24 July 2013
Caroline Walker, Account Executive

A 'Royal Wave' of PR stunts

Royal baby

The crew of HMS Lancaster celebrate the royal birth (Picture: L(Phot) Jay Allen/PA Wire)

For anyone who has been living under a rock for the past few days, you may not have heard that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have welcomed a baby boy.

There’s no denying it, whether you are interested or not, there has been so much media attention surrounding the birth of the Prince of Cambridge that it has sparked debates over whether there has been too much media attention.

As a PR agency, we seek opportunities, such as news stories and calendar hooks, to capture journalists’ attention and put our clients forward to be included in the story. So, how can we successfully incorporate monumental events, such as the arrival of the 43rd monarch since William the Conqueror, into our PR campaigns?

Timing is key
Stunts such as Oreo’s quick Twitter response to the Superbowl blackout have highlighted how effective quick and innovative responses on social media can prove to be extremely effective. See Shaun Westgate’s post: http://www.westgatecomms.com/blog/36/shouldve-gone-to-specsavers-opportunites-come-in-many-forms

In the case of the Royal Baby, we have been fortunate to have had almost nine months to develop strong PR strategies. However, with vital details such as the gender, name, weight and birth date hanging in the balance, brands were poised to include the baby’s vital statistics into their campaigns and be the first to react to the news.

Nine months of anticipation
The wait for news of the little Prince’s arrival was a labour in itself, leaving journalists, news commentators, PRs and marketers on “baby-watch” since the beginning of July, waiting to pounce on the story.

When we finally received the news that an 8lb 6oz boy had been born, every PR agency, company and marketer was clamouring to put their memorable, royal baby-related stunt into the media.  

Our favourite Royal Baby campaigns
To avoid getting lost in the tirade of activity: simple and speedy campaigns proved the most successful and some of our favourites include: Yeovil Town FC announces new signing, royal baby style: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2013/jul/23/yeovil-announce-signing-using-easel

Sailors on the HMS Lancaster and HMS Kent celebrate the new arrival: http://metro.co.uk/2013/07/23/armed-forces-congratulate-duke-and-duchess-of-cambridge-on-birth-of-baby-boy-3894197/

And perhaps less tasteful but equally memorable, Paddy Power’s giant ugly babies: http://metro.co.uk/2013/07/01/you-big-babies-paddy-powers-disturbing-publicity-stunt-as-betting-on-kate-and-williams-royal-baby-soars-3863824/

And the name?
As for the baby’s name, “Waity Kate-y” is going to have us all wait a little bit longer, givng PR agencies more time to implement campaigns and capitalise on Britain’s baby fever – there’s still time!

P.S. The favourite names in our office are James, followed by George and even Arthur (King Arthur…?); so if you have one of those names it might be worth checking into a Jurys Inn for the chance to win a bottle of bubbly: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/10185027/Royal-baby-themed-exhibitions-and-offers.html



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