Category Archives: Consumer

Once Upon a Time: Storytelling in Campaigns

Storytelling in an important part of any campaign. However, nailing the perfect angle for your story can be daunting.

Luke Mackay, associate director at PR firm Edelman said to ‘PR is all about looking for the story that will bring a brand’s messages to life.’ The messages help to spark conversation and inspire sharing amongst the target audiences. These stories are ultimately what helps your stories get sold to the media.

Nike has a model that is the centre of their campaigns called the ‘Fairytale Model’:


This model helps to outline the overarching story of the brand as well as the idea behind the campaign. Elements of the model can  change depending on the product.

Red PR has outlined a few storytelling formulas that have proven to be successful in their campaigns as well.

History– When Cadbury wanted to launch their new Bassett’s Red Liquorice Allsorts, they turned to their mascot Bertie Bassett. Red PR created Betty, Bertie’s new sweetheart, to be the face of the new candies. The challenge was to make Betty just as popular as Bertie and to get people to associate her with the Red Liquorice Allsorts. How did they do this? A wedding to remember. Betty was introduced to the world as Bertie’s sweet bride at a celebration attended by Cadbury factory workers and their families.

How– McVities were launching their new Milk Chocolate and Orange Digestives they took a more how-to approach. There was an old saying that the best biscuits make the most crumbs, so they wanted to see how they stacked up against the competition. They did this by ’employing’ a Crunch Test Dummy who ate biscuits with simulated human chewing. McVitie’s discovered that their Digestive range alone – Britain’s best-selling biscuits – produced an incredible 127.8 tonnes of crumbs.

Who– It’s obvious to tell target audience who the product is for, but sometimes it’s more intriguing to position the product with an unlikely client like Persil did. They sponsored the British Naturist Petanque Team to launch their new washing powder. They provided the team with sweatbands, towels, and hats. A spokesman for Persil said: “People might ask why a washing powder company is working with people who don’t wear clothes. However, even naturists have washing machines.”

Of course, as with all stories, there can be setbacks. You need to think critically about the medium through which the story will be presented and about the audience who will be receiving it. If thought isn’t put into this part of the campaign, then the story will render itself ineffective.

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Is ‘poo’ viral enough?: bowel cancer screening campaign

This April, the Scottish government along with The Leith Agency created a new campaign to promote early detection of bowel cancer. It is the third most common cancer in Scotland and effects mostly older adults, however 9 out of 10 can survive this cancer if it’s caught early enough.

They released this video in order to bring awareness of the issue to the public:
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Now on sale: Choice architect & Nudges you walk into the grocery store, everything seems to have a place. Think about the shelves or bins where you grab your groceries from? What do they look like? Where are they placed? Do you notice the colours of the labels and packaging?

If you think about it end caps usually have special items, often at a discounted price. New products always seem to be at eye level in order to grab our attention. And of course, candy always seems to be on the lower shelves for the little ones.

This isn’t by accident. 

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There’s an app for that: Creating Your Own App

conduitIn a 2011 article in The Guardian, they reported that half of the UK population were smartphone users. There’s not doubt that this number has gone up as more and more smartphones saturate the market.

What’s the allure of a smartphone? Google CEO Eric Schmidt says, “Phones are so much more personal and satisfying.The phone is no longer just a phone, it’s your alter ego–it’s fundamental to everything you do.” In one device that responds to the touch of our hands, we have the capability to call, text, check emails, post a Facebook status, take a picture and use a multitude of apps.

If you’re like me, you have pages of apps on your phone that you never even use, but the ones I do use are highly important to me.

More often, businesses and organisations are making apps, not only for them, but for campaigns as well. While apps may seem complicated, they can be very easy to make. Of course these are basic versions, but can be starting points for app creation.

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‘Public’ Relations or just Relations?: Social Media & PR

Our Contemporary Theories and Issues class recently had a debate on whether or not we felt social media put the ‘public’ back into public relations.

It’s an interesting concept. Social media and web 2.0 now provides everyone with the power to connect on a different and more intimate level than previously seen before. This emergence lets us engage what Dozier, Grunig & Grunig call the two-way symmetrical model of communication, characterised for its use of communication to negotiate with publics, resolve conflict, and promote mutual understanding and respect between the organization and its public(s).


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From AIDA to ADIA: Targeting Audience Messages

As public relations practitioners, when we think about getting our messages out to the public we usually refer to AIDA;  raising awareness, holding interest, creating desire, taking action. This concept to drive messages towards an audience in order to raise awareness of issues which would, hopefully, lead to action.

If we look critically at the model, we see that this is more of the blanket method. The message is targeted at a general audience. In this way, we try to insure that everyone who sees it will resonate with it thus giving the message power. What we don’t realise is that by not customising our messages to a specific segment of the audience, we are sending out a broad message that may not have the desired affect.

But what if there’s a different way of making sure our messages go farther?

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The Power of Simplicity: Vaseline

Our Consumer PR module started by talking about the power of brands. We are exposed to an amazing number of brands each day. A Consumer Report says we are exposed to about 247 images per day. We are exposed to brands on clothing, food, adverts, social media- everywhere.

What makes brands so powerful? One answer is simplicity.

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Six Seconds of Fame: Using Vine for PR

Vine has been out for about two weeks now and no doubt you’ve heard about it. (Hopefully not just for its scandalous beginnings.)

I admit I didn’t quite understand what Vine was all about until I watched their introduction video. You’re allowed six seconds of filming time and you have the power to start and stop filming by pressing a finger down on your smartphone screen.

Filming six seconds of video seemed like just a Twitter gimmick to me. However, I was surprised by the creativity that people have put in their videos, creating stop-motion adventures and scenes of childhood sweethearts.

But what does this mean for PR?

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#hmvXFactorFiring: HMV Social Media Crisis

I like to check out what’s trending on Twitter for kicks and giggles. Sometimes you get gems like #puertoricanproblems or #unansweredhiphopquestions, which I personally found hilarious, but yesterday #hmvXFactorFiring was trending.

I would bet vast sums of money those higher up at HMV weren’t laughing.

On January 15th, HMV announced they were going into administration due to bankruptcy, a move that would put 4,350 jobs at risk and close 300 stores. Yesterday began the first round of job cuts.

However, HMV overlooked an important detail- they hadn’t revoked the fired employees’ Twitter access.

Rogue ex-employees began tweeting live from HR about the mass firings and according to The Drum ‘in the space of 15 minutes, the official account, followed by over 70,000 people’ saw these Tweets:


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Give a Little to Get a Lot: User-Created Content

About a week ago, I received this tube of public relations in the mail.


So, it’s not actually a tube of public relations, but this is a prime example of a growing trend in fashion/beauty PR companies.

I received this free tube of mascara from Rimmel that’s not even available to the public yet. What’s the catch? Nothing, except that if I wanted to create a YouTube video or blog post about my experience using the product for a chance to be featured in future Rimmel promotions with the added bonus that they’ll send me even more free products.

So I get a free tube of mascara and if I tell people what I think about it I’ll get more products AND be in Rimmel’s promotional material? Sounds pretty good for only having sent them the address of where I wanted my mascara sent to.

What people who receive free products don’t realise is that they are actually becoming ‘workers’ for the sponsoring company– specifically as content creators.

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Brett Ashley Bridges

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