.

The hard-hitting project was supported by ITV show This Morning across three days of programming dedicated to male suicide. It achieved widespread coverage in almost every national newspaper along with 150 million social media impressions and 32,000 uses of the hashtag #Project84.

The PR campaign also helped the charity gather more than 156,000 signatures for a petition to push for ministerial responsibility for suicide prevention.

Tesco’s Father’s Day Tannoy Takeover

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Tesco were aware that in amongst the hype of the Olympics, the Euro’s and the generally busy Summer, Father’s Day can often get a little lost and be viewed as a low-key event. Statistics highlighted that just 16% said they do something special on the day with a much lower spend for Father’s Day compared with Mother’s Day.

This clever yet warming campaign by Tesco encouraged customers to record a personalised message to show their dads how much they care. The recording was then played in the store over the Tannoy whilst they were shopping.

This campaign was dubbed as a Facebook ‘thumb stopper’ and spread virally to TV channels, Social Media platforms and YouTube, racking up 602,946 views. The video generated 45million overall impressions and more than 17,000 shares. We particularly liked this campaign as although it was low budget, it was an emotive and personal campaign which saw dads in tears. It is not a surprise that this was put forward for the Shorty Awards for Branded Content.

Thanks to the rapid and brilliant response, Tesco then gave customers the option to go to the website and book their own slot to record their message to be played. Furthermore, Tesco sought to provide ‘additional value’ in the form of three tips; the first being a calendar reminder to plan something special for the day, the second, a link to the Tesco Real Food website to view Father’s Day themed recipes and the final tip, a link to Tesco Direct where customers could view and purchase pre-selected gifts for the special day.

Zova Creates a Great Feature… But is Completely Off Brand

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We are in two minds about this next campaign. When we came across it, we were instantly drawn to its headline: “Dessert queen with 500,000 fans reveals how you can bake the perfect cake every time – and the secret to getting FIVE times as many servings out of your creations.”

We love a ‘top tip’-style feature as these often leave the reader feeling like they have gained something valuable from their afternoon browse, whether it be useful gym tips, quirky facts to drop in at the pub quiz or baking best practice. This feature is no different, suggesting that cakes should be cooled upside down, cut length-ways rather than in triangles and slathered in jam for a glossy, moisture-locking finish. The crux, however, comes at the end:

Katherine is the latest celebrity guest on Zova's Celebrity Classes, which is a weekly HIIT class provided through an app with the help of expert trainer, Vix Burdon.

While this is a lovely feature – good enough for the MailOnline to share with its two million readers – we just don’t see the benefit for the brand. Of course, people can be into both baking and exercise, but chances are slim that someone browsing for cake inspiration is in the mindset of downloading a fitness app.

Perhaps if Dessert Queen Katherine had made a point about the importance of balancing indulgence and exercise, or one of the tips had been of a health-conscious nature, we could have seen the relevance. But this was sadly absent, and we doubt Zova saw any new downloads as a result.

Wetherspoons Bucks the Trend

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Pub chain Wetherspoons hit the headlines this month when it announced it is quitting social media. The ground-breaking news was covered by major news titles in the UK from The Sun to the FT, in news and in comment pages, not to mention Forbes and the Wall Street Journal in the US. Specifically, the chain said (via Twitter and other places) that it is closing all its accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

There were a number of reasons this was such a timely story. The rights and wrongs of social media are being hotly debated. Companies, individuals, governments, charities, politicians and everyone else are continuing to work out how we use social media in the most effective way, so to completely go against the flow and quit it completely is an interesting news angle. In fact, the success of Wetherspoons on social media is questionable. It was not exactly making waves as an influencer and it was struggling to maintain consistency across its more than 900 accounts.

Many are questioning whether others will follow suit, but we highly doubt it. Around 500 million tweets are sent every day, with millions of other individual users and businesses gaining a huge amount through well thought-through and carefully executed social media strategies.

Social media is a constantly-evolving feat, and it seems that Wetherspoons had developed a social media policy that simply wasn’t working for them. But whatever the full reasons behind the decision to change tack, it was a smart move to gain a ton of positive media coverage announcing it.

