Do you want public relations examples that you can use in your business?
Excellent, then this list is for you.
All of these PR examples are working GREAT right now in 2019. We use them in our PR agency and you should use them in your business.
In this post I’m going to show you 46 types of proven public relations campaign that will:
- Secure major media coverage
- Drive more traffic to your website
- Attract more people to your event
- Win new customers
- Help you sell more
- Improve your reputation
With that, here are the successful public relations campaigns you can use within your business.
PR Example 1. Commission a survey related to your brand
Who: Online mattress firm Simba want to own the issue of sleep and everything it entails – including our dreams.
They conducted this piece of research to find a truly newsworthy headline.
When you create your survey questions start with the headline you want to see in the media and work back from there.
PR Example 2. Newsjacking: respond to a breaking story
Who: The makers of the Magnum ice cream saw their sales rocket in the summer heatwave of 2018.
They could have just sat on this information but they understood the media was looking for heatwave-themed stories.
This was an easy win for the Magnum team to land some earned media.
How: Look for a breaking news story relevant to your business and target market, and think of how you could add a fresh angle for a journalist. The news stories exist, you simply need to latch onto one of them.
PR Example 3. Creating a limited edition product with high news value
Who: The creative team at online florist Bloom and Wild launched a Christmas Tree that can fit through your letterbox.
A brilliant idea and one of my favourite public relations strategies and tactics.
When executed properly, this can be a hit with customers and bizarre enough for the media to LOVE it!
How: To use this public relations example in your business you need to think how you could produce a truly one-off type product.
Remember news is all about the unusual and the rare so your product needs to be unique.
Don’t do this just for a PR hit – it needs to be popular with your customers too – but it is a tried and tested technique for getting successful PR.
PR Example 4. A pop-up event with a twist
Who: Genetic testing company 23andMe had the idea to host an event in NYC where people could learn about their DNA.
This was a great opportunity for them to engage with the public but unusual enough that the media would cover it.
How: To use this PR strategy example for your business think how you could stage an interactive event in your town – also make sure you know how to write a press release for an event.
It need only be for one day but to give it news value their needs to be a REAL experiential element to it.
For example, a hotel brand actually put one of its rooms in a London train station so people could try out their beds.
PR Example 5. A celebrity endorsement
Who: Celebrity cook Nigella Lawson put a small Somerset boutique on the front page when she wore one of their dresses on TV in the US.
The store didn’t plan this piece of PR but they certainly made the most of it.
The media loved this story because it was the meeting of a global TV star with a small shop in South West England.
The resultant media coverage put the shop on the map and orders went through the roof.
How: Think how you could get a celebrity to endorse your product – and the positive brand image that would stem from this event. Why not send their agent a sample if you know it’s their kind of thing? It never hurts to ask.
If they love it you, you could have a Nigella dress on your hands.
PR Example 6. A Q&A interview with the founder
Who: Gina from luxury lifestyle brand Purcell & Woodcock seized the opportunity to do this quick 60-second Q&A interview.
It was probably done over the phone and would have taken less than 30 mins of her day.
She delivered a powerful quote that became the headline – and it’s a sentiment that fits with her brand.
Customers want to know the people behind their favourite brands. It builds trust – plus it’s an easy SEO backlink win that works towards your long-term PR objectives.
How: The founder of a business – no matter the company size – is intrinsically newsworthy.
People want to know their story – why did they take a leap of faith and build their own company?
They will have life lessons to share and stories to tell.
There are countless Q&A style interview opportunities open to founders so grab one
PR Example 7. Undertake an extreme physical challenge
Who: In this public relations example, the CEO of this hotel chain landed some easy trade press with this HARD charity challenge,
How: Your trade media and local press (especially) will always be keen on charity fundraising stories.
These are easy to report on and show that yours is a company with a heart.
To maximize the chances of media coverage ensure the challenge is a tough one, you raise a significant amount of money, you have a personal connection to the charity, and you provide quality images of you at the event.
PR Example 8. Launch a white paper/research study
Who: This study from waste management firm Veolia received significant coverage in various media outlets.
