Positive PR: The Celebration Culture
From birthdays, national holidays and work anniversaries, to royal weddings and the arrival of sweet treats in the office, a quick scroll through the Rooster Instagram page will show you that we love a celebration.
While this may make it seem like us PR people are well and truly living up to the Samantha Jones party stereotype, when it comes to the work side of things – shouting about a client’s achievements, new innovations, highlighting heritage, or hosting events, are all part of a wider strategy and objective. As long as you avoid clichés and remain authentic, I’d argue that such signifiers can be the basis for many highly successful campaigns.
Interestingly, working with international brands provides an opportunity to take inspiration and showcase the ways in which understandings of celebrations differ across the world. For example take birthdays, did you know that in Jamaica flour is thrown at the birthday boy or girl? A custom Usain Bolt experienced in a messy prank ahead of the World Athletic Championships (see here). Personally I’d rather have Rooster’s traditional spread of cake, candles and party rings galore when it’s a team member’s birthday – courtesy of our fabulous office manager, Allie…
On the other side of the globe, Australians mark growing older by eating ‘fairy toast’ (aka bread with hundreds & thousands on top), and over in Holland it’s acceptable any day you like. Last year easyJet discovered that over 750,000 Dutch people eat sprinkles for breakfast every day, so decided to spread the joy to the UK by creating a pop up shop in collaboration with the Netherlands Tourist Board.
Or how about when eBay kept it simple, but went one bigger back in 2015 by floating a six metre tall cake down the Thames to celebrate its 20th year of operation. This stunt certainly got people talking and retained the traditional birthday symbol, although now is potentially a cautionary tale due to the many, many duplicate stunts that have followed using the Thames.
At Rooster we’ve also had our share of celebratory stories. To name a few recent client examples; WOW air’s recent route launch to Delhi, Ras Al Khaimah being awarded the Middle East’s leading adventure destination and we can’t forget our addition to PR Week’s Top 150 rankings.
While not every celebration should go beyond office walls, it’s important to recognise those that have a wider implication and how the past can shape the future for a brand. Each day brings a new milestone somewhere and therefore a chance to tell a story and raise awareness, plus sometimes it’s just nice to engage with a feel-good campaign, right?
After all, its proven happiness increases productivity (don’t just take my word for it – see here.) Cake anyone?
By Rachel Sewell.