Here’s an example of a clever PR campaign that relied not on traditional media coverage but on word-of-mouth buzz and a huge online community that just keeps growing.
The campaign—sponsored by Fiskars, the company best known for it’s orange-handle scissors, in conjunction with the Brains on Fire corporate identity—taps into the $3 billion scrapbooking industry.
Volunteer crafters known as Fiskateers visit local independent scrapbooking stores and then blog about their experiences. They have special scissors that aren’t sold in stores, which created a conversation piece. And they host demonstrations, charity events, even parties. Fiskars launched the campaign when it knew it was losing sales to cheaper knockoff versions of its products.
An article in the November 19 issue of PRWeek says the campaign exceeded all of its goals and has attracted more than 2,500 Fiskateers (11 times the original goal) around the world. The company also saw a 446 percent increase in online conversations that mention Fiskars by name.
PR Week says a key element in the success of the campaign was that the Fiskateers weren’t salespeople and they were allowed to blog about their experiences.
Few companies, I’m sure, would have been willing to take a risk such as this one and bypass traditional media.