 

 

Journalist of the Month

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Delphine Chui is a Digital Editor at Hearst and creates content across all of Hearst’s brands with a particular focus on interiors. When she’s not busy writing copy and being a digital content creator for the likes of Red Magazine, Country Living and Harper’s Bazaar, she can be found finding some zen in the great outdoors. Here, Delphine answers the Sunny Bird PR questions:

1.What are the 5 words that best describe you? Sensitive, curious, playful, pensive and excitable.

2.What magazine do you love reading and why? I have constant wanderlust so I love reading lush travel magazines like BA High Life and National Geographic that give me a glimpse of another world or another perspective.

3.What is your favourite book? Garth Stein’s The Art Of Racing In The Rain is a book written from the narrative of a family dog – and it’s utterly brilliant, but full disclosure, it will pull at your heartstrings.

4.Which song makes you dance? I was a Noughties teen so I’d say something like Outkast’s Hey Ya – or of course, anything Britney.

5.What has been your best career moment? I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world with work, cover events from the BAFTAs to the Tour De France and interview some enviable A-listers and incredible people (like the first ever Saudi Arabian female film director). But if I have to choose, it would probably be taking on the task of living without any plastic for a week for a video experiment for Marie Claire because it completely changed my life and opened my eyes to a new zero-waste lifestyle that I strive towards every day. 

6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? I’d say not to be afraid to try. I’ve learnt that striving for perfectionism in your work can sometimes be another form of procrastination so just do it! Go for it, and get whatever words you want out there, out there.

7. Where are you happiest? In Crystal Palace park walking my two rescue dogs – it’s just the most beautiful and diverse green space in London. In general, I’m happiest outside in nature, away from my phone or laptop (which seems counter-intuitive for a digital journalist) and since getting my National Trust membership, I’m trying to go to as many sites around the UK as possible.  

8. Who would be your number one dinner guest be and why? Jane Goodall. I studied anthropology at university and I’m obsessed with animals and as she’s the leading primatologist, I’d pick her brains about all things apes and monkeys because I find them and their social structures fascinating.

9. If you could have any superpower, what power would it be and why? I’m terrible at languages so would love if I could speak every single language under the sun or how about stopping time? If there was a way to slow down perfect moments, that would also be nice in our world where we’re always rushing around and things can seem way too transient.

10. If you had to ask us one question what would it be? What’s your ultimate survival guide to hosting a successful press trip? I always feel like travel PRs take on the “holiday mum” role and I can’t imagine how tricky it can be to keep up with a group of journalists – especially after they’ve had a drink (or five...)

Good question! When it comes to surviving those all-important press trips, organisation is key. Here are the team’s top tips for hosting a seamless press trip from start to finish:

  •  Know Your Stuff- A good PR must always be prepared for any tricky questions that may come their way. That means knowing the hotel, restaurants, local area and of course the local customs inside and out.
  • Time Management- This is crucial if you want to ensure your group arrive at each destination rested and ready. After all, no one wants a group of hungry journalists on their hands after a missed dinner reservation!
  • Research Your Guests- Knowing your guests interests, allergies and writing topic is pivotal to keeping them happy and making sure you get the best out of their writing.
  • Have Fun- It goes without saying that if you’re hosting anybody, you must be upbeat and entertaining. A positive attitude can be infectious.
  •  Have a Contingency Plan- Perhaps most important of all, always have a plan B! Countless things can go wrong in the duration of a trip, so plan for the worst and have a bank of interesting anecdotes up your sleeve. 

How We got 4 Million Listeners for our Client

If you’ve tuned in to your local radio station recently, or perhaps been listening to some of the national breakfast shows, you may have heard of Ramsay Health Care UK.

The health care provider tasked Sunny Bird PR with promoting its surgical weight-loss procedures throughout the UK. Not a team to do things by halves, we set to work orchestrating a national radio day to get the message out to millions of listeners up and down the country. Here’s how we did it…

Mr James Halstead and Plaxy Budzinska on the air 

Mr James Halstead and Plaxy Budzinska on the air 

The Creative Process

As soon as our client Ramsay Health Care UK asked us to promote weight loss surgery on a national level, we knew we would require some hard-hitting statistics and relatable case studies.