A white paper is another term for a short research report.
Conducting your own research is a great way to demonstrate your thought leadership position in your industry.
It also provides data and recommendations that will be new and therefore newsworthy for your target media.
How: To use this PR strategy yourself draw up a list of the most important issues and themes in your industry and think how you could discover or reveal something new in this area.
You can work with research companies such as YouGov or simply conduct your own stakeholder perception survey.
SEO expert Backlinko is a big fan of conducting original research for PR and SEO purposes. Check out Section 4 of his awesome blog for more tips.
PR Example 9. Talk about the expansion of your business
Who: The Bad Girl Bakery went from solo business to 12 employees in just a few months. They won an award for this.
The media loved it.
How: You will notice that many of these public relations strategies and tactics take confidence in yourself, your products, and your company.
But trust that the fact your business is growing is newsworthy in its own right – especially if you are enjoying exceptional growth.
Don’t be shy, talk about your success, the media will want to hear about this.
PR Example 10. Release information about your record sales numbers
Who: Electric car manufacturers came together to reveal their sales figures for Norway in 2018.
The results were staggering – which in turn made them newsworthy and a perfect public relations example.
How: Look at your own sales figures. If you’ve experienced a period of significant financial success, let the world know about it via your trade media.
This sends out a powerful message to customers and investors that you are business on the pathway to success.
PR Example 11. Share news about the jobs you are creating
Who: Whether you’re Amazon or a cafe in Northern Ireland the media LOVE stories of job creation. These stories do well on social media and are a tried and true PR strategy example.
How: If you’re a small business and you want to know how to get a story on the local news the local media will always run these types of stories.
If your business is growing and you’re taking on new people let the relevant media outlets know with a quality email pitch.
PR Example 12. Share the news of your most senior appointments
How: Your trade media will often have a section dedicated to new team appointments. Make sure you inform them of any new senior staff.
You’ll need to provide a 50-word bio and high-quality headshot.
This sort of media coverage is an easy win for your PR activities. It keeps your brand in the news and drives traffic to your website.
It’s also good for staff morale and attracting other talented team members.
PR Example 13. Enter and win awards
How: There are awards to be won in every business sector and it’s a great way to celebrate individuals, teams, and entire businesses.
Make sure you enter relevant awards for your business that are proof you are leading in your field.
When you win let the trade and local media outlets know about your success, they will want to run these types of stories.
PR Example 14. Get on a current affairs panel show
Who: Any leader or strong voice within a community or market.
How: Think national and regional TV panel shows discussing the events of the week.
These shows are always looking for business people to share their voice on the issues of the day.
Submit your bio to the show producers and tell them why you would make a great guest.
You need to have an opinion – they’re not looking for bland.
PR Example 15. Look for awareness days relevant to your business
Who: Pizza Express wanted a piece of the rapidly growing vegan market.
They seized the opportunity presented by World Vegan Day and launched a free vegan starter across their restaurants.
The Vegan media ran the story and Pizza Express earned a load of plant-based love.
Great for the brand, great for awareness, an SEO win.
How: A quick Google will give you a huge list of awareness days relevant to your business.
Pick a date and think of a product, service or event you could launch to mark that day – then tell the media outlets who could be potentially interested.
Alternatively, if you’re short on time offer up comment or opinion to a friendly journalist looking for relevant experts to mark the day.
PR Example 16. Anniversaries relevant to your business
Who: In this public relations example, SplitPixel are a successful creative agency from the North of England.
They’ve been going 10 years – that’s a great news story for the regional business media.
How: If your business has lasted for a significant period of time think about notable anniversaries.
Anniversaries are by nature newsworthy and your trade media will want to know about yours.
PR Example 17. Company milestones
Who: Tech company ClassPass hired their 100th employee and that was a big deal for them.
It was also a big deal for regional broadcaster Fox Montana – it’s proof there is a business success on their patch.
How: If your business has just hired a landmark number of people then you have a news story.
Don’t let an easy opportunity for earned media exposure pass you by.
There is news in even the smallest of your activities if you know where to look.
