ANALYSIS: BIG QUESTION; Are stunts still an effective PR tool?

Last week’s despatch of live pigeons to financial journalists sparked a less than positive response

Last week’s despatch of live pigeons to financial journalists sparked a

less than positive response

Michelle Baker Red Rooster PR

‘Stunts are the way forward - they’re not advertising and they’re not

PR. They create coverage and give a taste of the product and a chance to

express some personality. But PRs need to use their imagination- there’s

so much going on, it’s getting boring. You have to make sure everyone’s

happy and make sure it’s going to work. If a stunt goes wrong it can do

more harm than good, the client gets nervous and probably won’t do it


Colleen Farrell


‘They have a role to play but only if they actually mean something. It’s

noisy out there so you have to strive to get a piece of the action. PR

should be creative, intelligent and engaging, but it should also be

consistent with your brand values and aims. There’s no point spending

truck-loads of money unless it moves your business forward.’

Katie Kemp

Text 100

‘Stunts targeting journalists are stupid. All you are doing is opening

yourself up to criticism from the press. The press get so inundated with

stunts, such as those pigeons, that they get blase. The only stunts that

stand out to journalists are bad ones. I also have mixed feelings about

targeting the public as it’s so difficult to find something that

captures the imagination. The only recent good, and memorable, stunt

I’ve seen was Cedric the Pig, during the British Gas fat cats row.’

Andy Saunders

Creation Records

‘As long as they don’t cheapen the product and manage to raise

awareness, stunts can be a great promotion tool. When the statue of

Michael Jackson was floated down the Thames during the week his album

was released it worked really well, as it was a great idea and hadn’t

been done before. But a stunt such as sending the pigeons, where it’s

clear what you’re trying to sell, is obviously a waste of time.’

James Bidwell


‘Effective PR is achieved through the delivery of a story with editorial

integrity which fits within a strategic marketing plan. Stunts can form

part of the mix, but only when they are relevant to both the brand and

the media and when there really is a story to be told. Journalists are

human beings too and can see a turkey when it arrives on their desk.’

The Big Question is edited by Lexie Goddard

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