THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: How effective are generic PR campaigns?

Last week the British Cheese Board launched a generic promotional campaign

Last week the British Cheese Board launched a generic promotional


Jill McWilliam

The Frozen Food Information Service

’It is much more difficult to get the media interested in brands than,

say, eggs, cheese or bread. The media are paranoid about mentioning

brand names so it is easier to achieve positive publicity with generic

campaigns. These campaigns also allow smaller players, who may not be

able to afford their own PR campaign, to get some awareness. But the

message has to be agreed and it may be different to what individual

companies would do themselves. You are not focusing on a single product

or service but the whole industry.’

Matt Fearnley

Larkspur Communications

’So long as there’s focus, realistic funding, and the politics of

individual industry managers - who behave like regional managers in

pan-European campaigns - are held in check, a generic campaign can

communicate simple and memorable messages.’

Jane Tchan

The Flour Advisory Bureau

’My experience has been that they tend to be more successful when

commercial competitors pull together to achieve common objectives and

are representative of the sector they serve. The Flour Advisory Bureau,

which runs the Bread for Life campaign is the focal point for the

industry and provides a central source of information to the media and


Amanda Cryer

Cameron Choat and Partners

’Generic campaigns can work much harder because the media and other

channels of communication like schools and health professionals are far

more likely to listen to generic messages than heavily branded ones. The

communication is an industry viewpoint and there fore carries more

weight than the opinion of a single brand. The only real problem is

getting industry representatives to agree on a single messages to which

they are all contributing.’

Christopher Wales

Coach Tourism Council

’It can be hard to get the bigger companies to support us as they

believe they have sufficient resources to promote their own name and

want to do specific campaigns. It can also be an uphill struggle to

convince the whole population about the level of service of coaches when

many have an old fashioned idea of using them while at school. But its

the strength of individual coach companies that makes the campaign


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