PR Example 18. Anniversaries – stories based on external news events
Who: The 50th anniversary of the first moon landing is next year and it will be the perfect opportunity for businesses to capitalize on this PR example.
Companies that want to mine the lunar landscape are using this as an opportunity to talk about how they see the moon as a business opportunity. But there are opportunities to bring this event down to earth for your product launch or event.
How: You may not be planning to go into space but think of external news events relevant to your business from the past.
There will almost certainly be a useful anniversary coming up that gives you an opportunity to run a PR campaign or offer your views and reflections on that event.
On This Day is a great site for high-quality news anniversaries.
PR Example 19. Innovations in your company culture
Who: Bristol-based company Coexist became the first business in the UK to give women time off during their period.
This became national news as it was such a new HR move.
Their progressive culture is a key part of their brand. Great PR.
How: Don’t just think about the product you make or the service you provide – think about how you do it all.
A big part of successful PR is actually aimed at attracting and keeping the best staff.
Think about your culture and what makes you unique – then share it with your trade media outlets or the national press.
PR Example 20. Write a book about your experience setting your company
Who: For this public relations example, entrepreneur Curtis Martin from Nitram Industries wrote a book about the key lessons he learned setting up his business.
Having a book gave him an opportunity to reach out to his target journalists and share his most newsworthy learnings.
How: Writing and publishing a book is a great PR example, as you now have something new to talk to journalists about.
If that book then contains a particularly engaging story about your own business experience – warts and all – many writers and podcasters will want to interview you.
The book is a PR hook in its own right and something that reinforces your credentials as a serious thought leader in your industry.
PR Example 21. Write a book sharing your wisdom
Who: GDPR expert Bernard Marr landed this great piece of thought leadership in Forbes about GDPR legislation.
They chose him because he has just released a book entitled Data-Driven HR.
How: Decide what topic you have deep knowledge on and write a book about it.
You can self-publish – no one expects you to sell millions.
Journalists will respect the fact you have made the effort to do this and many more comment opportunities will be open to you.
PR Example 22. Do something AMAZING for one of your customers
Who: Nike sponsored Justin Gallegos, a runner with cerebral palsy, so he could pursue his dream of running a sub-two-hour marathon.
He becomes Nike’s first pro athlete with cerebral palsy.
A powerful video of Justin getting his contract was released on World Cerebral Palsy Day (awareness day angle too).
How: Focus on your most inspiring customers and think about how you could build a PR campaign around them.
Maybe you can make a long-held wish or dream of theirs come true.
Don’t push your own brand in this campaign, just let the power of the human interest story take centre stage.
Your business will naturally get the plaudits it deserves.
PR Example 23. A shocking PR stunt
Who: Marine charity Surfers Against Sewage built this brilliant replica ship out of waste plastic found in the sea.
The PR stunt was used to urge UK politicians to cut their own use of throwaway plastics.
How: This public relations strategy requires you to think visually when it comes to planning your own high impact PR stunt.
You will almost certainly need powerful pictures to accompany your main campaign message.
If you’re planning on shocking journalists – and their readers – you need to do just that.
Your stunt can’t be ‘a bit shocking’ you need to unleash your full creative potential and go for it!
And if you think your stunt is TRULY outstanding it could be worth using one of these press release distribution services to get massive media coverage.
PR Example 24. A funny stunt – think heartwarming
Who: High street pastry shop Greggs – not known for its luxury credentials – pokes fun at itself with this brilliant Valentine’s Day campaign.
They offered customers the opportunity to enjoy a candlelit dinner in their shops.
Utterly at odds with their grab-a-pasty-and-run vibe.
The media LOVED this because it was genuinely fun and counter-intuitive.
How: To create a successful, fun PR stunt for your brand make sure it is just that…FUN.
If you’re not rolling around laughing in the planning stages then something has gone wrong and the media won’t care.
It’s not about spending huge amounts of money – it’s about thinking creatively and being original.
PR Example 25. Commision an artist or a poet to produce a work of art linked to your business
Who: A group of restaurants across Canada has linked up with artists to help design the layout of their businesses.
