What makes a public relations campaign truly inspiring? What makes it stay in our memory and enhance brand loyalty most effectively? Originality, timeliness, creativity and more all contribute to crafting the best public relations campaigns. While you can’t predict whether your campaign will be a success, taking a closer look at successful campaigns can inspire you to create your own great content.
The following campaigns inspired their target audience and reaped the rewards. Here’s what we can learn from their recent success:
An interview with Airbnb’s chief marketing officer Jonathan Mildenhall described wanting to “redefine what the world sees as experiential marketing.” In service of this goal, Airbnb launched an update to their app which included an innovative matching system designed to understand travelers’ preferences and then match them with the homes, neighborhoods and experiences that meet their needs. The brand campaign “Live There” inspired travelers to be more than tourists in the places they visit, offering guidebooks from locals to gain an authentic perspective on the neighborhoods in which they stay.
This campaign worked because Airbnb realized that the tourism and hospitality industry was lacking a personal touch. It made the brand relevant, meaningful and offered honest value that customers were already asking for. The “Live There” campaign emphasizes the importance of listening to key audiences to ensure success.
One of the most memorable recent global communication campaigns was “Share a Coke.” The soft drink giant launched personalized cans of their products around the world featuring 250 of the most popular names in the United States. Short and sweet video segments about sharing a Coke with a loved one aired everywhere, and more than just brand loyalists were excited – everyone was looking for a Coke bottle with their name or a friend’s name on it.
While it helps that Coca-Cola has massive marketing leverage, this campaign went viral because it was creative and authentic. Plus, it inspired participants to share photos and videos of the bottles they found with their names or their friends’ names, organically increasing the brand’s reach.
In late 2017, billboards began popping up in New York and Los Angeles with simple black text on a white background: “NETFLIX IS A JOKE.” Representatives from Netflix declined to comment when reached, and the world wondered who could be behind this smear campaign of the streaming platform. As it turns out, Netflix itself was the mastermind, kicking off a campaign for the streaming service’s original comedy programming. After generating word-of-mouth buzz with its bold standalone billboard advertising, Netflix launched individual social media profiles for its comedy content, “Netflix Is A Joke” so that users could learn more about the programming and engage with the brand.
From a public relations standpoint, this move allowed the company to more intentionally and aggressively position itself in the world of stand-up comedy and create meaningful relationships with big names including Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld.
According to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), to show the museum’s entire collection at once would require the construction of another 17 SFMOMAs – and you would need to walk the equivalent of 121.3 miles to see each piece. This isn’t feasible so SFMOMA came up with a unique solution. You can text 572-31 with the words “send me” followed by a word, color or even an emoji to receive a related artwork image from the collection along with a caption via text message.
Art enthusiasts went wild for the campaign. They had the opportunity to see artwork from SFMOMA that may potentially take years to exhibit in the museum – for free. People across the country texted the service, and this idea paid dividends in both brand awareness and brand love.
The message was simple. In enormous letters on Patagonia’s home page: “The President Stole Bears Ears National Monument. In an illegal move, the president just reduced the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. This is the largest elimination of protected land in American history.”
The campaign encouraged people to visit their website, reach out to the Department of Interior and sign up for opt-in emails and texts from Patagonia. It helped position the company as relevant and timely, as well as involved in current affairs at a time when two-thirds of consumers want brands to take a stand on social and political issues.
No matter what your brand does, these campaigns are instructional in their relevance, creativity, timeliness and ability to connect with their audience authentically. When beginning to construct your own campaign, keep these inspiring public relations efforts in mind to ensure success.
Are you looking to launch a successful PR campaign that will get your target audience talking? Contact Mulberry if you’re looking for an expert opinion on your strategy.
Thomas Jilk is a Senior Account Executive at Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London and Australia. He uses his journalism and marketing skills to tell compelling brand stories for clients.