As PR pros, we’ve probably all known a client who insists we invest our time and effort into creating a massive PR stunt. You know the kind of thing, something that doesn’t cost a fortune but gets the whole town talking. It doesn’t have to be related to the business, product or the service your client offers but you will somehow, smartly, connect the happening to the organisation and, as if by magic, be able to elevate the brand to new heights as the guys that did that “really cool thing”.
The thing is, your client doesn’t know what that “really cool thing” should be and insists that is what he is paying you all this money for you to work out.
You know that stunts are risky. When they don’t quite go to plan, they can create a backlash and ultimately damage a brand (making them look foolish at the very least). But perhaps the biggest risk in PR stunts is that they have no real objectives other than making a lot of noise. It’s one thing to engage a massive audience with a stunt but if it doesn’t help your core market, it’ll be time, effort and money wasted.
Stunts are fine if your client is a celebrity who thrives on publicity (and little else) but what of the rest of us working diligently for brands that sell all sorts of widgets, apps and niche services?
Do you go with the flow and your paymasters demands or do you insist that PR isn’t about stunts and focus on building relationships with your public and the media in a more focused and professional manner?
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