Doing this has created a talking point and destination for customers – and it’s caught the attention of the media.
For a restaurant business being recognized for offering a unique experience is highly valuable.
How: Connect with local artists and arts colleges.
Commision them to create a work of art that expresses the essence of your business and its culture.
Share the story of the creation of this art with your audiences via social media. Invite the media to the unveiling of the finished work.
This is one of the few PR campaign examples that can work on many platforms and for many audiences over a long period of time.
PR Example 26. Link your brand to a local charity
Who: Major insurance firm BGL partnered up with cancer charity Sue Ryder in the UK and their £50,000 fundraising donation won them earned media and made the regional news.
How: There will be no shortage of charities looking to partner with you as a business to help them fundraise.
Choose one close to your heart – or better still take a team vote – and then come up with creative ways to fundraise.
Each of these activities will be of interest to your local media and when you have a big cheque to handover this will be newsworthy too.
PR isn’t the only reason for this type of partnership – but it’s a nice side effect.
PR Example 27. Support your community – show you have heart
Who: A north of England recruitment business, Fresh Perspective Resourcing, linked with a local dog rescue charity to volunteer their time.
The regional business media loved the story and ran it.
How: Think beyond just fundraising, perhaps you could donate your time or the time of your team to a good cause.
It’s good for your business and it gives you something to talk about other than your core product or service.
Consumers want to see that you are a socially responsible business so look for meaningful partnerships.
Share the news on your own social media channels but also in the local and trade media.
An easy win.
PR Example 28. Partner with a local school
Who: Care provider Care UK teamed up with a local school and invited the pupils to name their new suites.
How: This is a great PR tactic if you have a business that depends on having strong local community connections – such as a care home.
To use one of these public relations examples for your business connect with your local school and offer them an activity that would engage the children on an educational level first and foremost. In this case, it was local heroes and the local media outlets loved it.
Schools are incredibly busy so you will have to be persistent but the pay-off will be worth it.
PR Example 29. Launch your own awareness day – National My Business Day
How: If you’re stuck for a relevant awareness day for your business sector then launch your own.
Many brands have done this and that’s why there are now thousands of awareness days.
An awareness day gives the media a reason to feature your PR campaign.
Without it, you may struggle.
PR Example 30. Be outspoken as F***
Who: US President Donald Trump – love him or loathe him – is a master of the outspoken PR tactic.
This is in NO WAY an endorsement of this approach but the media has an appetite for this style.
Being outrageous drives clicks and viewers.
How: Warning – only do this if it is a natural fit with your personality.
If you try to do a Trump when you’re actually a very polite person the media will see straight through you.
If, however, your style is more ‘direct’ then some straight talking about your business and your sector will get you noticed. Guaranteed.
PR Example 31. Respond to other local news items
Who: Business leaders in Wakefield back the local newspaper campaign calling on politicians to reduce taxes and improve investment in the town centre.
The state of the local economy – as in many small towns – is clearly an important issue and these businesses are showing that they care about their community by getting involved.
And crucially they are SEEN to be getting involved.
How: If you run a local business you will know the issues that matter to your community – many of who will also be your customers.
Think about how you can contribute to these emotive campaigns to help make a difference.
Tell the media you are doing this and arrange an event to demonstrate your involvement.
PR Example 32. Technology – show how you are using it to disrupt
Who: Fintech startup PensionBee is using app-based technology and machine learning to revolutionize the pension industry.
Pensions are as old as the hills but bringing a new and revolutionary solution to this sector is by virtue newsworthy.
PensionBee is rarely out of the news.
Hear how founder and CEO Romi Savova did it when I caught up with her on my podcast.
How: Use this PR strategy if your business is part of the fourth industrial revolution. You are naturally newsworthy because what you are doing is new and disruptive.
That means the media will want to hear about you so share your stories of success.
If your core business isn’t tech-based think how you would employ a tech element to make you relevant and newsworthy.
PR Example 33. Run a competition
Who: Local photography company Castle Cameras teamed up with their local media, the Bournemouth Echo, to run a photography competition for the town’s air show.
