There is a meme doing the rounds in PR-sphere about client briefs not matching client budgets and it got me thinking about money in the world of PR. When the recession hit, marcomms budgets were one of the first to be cut as everyone’s belts got tighter, meaning PRs needed to make their clients money go further at a time when raising brand awareness was even more crucial.
In the post-recession world and with the rise of social media and owned content, low budget no longer needs to mean low creativity and examples of amazing campaigns and PR stunts at little cost have been popping up more and more over the last few years.
I thought I’d take the time to find some of the best low budget PR & social media PR stunts for a little low budget round up:
It was set to be one of the biggest films of the year and the perfect opportunity for a bit of PR piggy backing, and B&Q hit the nail on the head (excuse the pun) with this super cheap and super effective PR stunt. For those who don’t remember, B&Q sent a memo, which was then ‘leaked’ to the press, to all of its staff asking them to familiarise themselves with the 50 Shades book and to monitor ‘stock levels of rope, cable ties, masking tape and duck tape to ensure that supplies do not run low’. Coverage went everywhere from the Telegraph, Guardian, Independent and Daily Mail.
It was a normal March day back in 2014 when my world was turned upside down by a shock McVities announcement – they announced that we had been eating our biscuits the wrong way round! McVities HQ had decided that enough was enough and told everyone once and for all that the chocolate is meant to go at the bottom of the biscuit and that we had all been eating biscuits wrong. This simple and low cost press release caused waves across the socialsphere resulting in McVities trending on Twitter and coverage in the Daily Mail and Independent
Back in 2013 Chessington World of Adventures needed to promote its new attraction ‘ZUFARI: Ride Into Africa!’ after low sales and with little budget. The answer? Announce a ban on animal print as it was confusing the animals – genius! Chessington got coverage across all national newspapers, Sky News and even publications it never would of appealed to like Vogue and Cosmopolitan.
So there you have it, proof that sometimes you don’t need an all singing all dancing absolutely massive PR stunt (although, these are also really effective and an awful lot of fun) to get your message out. It’s about being selective and choosing the right creativity and the right channel for your client’s budget to make that PR magic happen.