By Louise Findlay-Wilson, Creator Of PrPro And Owner Of Energy PR
Most PR campaigns focus on hard news - new products, service launches, business wins, awards and so forth. However, news stories can also be found in the amusing or unusual.
Obviously care has got to be taken when developing these. If your business is serious and sensible you don’t want a frivolous story that makes you look like a lightweight company. That said, a story about your company solving a customer’s problem in a fun and creative way can work incredibly well.
Such stories often have lots of media appeal because they have ‘human interest’ built in. They also bring out the personality and personal service aspect of what you do.
If you are scratching your head trying to think of examples of this kind of news story, they are typically incidents that your staff will go home and tell their partners about using the phrase ‘You’ll never guess what happened at work today’.
For instance, when my agency Energy PR was promoting the Cotswold Wildlife Park we had a classic ‘you’ll never guess...’ story when one of its leopards gave birth to a cub with no spots. This novelty ‘leopard loses its spots’ story had huge media appeal and was picked up by the Oxfordshire media (press, TV and radio).
Also, by being rapidly sent as a picture caption story, it secured a full page in the Daily Mail, which carried a picture of the cub, comments from the Park owner, lots of background information on Amur Leopards plus details of where the Cotswold Wildlife Park is and what else you can see there...as we say, PR gold dust!
While these ‘ahhhh’ stories often involve animals, they don’t have to. Over the summer there was the case of a van hire company which rode to the rescue when a cyclist who had just completed a mammoth sponsored cycle couldn’t get home with his bike quickly to see his son in hospital. I’ve also recently seen a bridal company save the day by coming up with a new wedding suit after the groom had mislaid his on a stag night! The bridal company owner personally delivered the suit (travelling miles to deliver it) on the wedding day itself!
In both these instances the stories were real beauties as they literally showed the companies in question going that extra mile all in the name of customer service.
Sadly you can’t plan for these moments, which is why when they do come up you must spot them and grab them with both hands. If you do it could be the most impactful PR you do in 2012!
Follow Louise on twitter @louisefw
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