Powerful (and relevant) exposure for the camera company, wonderful content for the local press and the airshow gets to show off what an awesome event it is.
How: Think of an issue, event or topic relevant to your business and then launch a competition along that theme.
Try and team up with local, trade or national press then press coverage is guaranteed.
If not launch on social media and you will still have a great story to tell the media with engaging visual content.
PR Example 34. Get political – launch a campaign and protest
Who: US clothing brand Patagonia recognize that their customer base is liberal.
They continue to champion political causes that matter to their fans.
Here they overtly endorse democratic candidates ahead of the 2018 US midterms.
It’s still controversial for brands to take a political position, therefore, this is newsworthy.
How: If your brand stands for certain values and these align with particular political campaigns or issues then stand up for what you believe.
Make clear public statements endorsing your views.
Your customers will reward you for this and the media coverage will follow.
As valuable as this public relations campaign example is, you need to prepare yourself for the response. Expect some backlash – just like Nike did recently – but this just goes with the territory.
PR Example 35. Get on a high profile TV show such as Dragons’ Den or Shark Tank
Who: Gourmet soup makers Watmuff & Beckett appeared on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den and won £75K investment.
The exposure from being on the show, and the subsequent on-demand viewing figures, put the business on the map.
The mainstream media outlets also covered the story in depth.
How: Research the business reality TV shows in your country.
Figure out if you have a compelling story to share.
Weigh up the risks against the benefits – could this do you more harm than good?
Prepare and practice being in front of the cameras – the pressure is high in these situations.
Some great advice here from Sara Wilson on getting TV coverage for your business.
PR Example 36. Charities: get a Christmas media appeal
Who: If you run a charity – small or large – every year there will be an opportunity to be the official media partner for a Christmas campaign.
Whether it’s with your local weekly newspaper, the national press or a huge lifestyle blog they will all be looking to support good causes.
This is a massive positive PR opportunity.
How: Do your research way ahead of time.
As you can see the UK’s Daily Telegraph is looking for nominations 12 months ahead of Christmas.
To be successful you need to think in terms of stories and images.
Demonstrate the tangible impact that your charity has and what you will do with the money raised.
Find powerful human interest case studies that touch people’s hearts.
Some great advice here from UK NGO Practical Action on their experience teaming up with The Guardian for a Christmas campaign back in 2014.
PR Example 37. Invite a journalist to your offices/factory to write a ‘day in the life’ piece.
Who: Eastlake Care Home invited a BBC journalist into their home to see what life was really like for the residents.
The social care sector in the UK is massively underfunded and often on the receiving end of negative media coverage.
This was a bold move to show they are proud of the service they provide.
They knew the journalist wouldn’t write a puff piece – but that just makes this article all the more impactful.
How: Whatever your business does the media will be keen to see ‘behind the curtain’.
If you’re proud of what you do, then a ‘day in the life’ feature is a great way to build trust and demonstrate transparency.
Remember, you will NOT get editorial sign off on this story.
For the brave, this can be a VERY powerful PR strategy with huge payoffs.
PR Example 38. Monitor HARO and always be ready to comment
Who: The HARO (Help a Reporter Out Service) is where journalists from around the world ask for contributions to stories they are writing.
The requests are for all types of content from business to lifestyle – three times a day.
How: Sign up here and be fast to respond. Also be original.
PR Example 39. Monitor #journorequest and #prrequest on Twitter
Who: Journalists and PRs use these hashtags on social media every day to find case studies for campaigns and stories they are working on.
How: Use something like Hootsuite to set up these searches and cross-reference them with topics that are relevant to your business.
Have pre-written case studies and comments ready so you can respond fast.
These opportunities are great for ongoing brand awareness and backlinks.
PR Example 40: Organise a press trip
Who: Travel firms do a lot of these as they want journalists to review their holiday destinations.
But so do companies who want to show the media inside their factory, office, restaurant, spa, sports club or latest development.