The first step was to survey 2000 women who had experienced difficulties with weight loss. The survey results revealed that 75% of women were ashamed and embarrassed by their weight gain, a shocking figure which was ideal for attention-grabbing headlines.

After brainstorming how the story would resonate in print and on television, we finally settled on radio as the most appropriate platform for two reasons. Firstly, because of the phenomenal audience reach and secondly, due to the sensitive subject area, we thought case studies would be more comfortable with the prospect of radio meaning they would come across more confident and genuine on the air.

Orchestrating the Radio Day

Before we could begin pitching the story to the stations, it was vital we had all our assets in place. This included a press release highlighting the most shocking statistics, and a regional break down, and most importantly a selection of interviewees.

To give an expert opinion we used a lead consultant weight loss surgeon from Ramsay Health Care who was happy to talk about his work and pass comment on the statistics from a professional perspective.

From our survey we sourced three case studies, one for each key region we were targeting, and were careful to research their background and ensure they were a good fit.  

Prior to the radio day we agreed three core messages with our client and briefed all radio spokespeople on the objectives before going on air. These were to highlight Ramsay’s weight loss procedures; the high quality of care Ramsay provides and the website address.

We embargoed the survey results for a chosen date meaning we were able to conduct all the radio interviews on the same day from one central London location.

 

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The Results

Throughout the course of a morning we had 13 interviews set up. This included two national stations, Sky News Radio and talkRadio, along with 12 regional stations in areas where Ramsay hospitals are based.

The interviews were a mix of live breakfast shows and pre-recorded slots for the afternoon drive shows. Well-briefed and confident spokespeople ensured every interview ticked our key messages including directing listeners to the Ramsay website.

Overall, we reached 3,980,000 listeners, which if the same air-time was bought in advertising would have cost £75,272

If you would like to know how to get your company or brand message heard by millions, contact the Sunny Bird PR team on 01202 293095 or hello@sunnybirdpr.com.

 

 

PR Campaigns - The Good, The Bad & The Viral

Returning to work after the Christmas break can often feel like a slog, but a new year also brings new objectives, new ideas and plenty of rejuvenated energy. This year the team will be managing the PR for a rapidly expanding drinks company (watch this space!) which prompted us to take a look at some of the most effective industry related campaigns.

This month’s round up of wonderfully inventive PR campaigns includes creating the world’s first anti-ageing drink, hurtling a man into space, a community coffee competition and a clever marketing peg.

Hotel Chain Launched an Anti-Age Gin

Some PR stunts are deliberately designed to get picked up by journalists looking for a quick and easy ‘news’ story.

When Warner Leisure Hotels teamed up with culinary creators Bompass & Parr to create the world’s first ‘anti-ageing gin’ the hotel giant knew it could guarantee a headline or two.

 

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Dubbed ‘Anti-aGin’, the tipple’s ingredients include collagen and a variety of antioxidants and ‘skin-healing’ botanicals to help ‘reduce cellulite and sun damage’. 

Nicky Hambleton Jones, TV presenter from 10 Years Younger added extra kudos to the campaign by crediting the benefits of drinking edible collagen.

In addition to stocking the gin at 13 Warner Leisure Hotels across the UK, it was also available to purchase online at drinksupermarket.co.uk – selling out in less than 24 hours!

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The clever concoction was covered in almost all of the national newspapers including The Daily Telegraph, The Metro and The Times.

The gin was also featured on BBC Radio, GQ online, ITV.com, The Huffington Post and Mashable to name but a few.

The creative campaign is a formidable example of a brand generating buzz from something outside of the realms of its core products offering.

Starbucks’ Famous Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back – Better ‘Latte’ Than Never!

Starbucks used over 24 million fans on Facebook to help usher in the Autumn holiday season to announce the return of its popular drink – the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

In 2011, the coffee chain unveiled a Pumpkin Spice Latte challenge on its Facebook Page.

