The art of the PR stunt

One of the key tools in a good communication practitioner’s toolkit is the ability to plan and execute a PR stunt with a positive objective.

Of course no matter how good a stunt is, unless you have a newsworthy angle to accompany it the whole expense may not get the results you hoped for.

In its purest form a PR Stunt should support newsworthy content that appeals positively to a mass audience.  The perfect PR stunt is one where the media actually don’t believe it is a PR stunt, for instance did you know that the Tour de France and the FBI’s Most Wanted List both started off as PR stunts?

Getting media for media’s sake is never a good thing unless it has a business or brand objective. Putting a CEO on a surfboard in a suit might make a good pic but unless that business leader sells surfboards, how would that help their business?

There is a fine line these days in the world of media and public relations in mastering the art of the PR stunt. A great execution of colour and movement with a business call-to-action can result in a brand going to the next level. Not only does mainstream media love a great picture but, thanks to social media, your company’s message can be spread to all points of the globe.

But buyer beware, poorly thought out and executed PR stunts can be disastrous and thanks to the worldwide web all content (good and bad) lives on forever.

So, when your agency suggests a PR stunt, make sure it’s entertaining, newsworthy, there’s a clear objective, a solid well thought out plan and don’t forget to ask what mitigation strategies are in place in case it all goes terribly wrong.

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