Monthly Archives: February 2016

The best leap year campaigns of 2016

It’s a leap year which means that 2016 will have 366 days instead of 365. Today it’s become another event in the calendar for companies to campaign around. I’ve picked my two favourite leap year campaigns of 2016…


According to Chevrolet, the 29th of February 2016 is for #DayItForward. Promoting the idea that people across the globe have the opportunity to share “a day of unexpected goodness”.

The motors company has teamed up with celebrities such as Kevin Spacey, Lucy Hale and Eva Longoria who have each shared videos of them spreading kindness in the extra 24 hours that a leap year provides us with. The aim is that people will be inspired to use this hashtag to share their own random acts of kindness with strangers or loved ones.

Chevrolet have attempted to connect with consumers via human emotion and kindness, and it works. People across the globe taking part in the campaign have uploaded their pictures and videos on social media and the acts of kindness range from buying a stranger coffee to volunteering with wildlife charities.



Tresemme have launched the #ReverseTheRoutine campaign this leap year revolving around the premise that women shouldn’t have to wait 4 years in order for it to be socially acceptable to propose to their partner.



They will be choosing 5 women to help propose to their partners (including providing them with a personalised white gold engagement ring). This campaign goes hand-in-hand with the launch of their new range of products ‘Reverse the Routine’ and if you’ve seen their ads you’ll know that the products are intended to be used ‘backwards’ with conditioner being used first to soften hair, and shampooed second to provide volume.


To enter their campaign and be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is email the reason you want to propose to your other half this year (in 300 words or less) to



Reputation management = emotional intelligence


If there’s one trait PR practitioners should have it’s emotional intelligence. This should always be in the back of our minds as it allows us to anticipate public reaction. We become the gatekeepers able to shape a message in order to minimise the probability of crises or public upset taking place.

Whilst some crises can be completely out of the blue, the majority of the time, if you know your public well enough, you can use emotional intelligence to predict what their reaction will be to the message you’re trying to relay. If you can identify potential threats to your company/organisation or campaign before they have the chance to materialise, then you can turn a storm into a drizzle by making sure you are ready to act if something negative occurs and set ’emergency’ strategies into place. 

This is exactly why internal communications is so important. It also highlights the importance of a unified voice within your company should crisis strike. The internet has given the consumer a voice – if this voice is a negative one then it’s all the more crucial for your staff to act as the voice of the company. 

Before social media, the impact the consumer had on any given company was relatively insignificant. The reputation of the company was dependent upon their practices and relationships. Now, with social media, the consumer is the critic. Due to this, transparency is more important than ever and it’s increasingly essential to be upfront with your consumers. If you make a mistake, don’t attempt to cover it up with endless excuses – just say sorry.

Emotional intelligence covers a vast spectrum. The ability to anticipate public reaction goes hand in hand with common sense. Being truthful with your audiences will build a trusting relationship and strengthen reputation; so if you do make a mistake, at least you still have the potential to retain consumer respect.

Cupidon campaigns, Valentine’s Day 2016

Although in Victorian times it was deemed unlucky to receive a Valentine’s card, in the 21st century it’s become the second most celebrated date in the year. According to the Greeting Card Association (GCA) “The total value of single cards sold in the UK in 2014 stood at £1.39 billion with 878.8 million single cards being sold in this period. When compared with 2013, value is up 7.77%.”

It’s also a hugely significant event in the calendar for brands, but how do they campaign for it? Here are my three favourite Valentine’s campaigns for 2016…


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Although I do love it, PR shan’t be my valentine this year (maybe next year).

All jokes aside, Marmite have released a limited edition range of personalised jars just in time for Valentine’s Day whereby people can attach loving messages to give to their valentine. However, it’s not all love and smiles at Marmite as they’ve banned words like “bae” and “baby cakes” from being printed on the product.

The jars are selling for RRP £4.99 and you can buy one here.

House of Fraser

House of Fraser customers have been offered a 10% discount when they shop online this Valentine’s Day. The social media campaign ‘#emojinal’ encourages customers to create a rom-com story just by using emojis. I’m giving them brownie points for creativity, but overall it’s not looking good for HoF as backlash was received after a series of strange over emojinal tweets were released from their Twitter account.

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Okay, I love this one. Tesco have released a two minute ad in which psychotherapist Rachel Morris takes on the role of cupid, matchmaking couples by analysing the contents of their shopping baskets! The video exceeded 10 million views on Facebook in the first week with over 35,000 likes and 8,000 shares. Watch the video to see if you love it as much as I do!


I hope you all have a lovely Valentine’s Day – for those of you who are Valentineless, fear not… You can celebrate Single’s Awareness Day (SAD) instead!

What is media relations?


Media Relations focuses on the importance of retaining certain levels of control when it comes to a company’s contact with the media. This includes all the ways in which an organisation interact with the news media such as relationships formed with journalists, responsibilities for social media accounts and monitoring as well as maintaining contacts.

It’s crucial to make sure that those within a company or organisation speak with one unified voice when it comes to key matters – and even more so when it comes to crisis management. It wasn’t until after reading Chapter 3 of John Doorely and Helio Fred Garcia’s ‘Reputation Management’ that I truly understood the importance of centralised media relations. “Different people speak from different perspectives, using different vocabulary, and based on different levels of knowledge about an issue. The result can be confusion, inaccurate communication and repetitional harm.” Consequently, we have to limit the passage of communication with the media to professionals only. If nobody knows what to say in a time of crisis, it can be damaging to the most squeaky clean of reputations because it tends to look suspicious or misleading if a singular organisation has several differing voices instead of one integrated one.

Organisations today need their press offices to function at a rapid pace, noticing and modifying criticisms of their organisation within the media almost instantly after negative coverage has occurred. As a result of this, the key to effective media relations is ultimately to show your story in a light in which you’re providing something unusual and interesting rather than something dry and informative.

As well as all of this, you also have your client to think about. You must make sure that the work you’re doing is measurable. Traditionally this would’ve been physically measuring column inches achieved; today it’s measured in clicks, impressions and views. With most of this measurable work being outsourced to cutting agencies, it’s much more complex in today’s media landscape than it used to be. This only strengthens the fact that everything in media relations must be integrated now.

PR and media relations are both ultimately about timing, I have spoken about this before on my blog in relation to catching the right channels of influence at the right time (you can read that post here). But this is a fundamental ideology that delves deeper than influence. If you can time your story to fit in with other cultural or social events in the world, it can enable your organisation to blossom. This is achievable by designing compelling stories that journalists or bloggers are interested in picking up. As a side note – you need to be prepared for the fact that unfortunately, negative news travels faster than positive news when it comes to news outlets. This is precisely why it’s so fundamental to work an alternative or slightly unusually interesting angle to your clients story.

Whilst there’s a thin line between public relations and media relations, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that everything is becoming integrated. It’s a widespread trend seen across all communications sectors today, one that will surely only continue to grow in both the near and distant future.