Posts Tagged ‘online pr’

Hot Tin Roof selects the spookiest Halloween PR stunts

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

Love it or fear it, Halloween is more popular in the UK than ever before and it is one of the best excuses to get creative with your PR.

With things that go bump in the night and eerie goings on, this spooky time of year provides an ideal opportunity to pull off the perfect PR stunt. Get it right and you will increase brand awareness at the same time as having fun. Just pity the poor unsuspecting victims who get a scare along the way!

To celebrate the arrival of Halloween once again, here’s a round up of our favourite spooktacular PR stunts from recent years

Vending machine nightmare!

Kellogg’s added a spooky theme to their Rice Krispy Squares, releasing special Halloween flavours, ‘malloween’ and ‘totally shocklatey’. But offering these free in various vending machines across Dublin seems a little too good to be true, doesn’t it? Those who dived in to claim their free sweet treat were given a fright when a scary hand came out from the vending machine door to grab for them. Halloween or not, we will certainly be avoiding all free vending machines in future!


Hot Tin Roof headline at Festival Theatre

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

The Festival Theatre has brought Hot Tin Roof in to develop an online PR campaign for cult classic Quadrophenia.  This is the first major project announcement for Hot Tin Wire, the agency’s online division, since its launch last month and flags its position at the cutting edge of online PR in Scotland.

Pete Townshend’s legendary rock opera Quadrophenia, brought to the stage for the first time, appears at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh from Tuesday 26 to Saturday 30 May as part of a UK tour.

The campaign will engage with influential sites, bloggers and communities as well as harnessing the power of social media platforms and online press release distribution to spread the story and its key messages.

Sarah Lee, Hot Tin Roof MD explains:  “Online PR is still so new – it is in a constant state of flux with new opportunities opening up all the time.  The PR industry has been talking about online for a long time but it is only in the last few months that demand has been there from clients and it is this change that that is really driving online PR forward.”

Set in London and Brighton at the height of the Mod era, Quadrophenia is told through the eyes of Jimmy, a hedonistic style conscious teenager searching for a place to belong and a girl to love. Misunderstood by his parents and stuck in a dead end job, he sets off on a trip to Brighton that will change his life forever.

Ruth Findlay, Press and PR Manager Festival City Theatres Trust comments:  “We are delighted to be working with Hot Tin Roof.  Online PR is a new area for us and we believe the internet will be key to targeting niche audiences for Quadrophenia as well as new audiences who can discover the story for the first time.”


This news was also featured in The Drum at the following link (Registration Required):

A good week for Hot Tin Roof – not the best for the blog.

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

What a few weeks we’ve had…(Please hold your reservations for our lack of blogging till you’ve read what we’ve been up to.)

First of all it’s been a hugely exciting time for Hot Tin Roof, especially for our online PR service.

As well as various bits of work, we have now secured two massively exciting new clients! So exciting every sentence must end with an explanation mark!

Shame is we can’t really shout about it yet, but my word when we can the noise will be deafening!

Our girl Emma is currently in New York, New York for a wee vacation. Jealous we may be, but that doesn’t stop us from wishing her a Happy Birthday while she is out there.

In other HTR news, Chris has been giddy this week with the British and Irish Lions squad announcement. If that wasn’t enough to get him going, he also got a reply on Twitter from his first favourite rugby player, the legendary Will Carling. Check out the exchange below!

It’s been all hands to the pump as well as its now just over two weeks until the May Bank Holiday Museums and Galleries Scotland big events weekend, Show Scotland.

It’s sure to be an amazing weekend so do check out what’s on near you. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed the weather stays as good too!

‘What a scoop!’ – the death of the exclusive?

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Offering a story to a carefully selected journalist before the rest and making the promise you will only give it to them, has always been an important relationship developing experience for PRs and their contacts.

But with the internet and online PR building up a full head of steam, questions are being asked about the validity of an ‘exclusive’.

Charles Arthur, Technology Editor over at the Guardian is no doubt a massively popular target for a stream of press releases and recently spoke about the need for PRs to learn to pitch in the digital age.  He made it clear that he is now only accepting stories pitched via Twitter. (Now is that Twitter pitching or Twitching…?!)

Anyway, in an interview about Twitter pitching by Craig McGill, this issue of exclusivity was raised. If pitches become so public, like they would on Twitter, a complete reinvention of the PR to journalist conversation, the PR cannot promise an exclusive. In response Arthur said: “I’d understand it was non-exclusive. That’s OK – exclusives last about three minutes online.”

While these thoughts might make Arthur the most forward thinking journalist out there (and we tip our collective hats to him for it), most journalists and PRs wouldn’t share this view.

There is still a huge demand from journalists offline and online for first dibs on a story, plus an indeterminate amount of time withholding the release from any other targets.

But perhaps this is because there has never really been a universal ‘exclusive’ code of conduct. It is a bargaining tool from which the PRs can ‘sure up’ a journalist who is maybe only half interested in the story, while for the journalist it is a chance to ‘one up’ its rivals.

