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Favourite PR examples from 2013

I love gathering good PR case histories to use in my training and workshops. This year, I’ve chosen my favourite PR examples and campaigns from those that have used powerful imagery and video to create real cut-through and engagement.

1. ZSL London Zoo: Census 2013

Each year, London Zoo conducts an annual stocktake of all 17,500 animals, as required by its license holders and the information is logged onto a international species system. 

I love a good picture story as a PR example and to keep the news afresh for 2013, the team created a set of strong images and invited the world’s media to report on the event. Proof that good old fashioned media relations, accompanied by strong picture and video story telling is alive and well.



 2. Torfaen Council: In the Depo

When winter snow, ice and storms arrive, local councils are faced with the challenge of advising residents on how to take care as well as informing them about the progress of winter maintenance.

Torfaen Council in South Wales executed this perfectly in January 2013 with the help of a creative in-house script writer and a local Elvis look impersonator.  Filmed in just one hour, the parody of Elvis’ ‘In the ghetto’ video quickly became a viral hit.  “We’re always looking at innovative ways to engage residents with innovative and memorable council messages” Neil Jones head of communications for Torfaen Council.


3. Refuge: Speaking up to save lives #dontcoveritup

Research shows that 65% of women who experience domestic violence keep it hidden and Refuge successfully raised awareness of domestic violence amongst teenage girls with this ingenious ‘How to look your best the morning after’ video, created with the help of BBH and makeup blogger, Lauren Luke.

In her usual video blogger style, Lauren creates a tutorial on how to conceal the signs of violence to draw attention to the steps some women will take to cover it up.

With the help of good social media relations, the video quickly went viral and Refuge experienced a 300% increase in visits to its website from teenagers.  Four hundred and fifty people who visited Lauren Luke’s landing page on the site went on to  find out how to get help for teenage girls – a powerful PR example.


4. Yesterday TV Channel: historical characters get a makeover

Imagine what some of history’s colour characters including Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, William Shakespeare and

Marie Antoinette would be like if they were alive today?

To promote a new historical TV series ‘Secret lives of …’  Taylor Herring purchased the rights to famous paintings and had digital artists work closely with history experts to recreate portraits of famous historical people brought up to date for the 21st Century. The images were then pitched to national media in the UK to publicise the new TV series.


5. PETA: Fur hurts

Fur is fashionable in China and demand is continuing to increase despite the horrendous cruelty being used on animals (sometimes they are being skinned alive). PETA knew that using graphic violence images would make viewers turn away quickly.  So, it adopted a new approach that didn’t use blood or gore but still told the truth about the fur industry – an art exhibition of animals covered in coats of needles to signify the pain they feel at the hands of fur traders.  This was accompanied by a documentary film, public relations and social media campaign.

What were your favourite PR examples from 2013?  Please get in touch with me to share them.

And if you’ve enjoyed reading this post, then you might want to check out my favourite PR examples from 2012 or take a look at the PR training courses that I run.

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