How to Create the Perfect PR Storm

We all marveled when Harrods put the striped legs and ruby slippers of the Wicked Witch underneath their store to launch their Christmas toys campaign.

It was the perfect PR stunt, exquisitely executed, timed to perfection and the recipient of countless column inches of media frothing.

But why was it such a hit?

Because, simply and without prevarication, it absolutely nailed an icon.

Has there ever been a Christmas without The Wizard of Oz? No. It’s as connected to the wonder, the thrill, the excitement of the season as Santa Claus himself – a gilt-edged Christmas icon understood by everyone over 5-years-old.

And that’s how all the best PR stunts – the ones that create that perfect PR storm – get under the skin of the great unwashed.

Here at Brazen, we say that PR isn’t about turning water into wine – it’s about making the everyday feel iconic.

And the simple approach, as illustrated by Harrods and their Wizard of Oz Christmas stunt, is often the most rewarding.

It was this philosophy that underpinned our very own #BlackpoolsBack campaign, designed to get families to take a fresh look at the famous seaside resort through a child’s eyes.


Our bold national PR & Content Marketing campaign had it all – video, social media, traditional PR, SEO-rich microsite content and huge amplification of the resort’s new TV ad campaign.

But it also had the World’s Biggest Beachball.

We elevated the humble beachball to new heights. Literally. Our #BlackpoolsBack beachball was a disruptive 18 metres tall (the same height as the White House in Washington DC) – the biggest ever inflated.

It rose on Blackpool’s famous beach, in the shadow of the iconic Blackpool Tower, like a huge phoenix, as the world’s media watched and recorded its ascent – a huge tele-visual stunt which truly put Blackpool back on the map.

Results? Oh, yes, there were plenty. More than 135 pieces of coverage with 100% positive references to Blackpool, right across the world, including The Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror and Daily Record, MailOnline, Telegraph Online, The Independent, Daily Star, BBC Online and a host of other TV channels and media portals.

With a campaign reach of over 132million – a fantastic return on investment – our humble beachball drove an extra 350,000 people to visit Blackpool during the summer.

Stunts are not all about magic making. They’re often just about picking the right icon and being creative with it. Keep it simple and do it well.

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