Mentor, Michael Halligan

I’m thinking of staging a PR stunt. Do they actually work?

Michael Halligan /

I’m launching a new music brand and have been thinking about creating a stunt to launch it. But do stunts ever really work and, if so, what kind of thing should I do?

 

Stunts can be a great way to make a powerful statement and to generate exposure. Virgin have created dozens of marketing stunts to launch new products, as have thousands of clever businesses of all sizes.

 

Marketing stunts are particularly effective where you have a product or service to market that is buzz-worthy.

 

Ideally, your product has an interesting offering or a remarkable attribute.

 

There are several steps to running a successful marketing stunt:

 

  1. Targeting the right audience: You want your promotion to be heard not only by people that will care about what you’re doing, but also by people that can help to amplify your message (bloggers, media, etc).
  2. Creating a hook: Holding a stunt won’t get you the exposure that you’re after on its own. Your marketing stunt needs to be worth talking about.
  3. Using multiple marketing channels: A multi-channel approach can help to amplify your message to a larger audience. Could your stunt be published on YouTube, Facebook, a blog, etc?
  4. Call to action: Your attention may only be short-lived so you have to make sure that your market is going to sit up, take notice and then convert.

If you don’t have a product ready, capture their details. Just make sure that there is an action for your market to follow.

 

The best marketing stunts are able to generate exposure far beyond their existing platform. Do something creative and noteworthy enough and people will talk about it.

 

When planning your marketing stunt, think about the extremes. The market is most likely to pick up on something that is extremely funny, extremely creative, extremely confronting, etc.

 

As a music start-up, I would suggest doing something collaborative. You could set up a booth in a popular area of your city for musicians and allow passers-by to come in and contribute 30 seconds of music on their desired instrument.

 

After a week, invite producers and mixers in to mix the tracks in front of everyone.

 

Do something spectacular and the media will talk about it.

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