Successful PR campaigns come in as many different forms as there are brands. What could be innovative and on-point for one company may be totally off-key for another.
Despite that, it can still be helpful to look at other companies’ PR successes when developing a comprehensive PR campaign for your brand. In this post, we’ll take a look at 9 major PR successes from the past couple of years, and the lessons that can be learned from them.
- Lego Rebuild the World
Their first global PR campaign in decades, Lego’s Rebuild the World was focused on inspiring creative thinking in kids—but also adults. As part of the campaign, Lego asked customers to submit pictures of their own creations, which were aggregated onto a 3D globe on the brand’s website. Users can move and spin the globe to see what people around the world created.
The best part is that Rebuild the World struck the perfect balance between inspirational and playful—an exact fit for Lego’s overall brand personality.
- Ikea #StayHome
During the pandemic, we saw all kinds of “stay home”-related marketing and PR campaigns, from Uber’s “Thank You for Not Riding” spots to Burger King’s “Stay Home of the Whopper.”
Admittedly, Ikea had a bit of an advantage here as one of the world’s largest retailers of homegoods, but their #StayHome PR campaign was still impressive—poignant, reassuring, and hopeful.
- Kamua’s Product Launch campaign
Our client Kamua, an AI-powered video editing platform, wanted to establish itself as an authoritative voice in the video editing industry and rapidly expand its base of dedicated users.
We worked with them to create a comprehensive PR plan that included bylined articles by Kamua founder and CEO Paul Robert Cary; multiple monthly mentions including in tier-one publications; and most importantly, a Product Hunt launch campaign that would get Kamua’s name and product in front of thousands of tech-savvy users and influencers.
Kamua became one of the top 3 most-hunted products on Product Hunt, was the Featured Product in Product Hunt’s email newsletter, and was named Best Product of the Week by Product Hunt the week of its campaign. Just one outcome of this campaign? The platform gained 400 new users literally overnight.
- Dove Real Beauty
A decade after the women’s skincare brand launched its Real Beauty campaign, it’s still going strong.
Why? Because they’ve involved real women (and girls) every step of the way. From real conversations on beauty standards, to what it means to “throw like a girl,” Dove’s Real Beauty campaigns have evolved and adapted to the times by staying deeply in touch with what its customers are experiencing in their daily lives.
- Faroe Islands Closed for Maintenance
In 2019, the Danish-overseen Faroe Islands announced a bold campaign devised by the tourism board: they’d close the islands to tourists, but open them to any “voluntourists” who wanted to help maintain and clean up the islands for the last weekend in April.
The campaign was a huge success, with more than 3,000 people signing up in a matter of days (not all were allowed to volunteer). During the weekend, volunteers worked at 11 different tourist sites to perform trail maintenance and clean-ups, and restore the islands’ natural environment. The results for the islands’ ecosystem and tourism were incredibly positive, generating 500 media articles and a more than 3 billion readership—all with a $0 media budget.
- BBC’s Peaky Blinders fan art campaign
Fan art is a world unto itself—but surprisingly few brands embrace this “unofficial” view, even though it’s probably the best possible source of user-generated content a brand could ever ask for.
An exception to this was the show Peaky Blinders, which issued a call to fans to create art for their new season’s imagery in 2019. Not only did this generate interest among casual viewers and those who were not yet fans, but it also strengthened the relationship between the show’s creators and the viewers who love it—a win-win.
- American Heart Association Go Red for Women
The American Heart Association’s heart disease awareness campaign, Go Red for Women, asked celebrities to wear red to call attention to the prevalence of heart attacks and other cardiac issues among women.
The campaign educated millions of Americans on just how common heart disease is among women, while also generating millions in donations.
- American Express Small Business Saturday
If you’ve ever taken part in Small Business Saturday as either a shopper or a business, you may not even know it was started by American Express.
That’s part of the beauty of Small Business Saturday: it’s such a sincere effort to get people to shop small during the holiday season, and because of that, when people do learn that AmEx created it they’re more liable to have warm feelings toward the brand.
- State Street Global Advisors Fearless Girl
The Fearless Girl statue that the Wall Street firm State Street Global Advisors firm placed to face down the famous Wall Street bull became a symbol of the financial sector’s lack of gender diversity, and the women who have been at the forefront of trying to change that.
But in addition to its symbolic importance, it was also a carefully crafted advertisement—one for the firm’s exchange-traded Gender Diversity Index SHE fund.
The firm has faced some criticism over the years since putting up the statue, as it hasn’t always been clear whether State Street Global Advisors is making gender diversity a true priority.
And this brings up another important point when it comes to creating successful PR campaigns: Your brand needs to put its money where its mouth is. If you say diversity, or sustainability, or another issue is important to you, make sure you’re backing that up with real action.
Creating an innovative, successful PR campaign requires a team of experts who know your brand inside and out. If you’re looking for help making your next PR campaign stand out, get in touch with Zen!