Business Tips

3 PR case studies from 2017 to inspire your small business

3 PR case studies from 2017 to inspire your small business

PR campaigns are a brilliant way to help businesses stand out from the crowd and 2017 certainly didn’t disappoint. From fun and successful campaigns such as Lucozade’s contactless bottles giving Londoners free tube travel and Virgin Media’s giant trampoline bed in King’s Cross Station, to those which didn’t quite go as planned such as Krispy Kreme failing to deliver the 36,000 free doughnuts to Londoners and Pepsi’s controversial advert with model Kendall Jenner.

Yet whether these PR campaigns were successful or not small businesses can still learn and take inspiration from their ideas and execution.

Guinness Doughnut for St Patrick’s Day

For St Patrick’s Day Guinness collaborated with a local bakery in Dublin to create a Guinness Doughnut. Delving into the food market, the campaign was a big success for Guinness. In addition, the small bakery Aungier Danger received huge publicity as their name was mentioned in all coverage in many national and online publications.

Local press also picked up the story, putting the bakery in front of its key target audience: Aungier Danger launches new Guinness-inspired donut for St Patrick's Day.

Working with bigger brands can be very beneficial for small business owners when it comes to PR as the smaller companies can often piggyback on the bigger companies coverage, customers and followers. For example, by working with Guinness the bakery was able to gain equal exposure from the campaign, effectively meaning that Guinness was helping to send customers their way.

The business then has a great opportunity to convert these new leads into potential customers.

Splash - Topshop’s VR water slide down Oxford Street

In May Topshop launched a new virtual reality experience for customers at its flagship store in Oxford Circus. To launch the summer campaign shoppers were able to experience sliding down Oxford Street on a virtual water slide.  

By using new technologies Topshop was able to give customers a unique and fun experience different to their usual shopping trips. Although the scale of what Topshop produced may be out of reach for a small business’s budget, using new technology and creating customer experiences can be a huge draw to a physical store.

From this campaign they gained coverage in many publications including some more technology focused, bringing a different audience to Topshop’s usual fashion magazine readers: Topshop to transform Oxford Street into a giant water slide – in VR.

Krispy Kreme give away FREE doughnuts, or not…

In November Krispy Kreme promised to deliver 36,000 free doughnuts in London to promote its partnership with UberEATS. The idea went down a treat with people all over the city, however the popular demand quickly began to take its effect. The app began to fail, canceling people’s orders and telling others that their location was not eligible for delivery while only being a mear 5 minute walk away from the closest store.

While this wasn’t the campaign Krispy Kreme were hoping for, UberEATS’ competitor Deliveroo saw it as the perfect PR opportunity and began giving away free doughnuts from local London businesses Crosstown Doughnuts and Doughnut Time. This resulted in great coverage for all three businesses as many publications picked up on the fact that Deliveroo were ‘trolling’ UberEATS: Deliveroo trolls UberEats by giving away free doughnuts in London.

This highlights the importance of timing and reacting quickly to the news and what’s happening in your industry. Piggybacking on already trending news can be a great way to get your business in the media, but it is important to make your move as soon as possible while the story is still being talked about.

Looking into 2018 with Cadbury

Including those mentioned above, there were many creative PR campaigns in 2017 from which you can take inspiration, and it looks like 2018 will be no different. Although we’re only a few days into 2018 Cadbury has launched a new PR campaign gaining a lot of attention.

In the lead up to Easter Cadbury has released a limited amount of white chocolate Cream Eggs and if you find one you could be in with a chance of winning money. From the new flavour to the competition Cadbury has gained coverage in many publications and has been the height of conversation over social media: Hunt is on for elusive white chocolate Cadbury Creme Eggs in promotion which could land people cash prizes.

Competitions are a great way to engage potential customers, especially when executed in a fun and exciting way. Whether this is in collaboration with a magazine who gives away monthly prizes or on your own social media platforms, it is a chance to raise awareness and gain potential new customers.

Still looking for inspiration? Read last years blog 3 PR case studies of 2016 to inspire your small business and our blog looking at 3 PR fails to learn from.

Written By: Camilla Holroyd, Media Relations Manager

Camilla is the all-important portal between JournoLink's businesses and journalists; connecting them on a daily basis through press releases, Twitter engagements and editorial requests.