Lorna Carmichael, a publicist from The Sun; Helen Prowse, former PR manager for The Sun and the News of the World and now a campaign director at Diffusion PR; Georgina Lipscomb, associate director at Propeller PR, and Raymond Jaffe, a former Sky director and now owner of promotions agency The Promotions Factory, have been called in to work on the launch.
News International external comms head Daisy Dunlop said: ‘The Sun on Sunday is the seventh-day Sun, not a replica. Although it’s looking to fill the void left by the News of the World it is a completely separate publication.’
Dunlop added that the News International PR set-up has been billing the new paper as an extension of The Sun and trying to highlight the strength and popularity of the current brand.
The in-house team is also using current journalists as brand advocates to speak in the press about the new paper.
The Sun on Sunday will publish for the first time on 26 February, filling the void left by the News of the World since its closure after the hacking scandal.
Keeping the launch date ‘a secret’, ‘surprising staff’ and ‘building up excitement’ were all part of the PR and comms plan, Dunlop told PRWeek. ‘We briefed staff about the launch date and then let Twitter do the rest on Sunday night.
‘The comms around the announcement on the launch date has been of a drip, drip nature for our readers with occasional splashes to announce things like Fabulous magazine moving from the Saturday Sun to the Sun on Sunday.’
News International’s marketing team has been working with WPP to manage all its advertising activity across print, TV and radio. A series of on-the-street publicity campaigns will take place in the lead-up to the launch.
On a separate note BAA’s senior media relations manager Mary Kearney will join News International as its corporate comms manager at the beginning of March. She will report to Dunlop.