The PR Guru

May 4, 2012


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In the latest instalment of our PR Coaching Programme, we will be discussing the phenomenon of the publicity stunt, also known as ambient marketing, guerrilla marketing and PR stunts.

Our speaker is Richard Grisdale, who’ll be presenting on the stunts he organised during his years with various agencies around the world, including Saatchi & Saatchi.

He’ll be talking about stunts like this, which helped to generate media coverage for an independent furniture store:









And others he put together for brands like Wonderbra and British Airways.

The beauty of a PR stunt is it can generate plenty of coverage for a minimal outlay. And it presents your company as edgy and fun – and most importantly different from your competitors.

If you’d like to hear how a stunt could help you, and get plenty of ideas tailored to your business, come along to Lymedale Business Centre, Newcastle-under-Lyme on May 21st (12-2).

Give us a call on 01782 472035/07880 733138, or with any enquiries.


November 29, 2010

Tube Stike PR Stunt

Transport for London has been accused of misleading travellers over the impact of today’s strike by thousands of Tube workers, which has disrupted services for the fourth time in recent months.

The company said Tube services were running on nearly all lines this morning, adding that some stations may be closed. The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union said the walkout over job losses had the most impact yet, claiming that ghost trains were running as a PR stunt.

TFL said: “Tube services are running on nearly all lines this morning, despite a strike on London Underground called by the leaderships of the RMT and TSSA unions. The Northern line is running a service across the full length of the line, and the majority of the Victoria, Jubilee, District lines are also being served.”

Picket lines were mounted outside Tube stations across the capital, with commuters being warned that services will not return to normal until Tuesday.

October 18, 2010

Is this a PR stunt and how did so many errors get put into one article?

There was an article published yesterday that was filled with errors and inaccuracies. The entire piece just seemed to be either a massive PR stunt or just plain fiction.

It claimed that West End star Ben Evans is now playing the lead in the hit musical Jersey Boys; taking on the role of Frankie Valli eight times a week.

However, Ryan Molloy – who originated the role in London – is still playing the character 6 times a week, with his alternate and understudy being Scott Monello. The other understudy for the role is Jye Frasca, with Ben only going on if all three of these performers cannot go on (and only having been on three times in the part). Where this incorrect information came from I will never know, especially since all three of the actors playing Frankie Valli have never changed since the show opened in 2008.

Ben is actually a Swing in the cast – which means he takes on any ensemble roles that become available when an understudy is on for one of the main parts. He doesn’t actually even appear on stage when there are no understudys on.

Fans of the musical were clearly amused at this article and were sending it over social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.

It just goes to show that websites and the media need to be more careful in what they say, and that people representing Ben need to make sure that they send out the correct information about him.

October 13, 2010

October 5, 2010

Is getting Russell Brand on Newsnight a PR mistake?

On Friday, the BBC put comedian Russell Brand as the main guest in a programme where you would normally expect senior politicians to appear. The BBC could have been desperate to attract a new audience to the show; the several million old Jonathan Ross viewers who now have nothing to look forward to watching.

Two years ago, Russell Brand was the subject of a scandal involving a telephone call he made to Andrew Sachs, which left him leaving the BBC in shame. On Friday they seem to have considered him newsworthy enough to be the main interviewee on Newsnight.

The programme is supposed to be a news and current affairs programme involving the cross-examination of senior politicians.

Now, the reason he was there was because he has a new book out, which apprently mentions Liam Gallagher from Oasis. He was in a recent airport fight with a photographer, defending his girlfriend (Katy Perry).

Newsnight presenter, Emily Maitlis, actually mentioned the Andrew Sachs incident and descirbed it as a piece of media history, which shows that they were obviously trying to make Brand seem like more of an important figure.

The interesting thing about Newsnight is that the BBC are trying to attract a younger audience and to keep them watching BBC programmes.

September 30, 2010

PR cover-ups and puzzlements

Richard Swancott Associates have found some of the attempted cover-ups mentioned in the press in recent days really intriguing and we thought we’d share them with you.

There has been yet another Strictly Come Dancing PR Disaster (to go along with what we were saying yesterday about the Tom Chambers voting scandal) and the supposed/concealed release of a photograph of the North Korean heir.

The PR disaster for Strictly is that Scott Maslan, who begins dancing with Natalie Lowe on Friday night, uses fake tan to enhance his appearance for the live shows. This is clearly a PR stunt and a voting tactic on behalf of himself and the BBC, even though he has had lots of negative press about fake tanning in the past. Rugby player Gavin Henson is another guy who loves to use tanning and the BBC reportedly spend thousands of pounds of dry clean-up bills to remove the stains.

The main issue is that Scott is still filming EastEnders episodes and script-writers are trying to explain how his character got a tan whilst living in Albert Square. One of the solutions they have thought of is that his daughter Penny is in France, so he could have gone to visit her.

Another PR problem is that the North Korean state media have released a photograph which appears to show Kim Jong-un, the country’s heir, but they do not want the rest of the world to know it is him – having not captioned him on the photo and only releasing it to the local media. However, the BBC and other companies have managed to work it out.

This is because it is the world’s first up-to-date glimpse of the young man who is first-in-line to succeed his father, Kim Jong-il, to leadership. Until now only blurred images from his childhood have been released to other countries.

Critics have begun to post negative comments about the photo because Kim Jong-il is well-fed and shown to be in a much better condition than the majority of people in the country.

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