Guerilla PR Gambits That Work

At 5WPR, we are committed to doing “traditional” PR better than our competition. After all, traditional PR approaches are “traditional” because they are also timeless. They have worked, still work and will continue to work for the foreseeable future. However, in some cases, it can be smart to mix in some nontraditional or “guerilla” PR to get your message out there. In this article, Ronn Torossian lists a combination of techniques that have seen recent success.

Down to Earth CEOs Responding to Specific Consumer Needs

To many in consumer America, CEOs and other corporate executives are nameless, faceless ivory tower dwellers. Untouchable and not quite the same sort of people as the rest of us. Truth is, these people are just, people, and it can be great PR to show that side from time to time.

Recently McDonald’s mysteriously and without fanfare pulled all of its Angus burgers off menus nationwide. Fans revolted. The CEO of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. saw an advantage. Sitting alone at his desk with a tasty-looking burger in front of him, the CEO playfully promised that the originator of the “Angus burger” would continue to meet the angus needs of its customers. The video went viral online providing so much “free” PR for the company that the CEO made a followup video. That went viral as well. America likes to see its CEOs in shirtsleeves.

Hidden Hints in Viral Videos

Sometimes PR should not necessarily be in your face. Even if the method used absolutely is. A few months back Gillette introduced several young sports stars as paid spokesmen for the company. These “Young Guns” began popping up in Gillette print and TV ads.

A few months later an amazing video featuring Rays player, Evan Longoria, started making the rounds on social media. In it the player makes a spectacular barehanded catch, saving a reporter from certain injury. Many people believed it to be real. Marketers and media took one look and went: “Nah.” The catch? No logos on anything in the video. No byline or logo to identify the reporter. In fact the only logo in the entire commercial was in the dead center of the frame. You guessed it: Gillette. CEO of 8th largest NY PR agency 5WPR, Ronn Torossian calls that brilliantly understated hidden PR.

Both the down-to-earth CEO approach and the hidden-hint approach have a lot going for them. They tell a story. They connect on a non-consumer level. And they are noncommercial enough for anyone to forward them without feeling like they are spamming their friends. Hit all these marks and Torossian says you have the makings of some great guerrilla PR. 

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