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The beverage-branded Facebook game — a first for Starbucks — asked its users to compete to bring the Pumpkin Spice Latte to their cities a week before the drink's official release date.

"One of the things that we know about the Pumpkin Spice Latte is that we have a huge fan base around this beverage that we bring back every year," says Alex Wheeler, vice president of global digital marketing for Starbucks. "We wanted to do something fun and different this year and empower customers to bring it to their city first."

The Facebook application, included three different points-based activities. Beverage fans earned points for city shout-outs, solving a daily challenge or making a daily creation.

A daily challenge might’ve asked a user to watch a video or answer trivia questions. A daily creation, for example, would have a user create and share a postcard for his or her city. One city put together a beauty contest which focused solely on orange clothes, accessories, make-up and hair treatments – what a sight!

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The city with the most passionate Pumpkin Spice Latte fans on Facebook in the U.S. and Canada was determined by points and got the beverage in their city a week early. The application featured an activity leader board, showcasing leading cities in real time.

The Facebook contest ran from August 22nd to 26th and the Pumpkin Spice Latte was exclusively released to stores in the winning city – Chicago – for one week after August 30th.

A great campaign grabbing the attention of real pumpkin spice latte fans in America, getting them involved to compete for their city to win!

Red Bull Tackles Space Travel

Red Bull has always done a great job at connecting with their audience through cool events and stunts. Back in 2012, it brought us one of the most memorable PR stunts in modern time: Red Bull Stratos.

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The stunt was collaboration between Red Bull and skydiver Felix Baumgartner and saw Felix ascend to 128,100 feet in a stratospheric balloon, followed by a free fall jump that was live streamed on Youtube. With this, Felix Baumgartner became the first human to break the sound barrier in free fall and helped provide valuable scientific data for space travel.

Before the big event, behind the scenes footage of the preparations had been released to the public along with interviews with the team. This helped build a hype around the event, resulting in a whopping 8 million people watching the jump live on Youtube and coverage in mainstream outlets across the world.

This campaign no doubt cost Red Bull millions, but must have provided immense value for the brand thanks to the incredible coverage that followed, all in line with the brand’s daredevil image. With a tagline like “Red Bull gives you wings”, what better way to reach your consumers than by throwing yourself into thin air?

Iced Coffee Rebrand for the Big Fella’s Special Day

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The world of iced coffee is an even bigger deal down under with leading brand, Farmers Union, outselling Coca Cola nearly 2:1 in South Australia – one of three brands globally to achieve this impressive feat of giant toppling.

Farmers Union wanted to celebrate Father’s Day in a big way and what’s bigger than a brand’s name? Yep, the brazen brand changed its name to Fathers Union as part of its campaign to celebrate Father’s Day. The iced coffee brand also launched limited-edition packaging featuring four unique Father’s Day designs: No.1 Dad, Total Legend, Big Fella and The Boss.

The campaign was accompanied by a series of ads featuring Adelaide radio host Dylan Lewis sharing advice to help dads enjoy the big day. The ads ran online and on radio supported by PR and outdoor advertising in the lead up to Father’s Day.

Darryn Wallace, Marketing and Innovation Director at Lion Dairy & Drinks, the company which owns Farmers Union brand, said, “We have a proud following of local South Aussie men so what better way to honour some of them this Father’s Day, than with the limited edition Fathers Union Iced Coffee cartons."

“Fathers Union Iced Coffee is launching exclusively in South Australia, the state in which the iconic drink was created back in 1977, to show our appreciation for, and celebrate, some of our most loyal fans who make Farmers Union Iced Coffee the icon it is today."

A fabulous, feel-good campaign – not only eye-catching and fun but also a great way to boost sales and talk to the Farmers Union fan base. The campaign achieved coverage in regional and trade media.

 

PR Campaigns - The Good, The Bad & The Viral

This month’s roundup of PR campaigns feature three brilliant examples from Walkers, who fed Londoners using an interactive bus stop, Nisim’s scientific approach to hair care and a simple yet successful campaign from Vision Express.

