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Favourite PR examples from 2014

I love hearing about good PR case histories that I can share in my training and workshops. This year, I’ve chosen my favourite PR examples and campaigns from those that work well across digital and social media channels.

1. Lidl #lidlSurprises

I work in the food sector and admire many of the playful #LidlSurprises tactics aimed at encouraging people to recommend this discount supermarket’s food for its quality as well as its prices.
The campaign kicked off in August with a posh media dinner to announce its UK expansion plans and a new TV ad campaign where journalists were treated to a real ‘Lidl surprise’ when the menu was revealed to be sourced from Lidl’s own products and only cost £10/head.  The theme has continued with a pop up trendy restaurant called Deluxe, serving delicacies to pre-Christmas diners with proceeds going to charity.  At the end of their meal, customers learn that all the food is from Lidl when they are presented with the bill.

2. Department for Education, Your Life

Engaging 14-16 girls in a Government-led campaign encouraging them to consider careers in science, maths and physics may seem like an uphill struggle, yet the ‘Your Life’ campaign has got off to a great start with the support of key influencers and business partners who have pledged to boost support for women in such roles.

I particularly like the campaign’s website, which has none of the hallmarks of a Government site.  It’s inspired by aggregator sites like Buzzfeed and is part curated, part created from sourced and provided content featuring strong appealing visuals, presented for easy sharing.  Young people are encouraged to collaborate with the site through an invention competition and ‘club’ and encouraged to add their own content too.  According to the PR agency who desiged it (Claremont Communications) it had 50,000 unique views in the first week and a half.

3. Historic Royal Palaces, poppy exhibit at Tower of London

The ceremonial ceramic poppy garden at the Tower of London to mark Britain’s entry into World War One and commemorate the lives lost shows how good PR can capture hearts and minds.   This activity was well planned, with lots of layers – a Royal opening, personal stories, lots of charity involvement and the drama of a last minute rush as people queued day and night to catch a last glimpse.  What was most spectacular was the way that sea of red poppies surrounding the Tower took shape over three months.  I visited it three times and each time, I was both mesmerized and reflective.

As the display grew, word spread and the public flocked from all over the UK and from abroad to see its emerging shape. Such was the heigtened interest, that the organisers extended the night time illuminations to give more people a chance to see it before the poppies were boxed up and delivered to those who had bought one, with proceeds going to to charity.

4. Stonewall and Paddy Power #rainbowlaces

Football is still very much an anti-gay sport and any campaign to change attitudes will take time.  According to gay, lesbian and bisexual charity, Stonewall, there are no openly gay or bi professional  players and homophobia  is rife.  Now in its second year, this campaign has stepped up activity by bringing in in new partners including Premier League, Arsenal and Premier Inn and changing its hashtag from #RGBF  to #rainbowlaces.

I like the use of a simple emblem  – the colourful laces (woven in the colours of the LGBT flag) and such was the demand in 2014 that all 100,000 sold out and 40% Premier League clubs signed up to support it. #rainbowlaces trended worldwide and evaluation showed that one in three UK adults said they were aware of the campaign which peaked on 13/14 September, Rainbow Laces weekend.

5. Land Rover #hibernot

Land Rover is a British brand that I associate with driving in all weather and conditions and its #hibernot campaign fits perfectly with the brand’s values of family and discovering the great outdoors.
I like this integrated campaign for its compelling social engagement which encourages people to brace Britain’s winter weather and get outside to discover new places through a series of activities detailed on a microsite.  This shares content across Land Rover’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook channels and encourages others to use the hashtag to submit their own winter adventures and images.

What were your favourite PR examples from 2014?  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 2013 or take a look at the PR training courses that I run.

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