The start-ups’ guide to PR stunts

The start-ups’ guide to PR stunts

With more people deciding to take the plunge and launch their own business, it’s important that it stands out among the competition. When you are ready to let the world know about your start-up, PR stunts can help propel you into the spotlight.

Even with limited budget there are a number of ways to draw attention to your brand. It is important, however, that everything reflects the identity and values of your brand.

For example, remember Red Bull Stratos and Felix Baumgartner’s freefall from 24 miles above the earth? Of course, Red Bull invested large amounts of money and time into the project but it fitted perfectly with Red Bull’s image and tagline – ‘Red Bull gives you wings’. Before it had become popular and profitable, Red Bull could have promoted how its drinks make anything possible with any kind of extreme sport, without the massive budget. Red Bull’s campaigns work as they are in-line with its brand values and messages.

Creating a successful PR stunt can take some creativity and often, it’s the most bizarre that stand out. Sweemo, a website that lists activities for consumers to bid for, offered users the chance to whack its CEO in the face with a salmon! The campaign received a large amount of coverage and around 200,000 views of the salmon slapping on YouTube!

Depending on the type of business, simple ideas like renaming job titles can be successful – Chief Executive Officer could become Chief Entertainment Officer for example to show a more light-hearted side to a business. Or if that’s not enough, you could follow the lead of airline, Lufthansa. It held a competition for anyone named Klaus-Heidi to win German lessons, a one-way ticket to Berlin, and a year’s rent for an apartment there to promote its Stockholm to Berlin flights. A number of people legally changed their name to Klaus-Heidi to be in with the chance of winning and the campaign received large amounts of coverage in its aim to lure young travellers from budget airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet.

For fledgling businesses, teaming up with better-established organisations or media outlets can help boost your reach too. Pitching exclusive partnerships to media for competitions or informative guides for example, can help you reach new audiences and form relationships with journalists.

With the help of a little creativity, there can be endless ways for new businesses to attract attention. Ensure any stunts relate to the business and match its brand and values. Most of all think about what would make journalists want to write about the stunt and your business. Your stunt needs to be unusual and interesting, and to capitilise, it should tie in with other aspects of your launch such as social media or future events you might have planned.

With the help of simple yet creative ideas, start-ups can attract the attention they need to get the business off the ground. Whether you use simple techniques or big campaigns, PR stunts are a great way to grab media attention and attract consumers to your brand.