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The Public Relations Blog

What can your company learn from these brands’ success stories?

Let PR show you how to attract more customers with these examples

 

In blogs and news media, we can read all about instances where companies have made mistakes or wound up knee-deep in a crisis. Pundits and critics love to expound for days on end about what the company did wrong and who should shoulder the blame. However, we rarely discuss companies that are doing things right.

 

While it may be easier to remember the companies that are behaving badly, you can probably learn more from a company’s success story.


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Topics: public relations, PR success stories

PR Success Story: PR Changes the Game for Gatorade

Background

Considered to be the definitive sports drink for all major athletes, Gatorade’s march to international brand recognition saw it begin its life in Florida as a regionally based drink, with little of the scientific research backing its claims that it enjoys today. The product’s launch came at a time when general public belief was that any liquid ingestion during physical activity caused cramps and nausea. Despite this common misconception, a growing number – including University of Florida Gator football coach Ray Graves – began to recognize the need to somehow replenish energy and endurance lost through an athlete’s perfusing sweat. The answer, an electrolyte-infused concoction developed by UF’s College of Medicine, showed promising results in restoring the body’s chemical balance. The challenge, however, as with all new ideas, would be to gain wider public recognition and acceptance.


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Topics: media relations, public relations, PR success stories

PR Success Stories: Supersonic Jet Takes Off Aided by Public Relations

Background

Billed as the world’s first supersonic plane that could cut travel times in half, the history of Concorde’s beginning was disappointingly marked by exorbitant costs, design complications and a 1973 oil crisis that saw airlines seeking ways to drastically decrease expenditures. The result was large-scale order cancellations that threatened to cripple production and subsequent success of the project. Making matters worse, public opinion began to sour against the airliner, citing concerns over noise and other environmental issues caused by the jet’s sonic booms. Such voices culminated in a crushing setback for Concorde’s backers as governments around the world, including the United States, banned operation of the plane within their respective airspaces. Knowing the continued existence of Concorde rested on winning international public approval, the airplane’s financiers understood the urgency of getting to work on repairing Concorde’s image.


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Topics: PR success stories, crisis communications

PR Success Stories: Ford Creates a Buzz Through the Power of Public Relations

Background

Billed as the sports car for people who dislike driving sports cars, the creators of the Ford Mustang opted for a slow and strategic approach when it came to promoting its latest concept. Rather than solely relying on an expensive advertising budget, Ford instead began focusing its efforts on a media relations campaign. Understanding the power and influence a public buzz could generate, the carmaker starting leaking information to the media almost a year prior to the vehicle’s launch.


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Topics: media relations, public relations, PR success stories

PR Success Stories: CBS Wins the Case in the Court of Public Opinion

PR Success Story: CBS vs. Gen. Westmoreland

 

Background

After airing a controversial documentary accusing military leaders of gross miscalculations concerning the strength and size of enemy forces during the Vietnam War, CBS News soon found itself acting as defendant in a $120 million libel lawsuit. Having recently suffered some negative press coverage due to a similar circumstance, the last thing the news network wanted or could afford was yet another public image crisis.


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Topics: public relations, PR success stories, crisis communications

PR Success Story: The Power of Public Relations in Overcoming National Controversy

Background

In what began as a simple plan to promote construction of a Vietnam War memorial in Washington D.C., project fundraisers soon found themselves becoming the source of a dispute that quickly spread across the country. Architecture major Maya Lin's vision of a "rift in the earth" created by a polished black stone wall on which the etched names of the dead or missing would appear, generated as much praise as it did intense opposition. At the center of contention lay disagreement over the chosen design's ability to provide dignity and valor to the memory of the war's fallen servicemen. Now far removed from simply promoting a non-profit fund and its statue, PR experts responsible for the memorial's image instead found themselves in the middle a struggle to find a resolution that would benefit their client as well as the public at large.


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Topics: media relations, public relations, PR success stories

PR Success Stories: PR gives Orville’s Gourmet Popping Corn a Second Chance

Background

Having sold his “gourmet” popcorn concept to Hunt-Wesson Foods, Orville Clarence Redenbacher believed he had created the freshest and most satisfying snack experience to come from a kernel of corn. Unfortunately for Orville and Hunt-Wesson, few were swayed by the idea of a popcorn delicacy costing twice as much as other brands. Despite attempts to impress shop owners with the snack’s fluffier qualities, none could foresee it becoming a popular selling item, simply refusing to carry the product as a result. Typically signifying the end of the line for most brands, Hunt-Wesson instead chose to rely on the power and influence of public relations in resurrecting this seemingly dead horse. What transpired became perhaps one of the best examples of turnaround profits in the marketing industry.


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Topics: media relations, public relations, PR success stories

Value-Based Public Relations: Why low-priced PR carries a high cost

When you're comparing two PR firms' offerings, be careful not to confuse price with the value of their service.

 

This past weekend I read an Value vs. Price.I can sign up for one email marketing service for $75 per month or go with a premier service for $500 per month. If I don’t promote the email and use it to upsell, acquire or retain customers, $75 per month is of little value and may be too much money to spend. If I went with the $500 per month service and they helped to develop my messaging, helped me to implement campaigns for upsell, acquisition and retention… I could succeed in leveraging email to drive hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s a great value and well worth the moneys paid.Interesting blog post by Doug Karr, who argues in favor of consultative services using value-based selling to determine their prices rather than a flat fees or hourly billing. In a value-based model, Karr said, a firm would work with a potential client to determine the value of its services and then negotiate a price that works for both the firm and the client.


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Topics: public relations, PR success stories

PR Success Stories: Seat Belts Save Lives Because of Public Relations

Background

The potential for public relations to create positive social change would prove its worth in 1971 when administrative leaders within the U.S. Department of Transportation sought to replace car seatbelts with air bags in all new vehicles starting in 1974. The controversial move lay with the fact that although seatbelts had saved thousands of lives, they remained very unpopular with American consumers, the majority simply refusing to wear them. The solution, some claimed, would come from eliminating seatbelts entirely, and in their place installing the newer, less irritating airbag technology. This decision would be supported despite reservations from auto industry manufacturers that airbags came with several drawbacks, including potential injury to children, damage to ear drums as a result of the explosive noise and their tendency to distract drivers attempting to navigate through accidents.


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Topics: media relations, public relations, PR success stories

The Power of PR (Positive Relationships)

In Oprah’s final episode, she was asked if there was a common thread throughout her 25 years on air. As she reflected on decades of interactions and interviews, she distilled it down to one thing all of her guests shared:


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Topics: media relations, public relations, PR tips, PR success stories

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