LEGO, Bodyform and Death Stars – PR Done Right

LEGO, Bodyform and Death Stars   PR Done Right image 4940413513 d085fb37e41LEGO, Bodyform and Death Stars PR Done Right

Source: Popculture Geek

You know the old saying that all press is good press?  Well, while it may be true for movie stars, it certainly isn’t true when it comes to corporate image.  PR disasters can spell economic ruin for businesses––both big and small––and without an effective PR team, any company can quickly find itself the victim of a widespread witch-hunt, one that eventually ends in bankruptcy as all hopes of profit go up in flames.  Fortunately, however, many businesses have mastered the art of public relations.  Their examples provide inspiring models for PR strategies that not only assuage complaints, but even go on to become massively effective marketing tools.  If your businesses can find ways to follow their lead, you’ll not only keep yourself out of hot water, you might even unexpectedly bring yourself a windfall.  Here’s what PR done right looks like:

Measured Response

Often, great PR is simply a matter of speaking the right language.  These companies saw complaints as opportunities, satirical attacks as a marketing possibilities, and unusual requests as a chance for inspiring loyalty:

  • When a 7-year-old boy lost his new Lego action figure at a supermarket, thus destroying his Christmas money investment, he emailed the company asking for a replacement.  In an endearing response, they sent him a free replacement along with several other toys, and even included some sage advice from the Lego ninja master about always listening to your dad and guarding your Lego armies.

LEGO, Bodyform and Death Stars   PR Done Right image legoland ninjagoLEGO, Bodyform and Death Stars PR Done Right

Source: Legoland Holidays

  • After a man left a snarky comment on BodyForm’s Facebook page, indignantly claiming he’d been lied to for years by their ads, and led to believe menstruation involved blue liquid, upbeat music, and rollerblading, they responded with a video that quickly went viral. In it, BodyForm’s CEO comes clean about the gruesome truth, drinks a glass of blue liquid, and even breaks wind.
  • When a petition to build a Death Star attracted thousands of votes on the White House website, the US government responded with tongue-in-cheek ‘this isn’t the response you’re looking for’ seriousness. Amongst other reasons for rejecting the proposition, they cited an estimated $850,000,000,000,000,000 price tag, a fatal flaw that can be exploited by a single brave man in a starship, and a policy against blowing up planets.

Micro-Targeting

Sometimes the smallest and most personal PR campaigns yield the biggest results.

LEGO, Bodyform and Death Stars   PR Done Right image 7133602099 8923e9b7921LEGO, Bodyform and Death Stars PR Done Right

Source: Gareth 1953

  • A Porsche dealership photographed their new sports car in the driveways of affluent houses in Toronto, and printed flyers showing homeowners just what they could look forward to.  Not only did it provoke quite a few sales, it also caught media coverage.
  • Cadbury sent personalized giant chocolate bars to every member of Great Britain’s Olympic Team this year.  The UK’s top athletes were quite pleased, and the news quickly picked up the story.

Causing a Buzz

  • An upscale Newcastle hotel recently conducted a great PR stunt by replacing all their bedside bibles with the Kindle version, provoking a mild media controversy while publicizing their new high-tech amenities.
  • In an unconventional marketing move, promoters for the new Batman movie stirred up local public interest by hiring an artist to make a huge chalk 3D streetart installation in Madrid.  When photos of the piece began proliferating across the Internet, the local ad was given worldwide circulation.

Needless to say, not all of these models will be right for you.  The key is to contrive a strategy that reflects the unique image you want customers to have of your company.  At the end of the day, PR is about branding.  Your image is determined by your relationship with consumers.  So give their imaginations something to latch onto, show the human face of your corporate infrastructure, and inspire them to see your company a bit differently.

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