#TWEETTOEAT

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Although a few years old now, we really like this campaign from Walkers in 2014: The nation’s favourite crisp brand transformed three London bus stops into tweet-activated vending machines as part of its 'Do us a Flavour' campaign.

With Walkers already renowned for its quirky and talked about campaigns, this one was no different. Passers-by of the novel vending machine bus stops in Clapham and Oxford Street were encouraged to tweet @Walkers_busstop, triggering the vending machine to deliver a free packet of crisps to the tweeter.

"Walkers loves bringing fun to the nation and we are extremely excited to launch the first ever Twitter vending machine on the streets of London" said Walkers marketing manager Lee-Teng Chung at the time.

The 2014 'Do us a Flavour' campaign championed six ‘finalist’ flavours which included: Sizzling Steak Fajita, Chip Shop Chicken Curry, Pulled Pork in a Sticky BBQ Sauce, Ranch Raccoon, Cheesy Beans on Toast and Hot Dog with Tomato Ketchup. The vending machines were stocked with one of the six finalist flavours and dispensed 260 packets of crisps daily. The public were also encouraged to vote for their favourite flavour online, taking it from an interactive campaign to a social media campaign.

Not only was this campaign a success on social media, but it also made the consumer media with articles on big hitters such as the Mail Online (2,302,409) and a number of features in trade press too. All in all, another campaign packed full of flavour from the big, crispy giant of crisps.

 

LAUNCH OF NEW HAIR GROWTH SHAMPOO GETS THE TEST OF TIME

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Anyone who has ever regretted a haircut knows it can seem like an age before the upsetting trim grows out. So is there a way to grow out hair quicker? Hair care brand Nisim claims there is, with the launch of its ‘F.A.S.T’ (Fortified Amino Scalp Therapy) shampoo and conditioner which promises to make your hair grow up to 99% faster in one month.

Before being stocked in major retailers, the product was clinically trailed on over 1,000 men and women. On average, test subjects found that after 12 weeks of massaging this product into their hair with every shower, their hair grew around 30% faster than usual. One subject even experienced an astonishing 99% boost in hair length!

Nisim also sent free samples of F.A.S.T to a range of journalists and bloggers for them to try and testament to its effectiveness, resulting in a number of reviews online and in print. Most prominently, a Daily Mail journalist trialled it for four weeks and wrote a review, analysing her hair length at the end of each week. Within the feature, two trichologists (that’s hair and scalp specialists to you and me) also commented on the results and explained that it may not have been the ingredients in the treatment that made her hair grow, but that it was more likely due to the fact that she was massaging her scalp 14 times a week and conditioning her hair every day.

Despite the words of doubt from the trichologists, Nisim achieved three Mail Online (2,302,409) features and over 50 pieces of coverage over the course of two years. This included reviews from bloggers and journalists, product roundups and launch features.

 

VISION EXPRESS TELLS US WHY WE NEED REGULAR HEALTH CHECKS

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Vision Express created the last campaign in this month’s line-up. On the back of National Eye Health Week which took place last week, the visionary company compiled a feature that was as simple as it was effective.

The article starts with an unsettling quote by Vision Express optician Omar Hassan, emphasising the importance of regular eye checks and encouraging us to continue reading. He says: "With many conditions, 40% of vision could be lost without the patient noticing anything is wrong… I see patients with sight problems that could have been prevented if it had been diagnosed earlier."

This statement is followed by a list of which risk factors to look out for as well as what to expect of your eyes through different ages. The article covers eye health among kids and teens, people in their 20’s and 30’s, 40’s and 50’s and those who are 60+.

The beauty of this feature is its simplicity: From our perspective, it looks like the only asset required was some research on people’s eye health habits as well as an in-house expert to advice on eye health through the ages and provide further commentary within the article.  

In short, it appears that Vision Express used assets it already had to create a topical and relevant feature. It was published on the Mirror Online (895,503) and shared further to the Mirror’s 952,000 Twitter followers, proving that a great PR campaign doesn’t have to be eye-wateringly expensive!