Be it a blessing or a curse, when you work in PR, nothing seems so innocent any more. Theresa May does a dance? Intentional. Magazine depicts a plus-sized model on their front cover? A prime example of CSR. The GBBO release a heartfelt tweet on the day of the final? 10000% PUBLIC RELATIONS.
Maybe that comes off strong, but I’m just trying to give you an (exclusive, cause god knows I’ve come to love that word) insight into what it’s like in a PR’s brain. If you prefer visuals, it probably looks a little like this.
I really wouldn’t have it any other way though.
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But what this means, is that I often do interpret most actions as deliberate Public Relations intentions. I mean, more often than not, they are. Which brings me back to: is it a blessing or a curse? I think I’d just call it a sense of knowing. And it isn’t necessarily a bad thing at all.
Signature, technical, even showstopping Public Relations…
Anyway (time to quit with the rambling already) what I wanted to talk about was The Great British Bake Off, which, much to my dismay, ended last night.
Or rather, their PR effort throughout the show, moreover during the run-up to the final. Impressive to say the very least. I’ve picked up on some sneaky tactics over the past few days, and just wanted to write about them here. Mainly because I’d like to know what everyone else thought of. Were they intentional PR efforts at all, or simply innocent actions with convenient timings?
Innocence still exists, after all, It’s just harder to find nowadays.
#1 – Terry’s Letter
If the GBBO tweet that went out yesterday didn’t jerk a few tears, then
you’re cold fair enough. I cried FYI, but hell I’ve been crying through the whole of the Bake Off so there’s nothing new there. Anyway, as heartfelt and as lovely as it was, wasn’t the delivery of Terry’s ‘recent’ letter just a little too convenient?
Also, why not share it on the day it was received, rather than the day of the final? Because it generates good PR, that’s why.
Renowned as this years GBBO sweetheart, the producers and their PR team must’ve known the T-power (that’s short for Terry power, and yes I’m giving up on the internet soon) so would it be so wrong to assume they used it to their advantage?
I’m just saying, it’s unlikely that this letter dropped through the letterbox exact to the very date yesterday. Or even ‘recently’, as the tweet suggests. (What do we define as recently?) It’s more plausible that it was received weeks, even months ago, and a very clever PR team waited until the day of the final to share it, knowing just how much attention it would generate.
Who needs to pay for advertising when you can promote the final off the back of a tweet that was shared to the millions? GBBO certainly don’t.
#2 – Prue’s Tweet
Was Prue’s notorious winner leak last year, in fact, on purpose?
God love Prue, I think she’s wonderful, but last year’s early reveal was truly something else. However, in the same breath, it also generated a lot of GBBO visibility. Even those who didn’t watch the show soon became wholly involved in the affair. I mean, one only has to type in ‘Prue’s tweet’ on Google to see that.
Which does lead the cynic in me to question, was it actually intentional? It’d be devious PR to say the very least, but also kinda’ the work of a genius.
I’m not sure where I sit with this one, it genuinely is just a theory, a conspiracy.
One thing that I can confirm, however, is that the show’s handling of it, even a whole year later, is still honourable. And really does demonstrate great Public Relations. Lighthearted jokes and involved banter have made light of the situation (probably much to the paper’s dismay who love a bit of controversy (damn it, Prue wasn’t thrown from the show and imprisoned for the rest of her days? Shame.)) instead of shying away from it – which is fabulous.
Crisis management 101, know when you’ve made a mistake, admit to it and begin to move on. Whether #PrueGate was intentional or not, the aftermath sure did display a prolific PR attempt.
#3 – Media Leaks
And last but not least, the infamous media leaks.
We all know a company who loves them, don’t we Apple? (Another year, another he-who-shall-not-be-named employee releases the new iPhone blueprints the day before their supposed public release, it’s a classic).
Now controversial media leaks aren’t actually what I’m in reference to here though. No, this time I’m talking about actual intentional leaks – which are a very effective PR tactic. Giving people a small indication of what’s to come. Like a taster. Don’t give them everything, but give them enough to generate speculation and raise the hype.
This is what I noticed happen earlier this week. While I was listening to the radio at work, my ears pricked at the sound of ‘The Bake Off’. What followed was a ‘reveal’ (of sorts) that the bakers would be venturing outside of the tent for the very first time.
And of course, this ‘spoiler’ was consequently covered in the wider press too. Just reiterating how effective small intentional leaks can be. Give the press just enough to generate a good bit of Bake Off coverage, but not enough to ruin anything (looking at you Prue) before the actual event.
PR – is it everywhere?
But of course, I could be totally wrong, and this is where you, (aka the wider opinion), comes in. I’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you think of the above? Deliberate PR efforts, or genuine acts paired up with extremely fitting timing? We already know that PR is definitive of everything we say and do, but I want to know whether the above was deployed on purpose.
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