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From the front line of an ongoing publicity campaign part 2

In the last eBulletin I reported on the PR campaign I was working on for local charity Park Lane Stables. With one of the top breakfast TV programmes featuring the story and a couple of TV celebrities on board, momentum was building. It needed to. The fundraising target was £1million. We’d raised £500k in six weeks and had one week till the deadline.

And then we were the lead story on BBC Breakfast. The Crowdfunder website crashed as they experienced the most traffic they’d ever had. Once it recovered, money rolled in at £10,000 per minute, and we stared in disbelief. Two hours later we’d sailed over the £1million. The BBC team were also glued to the Crowdfunder page, and when they realised what was happening they asked to return to the Stables to film a celebratory feature which would be their lead story the following morning – along with more live coverage.

Suddenly we were catapulted into the position of being every TV and radio station’s uplifting good news story. Donations found their way to ‘The horses, London’. One letter was addressed ‘To Cameron Diaz, sorry I can’t remember your name’, after the Stables’ Manager Natalie O’Rourke was asked on live TV who would play her in the Hollywood film.

How did this happen? Well, momentum firstly. The campaign was all about personal stories, so when individuals became aware of it they started to push to give it airtime. When producers reached out we had articulate speakers, horses and children whose lives were touched by them, plenty of video and strong visuals, and a charismatic Stables manager with plenty of anecdotes and stories and a warm personality for live TV. And we had celebrities. We were the perfect antidote to all the grim news, and the campaign was something viewers could get behind. A lot of hard work went into ensuring that we had appealing content, and a bit of serendipity sealed the deal.

Last time I shared 10 tips for conducting a PR campaign targeting the broadcast media. I couldn’t have predicted quite how this one would have turned out, but I stand by all 10!

PR success always relies on luck and serendipity, there really are no guarantees of success. But if you think I may be able to help, get in touch at rachel@marketability.info

Read the earlier article and the top 10 tips for conducting a PR campaign.

And finally, I’ll give the last word to another of our celebrity supporters. This short but magnificent video had me howling with delighted laughter when it appeared on Twitter.

 


16 March 2021

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