There’s no PR like snow PR
So, as you may have noticed, it’s been snowing. Even if you haven’t looked out of your window for the last four days, it would have been difficult to avoid, as the newspapers have been full of pictures of icicles and the TV channels overwhelmed by people in scarves stood by the edges of treacherous looking roads. And don’t even start me on Twitter content/ pictures of kids on sledges on Facebook.
Even today (Monday 21 Jan), when the snow story has been running for almost a week now, a quick scan through the papers reveals two pages of snow coverage (no pun intended) in The Times, Daily Mail and Sun and even a page in The Guardian and The Independent (though the Indy does also have a story on the trade in dead polar bears, which I’m prepared to bet wouldn’t have got much pick-up in June).
Whenever we do get a cold snap like this, my second thought (after ‘why didn’t I wear a better coat?’) is usually to go through the long list of organizations that I’m glad I don’t work for at this time. This includes local authorities, train companies, airports and airlines, the Met Office, and utilities companies, all of whom regularly take a kicking during snowy times, despite I’m sure working very hard and trying their best in the face of something beyond human control.
But is ‘snow time’ just dead space to PRs – or a matter of crisis control if you’re doing the above – or has anyone been taking advantage of the recent cold snap to generate some positive coverage?
As you’d expect, the AA and RAC have both been going great guns in terms of positioning themselves as the ‘voice of the motorist’ – getting some good, helpful advice out there, and some strong name-checks.
Snow is a very visual story, and there’s been some people quick off the mark with strong pics. I have no idea who Big China Design are, but their snow Space Invader made The Metro http://metro.co.uk/2013/01/21/gallery-snow-ice-across-the-uk-on-blue-monday-21st-january-20-3359629/ay_101926171-jpg/ Zoos also tend to be great at this kind of thing – if you have a quiet moment, the ‘Whipsnade Zoo animals enjoy the snow’ Gallery is kind of fun, though I think ‘enjoy’ may be pushing it as a term for some of its residents http://metro.co.uk/2013/01/18/gallery-whipsnade-zoo-animals-enjoy-the-snow-3357312/
I’m not sure if esure and Energyhelpline are lucky or just brilliantly reactive, but both of them ran great surveys tying in to the start of the snow – on cost to economy and price of energy bills – which got some lovely coverage. Handily, this piece in the Express contains them both http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/371698/Fears-for-economy-as-snow-sweeps-over-Britain. And of course, there’s always the ‘sales of sledges up!’ story, which Amazon got in nice and early http://www.itv.com/news/update/2013-01-12/sledge-and-snow-shovel-sales-on-the-rise/
Proof, if any were needed, that one man’s issue is another man’s opportunity. I look forward to repeating this exercise come the inevitable summer heatwave….