In 2002, eight cheezy PRs, including myself, were gathered together by PR Week to decide on the top 20 consumer PR campaigns in the history of publicity campaigns. One publicity stunt that shone out was Live Aid, 1984 which was an iconic event to raise awareness and money for starving Africans. It united the world and achieved its goals. There was a half hearted attempt to do it again ten years later, but that’s another story.
Brand events can’t simply be a stunt, they must have resonance. The shining modern example of this is the Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards. I went to my 8th Pride of Britain Awards this year, the baby of Peter Willis, the associate editor of the Daily Mirror who has created a fantastic publicity vehicle for the Mirror. All newspapers, whether they’re red tops or broadsheets all need to increase readership in an age where less and less people read papers.
Many of the great and the good from the world of entertainment, politics and sport gathered together to celebrate ordinary people doing extraordinary things. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. JK Rowling and Gordon Brown blubbed their way through the evening as Carol Vorderman introduced the many acts of heroism, compassion and sacrifice. Each year this televised event pumps the name of the Daily Mirror to millions of ITV viewers. It’s the must go, must see event of the year. It embodies all the brand values of the Daily Mirror, and the content forges world relationships with other media, generates thousands of blogs and allows the Mirror executives and editorial teams to rub shoulders with anyone who is anyone. Many imitations try to karaoke the Pride of Britain’s success, but none has succeeded. I guess on this occasion imitation really is a form of flattery. Media organisations need to look to this event for its brand integrity. The Pride of Britain Awards has consigned the old fashioned values of the Mirror to the dustbin of history. Consumer brands should consider how they might match the Mirror’s success- an experiential event that truly connects with an audience.