A floating bedroom on Derwentwater, a Hollywood collaboration and a dog who welcomes guests to a popular Lake District hotel. Over the years, I’ve seen some superb PR stunts by businesses in Cumbria. They were creative, bold and imaginative. But not only that, they achieved impressive results due to the brilliant exposure in local and national media, resulting in completely free publicity that would’ve cost a fortune had they opted for advertising rather than PR.
Here are my top five favourites.
A floating bedroom appears on Derwentwater – Sally’s Cottages
Tourists visiting one of the area’s most popular lakes were in for a surprise in November 2015. A bedroom, complete with a king-sized bed, bedside tables and lamps, cushions and a throw, and even a continental breakfast tray, was spotted bobbing along on Derwentwater.
The eye-catching scene was created by holiday cottage lettings agency Sally’s Cottages. The aim behind the stunt was to encourage visitors to take a break away from their day-to-day responsibilities and escape to the peace and tranquility of the Lake District.
The owner of Sally’s Cottages, Sally Fielding, said: “We hoped it would be an eye-catching way to celebrate the magic of the Lakes and it was fantastic to see the surprised reaction from all the people passing by in their canoes and standing on the jetties.
“Derwentwater is one of our most treasured lakes and a tourist favourite thanks to its central location in Keswick so where better to showcase our room with a view.”
A Michelin-starred chef’s £233 Graze box – Simon Rogan, L’Enclume
Simon Rogan teamed up with a healthy food company to create the world’s most exclusive snack – costing £233. He collaborated with Graze to create the luxury boxes using impressive culinary techniques and some of the finest British ingredients.
Each package was made up of four gourmet snacks, including Scottish lobster puffs, horseradish styrofoam and British corn-fed chicken popcorn with hand-picked sweet cicely. The Michelin-starred chef spent six months researching, developing and perfecting the snacks and made each one by hand using advanced culinary techniques.
While the healthy snack boxes, which are typically delivered to work or home addresses, usually cost £3.99, the limited edition ‘Graze X’ was priced at £233.70. More than 100 of the boxes were given away on the company’s website to celebrate its 1,500th recipe.
Kendal Mint Cake gets a Hollywood makeover – Romney’s
It was a brilliant collaboration that nobody saw coming (which is probably why it had so much fantastic publicity!) Last year, Romney’s produced a limited edition ‘Kendall Mint Cake’ to mark the 21st birthday of US celebrity, Kendall Jenner.
Around 200 limited edition packages of the special birthday cakes were given away by online fashion retailer Lyst’s social media channels and one contained a golden ticket for some of the celebrity’s favourite items.
Kendall Jenner is best known for appearing on Keeping Up With The Kardashians as Kim Kardashian’s half-sister, and is one of the top 10 most-followed celebrities on Instagram. In the first packaging redesign for more than a hundred years, Lyst’s Kendall Mint Cake features Jenner and her ‘squad’, including friends Cara Delevingne, Gigi Hadid, Hailey Baldwin, and sister Kylie Jenner.
Paula Barron, director of George Romney, said: “When Lyst first approached us with the idea of a special ‘Kendall’ Mint Cake, we were intrigued. Why not give our iconic packaging a 21st century update for her 21st birthday?
“We love the quirky finished product, and hope that maybe it will inspire Kendall to one day visit the beautiful town of Kendal and the Lake District.”
Paw-lty Towers (love the headline!) – Langdale Chase Hotel
Guests to the gorgeous Langdale Chase Hotel in Windermere receive an extra special welcome when they check in for their Lake District getaway. Boxer dog Gladmiral has the run of the hotel, and even wears a tie to greet guests!
No areas are off limits for the pampered pooch, who hotel managing director Thomas Noblett has owned since he was a six-week-old puppy and he regularly helps staff with their duties.
Speaking to the Express at the time of the story, Mr Noblett said: “He truly is the hotel dog – he has the run of the whole place. The guests all know him and the staff all know him – he definitely thinks no part of the hotel is out of bounds for him.
“He interacts with human beings 24/7 so I definitely think he thinks he is human. He walks round like he is his own boss. He goes everywhere with all of us. He is a very pampered pooch.”
Daffodil at Home – The Daffodil Hotel
The Daffodil team won not one, not two, but FOUR awards for this campaign. And rightly so.
The campaign stemmed from a challenging situation, as the Grasmere hotel was forced to close its doors in December 2015 for extensive refurbishment following flood damage caused by Storm Desmond. During that time, the marketing team decided to plan a few surprises to say thank you to loyal guests for all their continued support.
The Daffodil at Home Campaign saw more than 1,000 boxes hand-packed full of Daffodil luxuries sent out to customers across the UK to enjoy at home. They also launched a brand new multi device website and booking system as well as a full brand refresh – all to ensure The Daffodil was back at its best for the exciting re-opening in July 2016.
Each of these PR stunts was picked up by a number of news outlets, both locally and nationally. Imagine how much money these businesses would’ve had to spend if they’d paid for that amount of press coverage through advertising? This just goes to show the magic of PR. By adding a sprinkle of creativity and imagination to your ideas, you’ll not only get people talking, but you could also get your business featured in a number of different newspapers and magazines without spending a penny on advertising.
If you’re looking for a PR agency in Cumbria that thrives off creativity (it’s in the name, after all!) then let’s have a chat about some bloomin’ creative PR ideas for your business. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07837858195.