Every year, a few organizations break free from the din of online noise and distinguish themselves with public relations bonanzas.
This year, the successes proved once again that a wide range of organizations can reap goodwill through the right kind of stunt, outreach or framing of an issue.
Many PR pros we contacted cited Nike’s use of controversial quarterback Colin Kaepernick as a pitchman.
“A brand at Nike’s level has to be willing to make bold moves in order to reap rewards,” adds Lori Teranishi, principal at iQ 360. “And the company definitely offended some consumers, igniting calls for boycotts and leading people to destroy their Nike apparel. However, the rewards outweighed the risks.”
Here are the winners cited by industry pros we heard from:
1. Payless and Dunkin’ win kudos posing as upscale brands.
Dan Brennan, vice president of Shift Communications, sees a Payless Shoes campaign as the biggest PR win of the year. “They developed a fake pop-up shop called Palessi and invited a bunch of influencers to come and check out the fancy designer shoes,” Brennan says.