When PR stunts turn bad…

February 12, 2009

A corker on the pros and cons of PR Stunts today, thanks largely to the fabulous story here about the alleged changing of name by Deed Poll, of larger-than-life wife of Neil Hamilton, the fearsome Christine Hamilton.

As a PR stunt, Hamilton has changed her name to Mrs British Battleaxe.

Apparently, it has been an exercise in promoting the services of the Legal Deed Service and Hamilton will obviously be collecting a hefty cheque for her action-based action for them. The whole PR stunt is broadcast by Hamilton on YouTube for the ‘delights’ of any audience willing to view it.

Ok, so in terms of PR stunts, it has worked – Hamilton and the story have made widespread News coverage and the column inches will undoubtedly be demonstrated with pride by the PR Team working on behalf of the Legal Deed Service. But it does raise a wider question around the subject of PR, stunts, and where to draw the line.

It’s all centred around the prospective audience – whether that is a business or consumer audience: this dictates and controls the tone, style, delivery and messaging behind the PR stunt. And it determines the relative success or otherwise of any stunt planned.

PR stunts are usually, by their very ealborate nature, quite expensive, short-lived, and success is based either on something totally incredible visually, as is highlighted and explained in greater detail here for PR novices.

If you have budget and a viable audience to receive a PR stunt, think carefully before proceeding: the effects of a poorly-executed and ill-advised stunt can bite your behind, for years to come – as demonstrated here.

As for Christine Hamilton – somebody speak to her Agent. Quickly.

For a truly inspired PR stunt, one of the best examples is this one – have a peek.


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