Made Up PR: 01 – get involved with this fictional PR scenario to win a signed copy of Brand Anarchy

By on Sunday, April 15, 2012

As the great philosopher Ace Ventura once said, fiction can be fun. With that in mind, then, humour me as I tell you about an idea I mentioned in this update a couple of weeks ago. My hope is that this will appeal to both students and people working in the industry.

Although at its core is and will continue to be the place to read about and watch the best in PR and marketing stunts and campaigns, I want to introduce a slightly more interactive element.

With that in mind, welcome to the first ever fortnightly ‘Made Up PR’ (#madeupPR, if you please).

Here’s how it will work:

  1. I give you an entirely fictitious PR scenario.
  2. Based on the scenario, you assess the situation and propose a PR solution in the comments section. Your proposal should be 200 words maximum – no need to get too detailed, just write a quick summary of what you would do (e.g. would you go for a headline-grabbing stunt, a longer campaign or something else entirely).
  3. Site readers, your friends, family, colleagues, and anybody else you care to mention it to vote your answer as the best by clicking ‘like’ in the comments section.
  4. The comment/solution with the most ‘likes’ within two weeks – basically, by the time I next propose another scenario – wins.
(Any questions, contact me by emailing [email protected] or tweeting me either @PRexamples or @GoodandBadPR).

The prize up for grabs for this, the first Made Up PR, is a signed copy of Brand Anarchy, the new book about PR and brand communications by Stephen Waddington and Steve Earl, courtesy of Mr Waddington himself. Stephen and Steve are the co-MDs at London-based Speed Communications and have more than 40 years’ experience in media and communications.

Brand Anarchy: Managing Corporate Reputation (to give it its full title) has had a great reception since its recent release with Alastair Campbell (ex-Director of Comms and Strategy for the Labour party) among those talking the book up. Read ex-PR Week digital editor Peter Hay’s review here.

Sound simple? It really is. It’s all a bit of fun, so, without further ado, here’s the first fictional scenario.

Made Up PR: 01

Average Jim’s Gym is, well, your average gym, owned by a man called Jim. The gym is priced competitively and offers month by month contracts with no further obligation.

Jim opened the gym recently because he was sick of conveyor-belt fitness chains, whose interest in members began and ended with their signature on the contract. The only problem is that Jim’s gym is relatively basic and significantly lacking in one key area – very few people know it.

Jim’s gym is located right in the heart of Tubsville, a highly-populated city where the street benches are made of reinforced steel and there’s an oxygen mask on every corner. In short, the populace isn’t particularly interested in exercising. Jim’s main competitor is a large centre nearby, which is used predominantly for its spa facilities. Average Jim’s has a spa, but Jim hopes to promote the benefits of health, fitness and a resting heart rate of less than 100 beats per minute above getting hot and sweaty with barely-clothed strangers.

Jim isn’t sure whether to advertise with his local paper, The Unfitizen, or try another form of marketing. He has a couple of thousand pounds to spend and wants to ensure whatever is spent translates into new members within the next few months.

How should Jim promote Average Jim’s Gym to potential members who have little to no interest in exercise, with a modest budget of approximately £2,000? The health of the citizens of Tubsville is in your hands.

Answer below in no more than 200 words, being sure to include a way to contact you (email/Twitter etc). The comment with the most ‘likes’ within two weeks (by the next time I propose another scenario) wins, so make sure you share this post after you’ve commented. The winner will be announced in the next update of Made Up PR.

Good luck and have fun!


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