Learning from Some of the Best PR Moves by Big Brands

If businesses want to succeed, then they need to stay relevant in a fast-changing world. They need to be able to be two steps ahead of not just their competitors but of consumers as well. The key components of staying relevant are the willingness to fight for the top, take risks, and reshape and redefine what they do and how they do it without sacrificing their unique brand identity.

One of the best ways to make waves in a saturated market is by creating PR moves that make a statement and speak to the cultural moment. Partnering with PR and marketing agencies can make this task possible. Here are some lessons we can learn from some of the biggest PR moves of the past two decades.

Dove’s Real Beauty campaign

It’s probably not an exaggeration to say that every millennial woman in America must have some memory of Dove’s Real Beauty campaign, which sought to encourage women to subvert what is commonly considered beautiful in society. One of their most famous TV commercials had unknowing women go through two doors—one that says “average” and another that says “beautiful.” The result is a poignant look at how regular women have been conditioned to believe that they are nothing special, thanks to the influx of toxic messages they have received from the media about what constitutes true beauty.

The brand’s campaign was in response to a 2004 study that found that only 2 percent of women thought themselves to be beautiful. Since the campaign was launched in the same year, Dove’s sales rose from $2.5 billion to $4 billion. The success of their PR strategy shows that when we come from a place of uplifting people and reminding them of their innate value, they believe in your brand and what you’re trying to sell.

The Fearless Girl of Wall Street

While Corporate America isn’t exactly known for gender diversity, there was a seminal moment that almost broke the glass ceiling when the State Street Global Advisors commissioned the “Fearless Girl,” a bronze sculpture that features a young girl standing fearlessly in front of the “Charging Bull” statue, which for years has symbolized Wall Street’s aggressive and optimistic view of the financial world.

The “Fearless Girl” was commissioned as the State Street Global Advisors’ way of promoting an index fund made up of gender-diverse companies that boasted of a higher percentage of women among the ranks of senior leadership. The sculpture was created to encourage decision-makers in companies to hire more women and advocate for workplace gender diversity. The statue was also installed a day before International Women’s Day.

While the installation of the statue gained controversy throughout the years, no one can deny its impact on Wall Street. An analysis found that the free promotion that the State Street Global Advisors got from the statute amounted to $7.4 million. More importantly, the “Fearless Girl” also opened up conversations about female empowerment and gender parity and the hypocrisies that needed to be confronted.

Burger King promotes smaller restaurants

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As COVID-19 restrictions tightened across the globe, more and more small restaurants found themselves having to close up shop due to the lack of income. Data from Yelp showed that 60 percent of businesses closed due to the COVID-19 crisis, and that is just in the United States.

This is why Burger King gained some massive attention by the end of 2020 when the United Kingdom branch of the fast-food change published an Instagram post urging their customers to buy from their smaller and independent competitors. In their statement, the brand said that there is more to life than their signature Whopper. They were opening their Instagram account to allow independent restaurants and smaller businesses to promote using their platform. Preceding this move was a tweet from the brand a month before, which urged their customers to order from their competitors like McDonald’s, Papa John’s, Taco Bell, and others because those restaurants employ thousands of staff who need support now more than ever.

While we have yet to see how these two moves impacted Burger King’s sales, their audience’s positive feedback was instantaneous, showing that consumers appreciate when brands prioritize goodwill over profit.

Businesses need to partner with reputable and knowledgeable PR and marketing agencies who have a good grasp of consumer sentiment and know exactly how to ride the waves of change in consumer trends. If you want to achieve your business goals, you need to have a team that understands your vision and the audiences you want to reach.

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