Whether its anti-oil advocates hanging from rafters and oil tankers, or this attempt by Ecology Ottawa it seems like the “anti-crowd” is continuously pushing the envelope on acceptable public relations campaign tactics.
These anti-Energy East stickers seemed to start making the rounds late last year, but was recently brought to our attention by a family member living in Ontario. Her post on Facebook asked her friends if the tactic was even legal – and mentioned that she couldn’t even get the sticker off the loonie.
After a bit of research online it seemed that this group was not suffering any consequences from the stunt. Most businesses on the ‘pro-energy’ side would never dream of executing this type of campaign and if they did we can assume they would be held to a higher standard … so how can more traditional companies venture out and ensure they have support for ‘outside the box’ tactics?
While we would never advise a client towards what we believe amounts to defacing Canada’s currency, we would make the challenge to be creative and push the boundaries of public relations in order to get your message out.
So where would we start BEFORE launching a creative campaign like this one? Spending time and energy needed to build online support for their brand.
This sticker on a loonie campaign is definitely eye catching but for us – PR and political junkies – for this to be the first time we had heard about it the stunt seems like a flop. It’s our opinion that time spent up front on building an online advocate base would have allowed Ecology Ottawa to turn online passion into offline action (aka more stickers and a more successful campaign).
The main downfall organizations face during PR executions like this one is not taking the time to build appropriate relationships online before engaging in a broader campaign. When a company does anything outside the box they need to make sure they have the allies to support them – the easiest way to build that base in our current PR climate is via social media.
Contact CIPR Communications to help push your organizations public relations and digital communications presence outside the box.
– Christina & Peter, CIPR Communications Partners