A CLASSIC IS A CLASSIC FOR A REASON

3 months ago

This morning we proudly woke up millions with a salad-sational puzzle stretching across page 2 and 3 of the Daily Mirror. The release marks the launch of client SUBWAY®’s new salad of the day promotion. We commissioned illustrator Sally-Ann Heron to create the puzzle which also ran in The Sun and The Daily Star. Our Head of Media Relations, Liam Maguire, gives some insights into what made our launch campaign for the SUBWAY® Salad of the Day fly.

Unicorns, Dodos, a Corbyn landslide next week… What is their shared commonality?

Answer; you have more chance of seeing them all in your lifetime, than you would an editorially driven, SUBWAY® branded, double page spread in one of Britain’s biggest newspapers…

…That is until Good Relations were called in.

Let’s put this morning’s BRILLIANT coverage in The Daily Mirror into context. With less than one week to go before the UK goes to the polls for the general election, PRs up and down the country are beginning to feel the pressure and pinch, as the benchmark for cutting through and landing clients’ copy on the page increases exponentially. “Sorry, tight book today”; “Sorry, a lot going on with the election”; “Sorry, Theresa May has tiger print kitten heals on…” the agenda is busy and the News Editor’s bar is that much higher.

What this morning’s DPS teaches us however, is that a busy news schedule is NEVER an excuse for a story not to work. A good story is a good story – regardless of the news agenda. Where a professional PR consultant earns their coin, is in the counsel and expertise they provide when packaging it for the client; in this case, into a creative piece of content featuring SUBWAY®, a dead Roman Emperor and a salad.

We, as an industry, often impose a pressure, entirely self-inflicted I might add, to ensure every idea is original, creative and award winning. And whilst it’s fair to say that is something that we always aspire to, it is also often not necessary.

Having sat through my fair share of news conferences, I can assure you, ensuring every story that lands is original, creative and award winning, isn’t the lens through which a news editor will judge whether ‘it’s going to make or not.

The truth is, some of the biggest stories I have landed, both as a PR and as a journalist, have been entirely unoriginal, but experience tells me, that it will work precisely because I have seen the same (or similar) work so many times before. 

Indeed, today’s ‘Can you spot Caeser in the salad?’ was, I am not ashamed to say, wholly inspired by the success of last year’s, ‘Where’s the gherkin ‘lurking’?’ And whilst success has many fathers, it is important that we credit Chris Pharo and the team at SWNS/72Point for not only inspiring today’s piece, but also working with us to rehash a tried and tested classic.

My point? Landing great coverage that does the job, doesn’t need to be accompanied by pressure-cooker creative brainstorms that last for hours; sometimes all you need to do is put yourself in the shoes of the news editor and say, “readers love this sort of thing. Let’s do it.” After all, a classic is a classic for a reason.