How: To execute this public relations example, arrange a day or a week when you invite all your target media to stay with you – at your expense. Sometimes as many as 10 reporters and bloggers.
The pros. You get a huge amount of guaranteed coverage because you have gone to great lengths to host all of these writers and show them your latest offering.
The cons. You have no say over the final article so if they thought you sucked you’ll get negative headlines.
Prepare thoroughly for a press trip and think what news angles you can create. Be incredibly hospitable, flexible and follow these tips.
PR Example 41. Send samples of your latest product to journalists
Who: Cycle bag maker Henty got a huge number of reviews and product placements for their latest cycling bag.
Not just the specialist cycling media outlets but also the likes of The Guardian.
How: When you have a new product launch think of the types of journalist who will be interested in it.
Many consumer-type media outlets have regular product review sections and so they NEED you as much as you need them.
Whether you’re a food business, a fashion firm or a tech firm draw up a list of the most relevant journalists and influencers and send them your product with a friendly email. This is a type of influencer marketing.
Include a fact sheet about your product, quality images and know how to write a press release that includes a strong news hook – not just the fact you have a product.
A good review from high profile media is a powerful piece of PR.
PR Example 42. A seasonal PR stunt
Who: Food blog So Wrong It’s Nom launched this brilliant advent calendar filled with…cheese.
They were one of the first companies to produce such a quirky festive gift and as such, they received a huge amount of well-deserved media coverage.
How: If you’re going to create a festive PR stunt you need to be first, fun and findable, i.e easy to buy.
If you’re now thinking your key message could be “oh we’ll do a cheese-filled advent calendar then”– that’s the wrong thought. This has been done now – you need to be original.
Remember the media are interested in firsts – and make sure you get that in your email pitch.
PR Example 43. Be the FIRST
Who: This East London chip shop is a genuine ‘first’. The first vegan ‘fish’ and chip shop in the UK.
This story works on two levels: 1. A first 2. Unusual
Being a genuine first means the business is intrinsically newsworthy.
And the counterintuitive nature of a vegan fish and chip shop scores high news points. How is this even possible?
How: If you are launching your entire business, or even just a new product, do some research.
Is this the first time it has happened in your town, in your sector, in your country, in the world?
If it is then you most definitely have a story and you need to tell your story to the relevant media outlets.
More than ANYTHING being FIRST makes news.
PR Example 44. Break a world record
Who: Bigjigs toy store had huge success with this world record beating public relations campaign example.
They chose a record utterly relevant to their business – and then they broke it.
Great media coverage followed and huge amounts of content for social media that their customers would love.
How: There is pretty much a world record for anything – if it doesn’t exist you can be the one who invents it.
Pick something linked to your company with a strong visual element so you can get decent images and video.
Invite the media along and liaise with The Guinness World records team so they can authentic your challenge.
PR Example 45. Think national landmarks
Who: Samsung used major UK landmarks to launch the new S8 smartphone.
They took a giant mock-up of the phone and photographed it framing 20 if the UK’s most famous landmarks.
Such an ambitious PR stunt received a huge amount of successful PR and positive brand awareness.
How: These type of landmarks are naturally newsworthy so doing anything linked to them will have a chance of getting media interest.
You may not have the budgets Samsung has but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and have a go yourself.
Research a landmark near you and think about how you can relate it in some way to your business.
Maybe combine this with a particular awareness day and you’re in business.
Always make sure the stunt lends itself to quality images. The media will demand these.
PR Example 46. Go to space
Who: Elon Musk sent one of his Tesla cars into space, as you do. The king of PR stunts. Love him or hate him, his public relations strategies and tactics get him and his companies endless free news coverage.
How: Set up PayPal. Earn Billions. Build spaceship. Tweet.
Which public relations example from today’s post are you going to try first?
Now it’s your turn.
Are you going to commission a survey or launch a limited edition product?
Maybe you’re going to plan an event or publish a white paper?
Perhaps I didn’t mention one of your favourite public relations examples or feature story examples.
Whatever you choose, let me know by dropping me a line at email@example.com
And if you want even more inspiration check out our 71 marketing ideas for small business.