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5 Creative PR and Marketing Ideas

by Frank Strong

Seven creative PR and marketing ideas

Not everyone gets feedback from David Pouge or Robert Scoble for their PR pitches, but creative PR and marketing ideas do have a way of earning the right attention all on their own – and hopefully from customers.  I like to keep an eye out for those really creative ideas, but the reality is they don’t come along every day:   The list of seven below was nearly a year in the making.

1. Earning more blog comments.

“Commenting seems to have decreased over the past six years,” wrote Geoff Livingston on his blog recently.  You wouldn’t know it by the number of quality comments on Adam Singer’s blog, The Future Buzz. Perhaps that’s because Adam does something very clever in rewarding great commenters:  every so often, he turns the best comments on his blog into a blog post.  It’s a savvy tactic I’ve also observed elsewhere, like Mack Collier’s blog.  People like to be acknowledged for their thoughts and this is certainly a nice way of doing it; bonus for re-using great content to develop an easy, but value added blog post.

2. Think outside the template.  

Now and again a clever PR person comes up with a creative idea for a press release that earns praise; here are three examples:  1) The National Zoo caught my eye by publishing a press release that described animal reactions to a rare earthquake in Washington, DC.  2) HubSpot earned David Meerman Scott’s attention with a press release comprised entirely of Tweets to announce its acquisition of a social media marketing company. Wire to Ear snagged consideration from the Dallas Observer for their client, a band called Slider Pines, in part, by overtly using a press release template, with a creative twist (screen shot nearby; credit:  Dallas Observer). Observer writer Pete Freedman apologized for a slow news day, but the headline screamed, “The Most Creative Press Release We’ve Seen In A Long Time…”

3. Marketing materials with double duty.

Mares, which makes SCUBA equipment has appointed its clothing and product tags with an additional duty: bumper sticker.  Divers tend to be fanatical about diving and have a strong affinity to gear manufacturers.  A tag that doubles as a sticker is liable to wind up on a refrigerator, the bumper on a Jeep Wrangler or a suitcase containing dive gear.  Any clothing retailer could adopt this tactic.  The GAP, for example, which seems to have customers with deeply passionate convictions about its logo design, could easily find its tried and true logo voluntarily affixed to its customers’ most prized possessions. And maybe even a suitcase of their own.

4. Stopping SOPA.

The outcry against SOPA took several forms, but one I found especially creative was “Stop SOPA” tagline included in Twitter profile photos.  According to CNET, at least 14,000 people added that tag line to their Twitter photo and the message may have reached millions.  Any awareness campaign from cause-marketing to politics could incorporate this idea into marketing tactics.  I first saw it when my buddy, Abbas Haider Ali, a former work colleague, retweeted a link I had posted to Twitter.  It’s his photo I’ve posted nearby and I’ve linked his name to his Twitter account for any product management types interested in following a pragmatic product strategy guy. By the way, if you think SOPA is dead, I’d caution you to think again (’cause it ain’t over).

5. Make them feel good.

“The best marketing or advertising success stories are exactly that – real stories,” wrote DannyBrown in a blog post about a creative marketing idea from smoyz, a creative boutique, working on behalf of Kleenex.  The firms monitored Facebook for references of being sick and sent a “Kleenex Kit” to 50 people by courier within 1-2 hours according to a video (nearby) that recaps the campaign.  All 50 people – or 100% – of recipients posted a photo about receiving the kit to their Facebook page and earned Kleenex 1,800 interactions. If you have ever wondered how a brand like Kleenex can tally up 70,000+ Facebook fans, with nearly 1,000 talking about them on an idle Saturday, take note, this is how you do it:

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 I like to keep an eye out for those really creative ideas, but the reality is they don’t come along every day:   The list of seven below was nearly a year in the making.


Wow! Kleenex is a great example. Thanks for that. I also like "think outside the template" which is what we try to do in Sydney. We recently encouraged our small businesses to create a playlist (the more humor, the better) to share on FB or other social networks.  http://www.thinkbigonline.com.au/20-must-have-play-list-for-spotify/  We thought this was a creative idea even if it doesn't meet your super-high-standards of "really creative ideas." :-) Alisa

P.S. The cynic in me wondered if any "sick" person got a Kleenex Kit delivered only to admit they were absolutely healthy & fine, just didn't want the boss checking the FB page!


  1. […] my best ideas come after I’ve written a post. Creative PR is part art and part science. It’s also cumulative, which means one idea leads to another—that’s the […]