Often we’ve chatted in the office about what constitutes an exclusive. We deal, on the whole, with SMEs here, not major major brands which are reported everywhere at the click of a finger.

To us, an exclusive is given to the key targets by sector and by publication type. If there is a business story we will offer it to a target newspaper, sector specific and vertical sector magazine.

But with the demand for online PR so high we also have important targets in our online distribution. On top of this, stories you thought would be held back until the magazine of paper is published can appear online within minutes.

The reality is there still needs to be dialogue and trust between the PR and the journalist, online or offline, to set out whether a story is exclusive and what this actually means. Even with everything evolving in both our worlds so rapidly, an exclusive can still exist if these conversations are maintained. And with any luck, the result will leave both parties happy.

Hot Tin Wire online PR service launches

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Hot tin Roof is launching Hot Tin Wire, a spin off internet division, creating and delivering online PR strategies primarily for the SME sector.

The agency has spent the last 12 months developing the infrastructure and perfecting the skills that will allow it to offer one of the hardest hitting online PR services in Scotland today.

Online consumer and corporate campaigns have already been delivered by the agency for all of its clients including Ryvita Limbos, Spencerfield Spirit and User Vision.

The unprecedented growth of social media over the last two years has changed the media landscape forever. It’s no longer a question of should a company develop an online PR strategy, but how quickly it can start and how it maintains visibility.

Hot Tin Roof has worked in digital marketing since launch, having delivered Ambergreen’s campaign for seven years, positioning the company as one of the UK’s leading digital marketing agencies, pioneering search marketing in Europe.

Sarah Lee, Hot Tin Roof MD explains: “Online PR is fresh, new and exciting. It has matured over the past five years and today UK business is ready for the concept and eager to engage.”

Many companies are now looking to online PR as a more accessible and affordable entry point to public relations. Traditional offline PR that builds reputation and positions a brand has to be sustained over the long term. Online PR can be instant, rapidly raise awareness and deliver results immediately.

There are plenty of stories of bad online PR like the forum discussions that destroyed the Kryptonite bike lock reputation because its brand managers did not monitor what was being said about the brand online.

Lee continues: “And thank you Ryanair for such a monumentally bad response to a blogger last week. Communication like this shows that we all need to become PRs now. Good communication is absolutely essential to the success of businesses online and to the security of brand reputation.”

The key to Hot Tin Wire’s success is taking the traditional PR skills and using them online. Knowing how to communicate a message and what makes a good story is combined with a broad and deep knowledge of the internet.

Hot Tin Wire offers a full online PR service including media monitoring, market research, key message creation, copy writing and online press release distribution. It designs, writes and publishes websites, blogs, Facebook and Twitter profiles, newsletters and podcasts.

Ryanair cancels Online PR departure

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Online PR is all about openly engaging with key audiences online and promoting key messages about your brand.

Apparently Ryanair wants to engage, but in a hostile, bullying tone towards anyone who doesn’t agree with them. And doesn’t seem to care who knows.

If you haven’t heard the story, it’s absolutely priceless. Web developer Jason Roe posted an article on his blog discussing a possible fault he had discovered on the Ryanair website. While he was trying to change his departure Roe claims he discovered a way to get free flights.

The glitch wasn’t confirmed and no-one responding to the story was able to get flights for the bargain price of £0, but that didn’t stop Ryanair employees jumping to defend their website.

Resembling a cornered dog the responses called the Blogger an “idiot and a liar!” and damn near slandered Mr Roe’s credentials as a developer stating: “…if you would be a serious programmer you would know these things and would not post any of this on the web.”

While Ryanair should clearly have a strategy helping its workers understand the correct procedure for responding to negative coverage online, even more shocking is the official comment from the airline in the wake of this hoo-hah becoming public knowledge.

“Ryanair can confirm that a Ryanair staff member did engage in a blog discussion. It is Ryanair policy not to waste time and energy in corresponding with idiot bloggers and Ryanair can confirm that it won’t be happening again…”

“Lunatic bloggers can have the blog sphere all to themselves as our people are far too busy driving down the cost of air travel.”


The fact its staff didn’t consider the repercussions of their scathing posts is a Ryanair failing that could have been prevented. Internal communication is vital and an appropriate, personal and welcoming response to the blog, indicating their thanks for drawing their attention to the issue but ensuring it is under control and taking on board the comments, could easily have been put together.

But surely the worst mistake of all – by defending this communication – Ryanair has opened itself up for a maelstrom of bad press. Ryanair has made it quite clear they have no interest in engaging with “lunatic bloggers”, completely failing to understand the massive influence online authors now have.

Online reputation management is a vital tool for responding and engaging with customers about your brand. By letting such negative comments come out and disrespecting bloggers in the process, no amount of “driving down the cost of air travel” is going to help repair the airline’s reputation. While no stranger to criticism, surely there has to be a comprehensive rethink of Ryanair’s online and offline PR strategy, because quite frankly, this is a PR freak show.

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