Successful PR campaigns come in as many different forms as there are brands. What could be innovative and on-point for one company may be totally off-key for another.

Despite that, looking at other companies’ PR successes can still be helpful when developing a comprehensive PR campaign for your brand. So let’s look at 11 major PR successes from companies across various industries and key takeaways to strengthen the impact of your next PR campaign.

11 Killer Public Relations Examples to Inspire Your Next PR Campaign

1. Lego Rebuild the World 

Their first global PR campaign in decades, Lego’s Rebuild the World was focused on inspiring creative thinking in kids—but also adults. As part of the public relations campaign, Lego asked customers to submit pictures of their creations, aggregated onto a 3D globe on the brand’s website. Users can move and spin the globe to see what people worldwide have created. 

The best part is that Rebuild the World struck the perfect balance between inspirational and playful—an exact fit for Lego’s overall brand personality.

2. Ikea #StayHome 

During the pandemic, we saw all kinds of “stay home”-related digital marketing and PR campaigns, from Uber’s “Thank You for Not Riding” spots to Burger King’s “Stay Home of the Whopper.” 

Admittedly, Ikea had a bit of an advantage here as one of the world’s largest retailers of home goods, but their #StayHome PR campaign was still impressive—poignant, reassuring, and hopeful.

3. Kamua’s Product Launch campaign

Our client Kamua, an AI-powered video editing platform, wanted to establish itself as an authoritative voice in the video editing industry and rapidly expand its base of dedicated users. 

We worked with them to create a comprehensive, strategic public relations strategy that included bylined articles by Kamua founder and CEO Paul Robert Cary; multiple monthly mentions including in tier-one publications; and, most importantly, a Product Hunt launch campaign that would get Kamua’s name and product in front of thousands of tech-savvy users and influencers. 

Kamua became one of the top three most-hunted products on Product Hunt, was featured in Product Hunt’s email newsletter, and was named Best Product of the Week by Product Hunt the week of its campaign. Just one outcome of this PR campaign? The platform gained 400 new users literally overnight.

Related read: Product Launch Marketing: Strategy, Plan, and Execute

4. Dove’s #TheSelfieTalk Campaign

A decade after the women’s skincare brand launched its Real Beauty campaign, it’s still going strong. 

Why? Because they’ve involved real women (and girls) every step of the way. Their latest campaign is a commentary on how social media affects girls’ self-esteem. Their #TheSelfieTalkCampaign shows a young girl editing a photo of herself to post online. To make their point, Dove shows this process in reverse. The advertisement ends by showing the girl’s natural face without makeup or filters. 

From honest conversations on beauty standards to what it means to “throw like a girl,” Dove’s public relations campaigns have evolved and adapted to the times by staying sincerely in touch with what its customers are experiencing in their daily lives.

5. Faroe Islands Closed for Maintenance

In 2019, the Danish-overseen Faroe Islands announced a bold public relations campaign devised by the tourism board: they’d close the islands to tourists but open them to any “voluntourists” who wanted to help maintain and clean up the islands for the last weekend in April. 

The PR campaign was a huge success, with more than 3,000 people signing up in a matter of days (not all were allowed to volunteer). Volunteers worked at 11 tourist sites during the weekend to perform trail maintenance and clean-ups and restore the islands’ natural environment. The results for the islands’ ecosystem and tourism were incredibly positive, generating 500 earned media articles and a more than 3 billion readership—all with a $0 media budget. 

6. BBC’s Peaky Blinders fan art campaign

Fan art is a world unto itself—but surprisingly few brands embrace this “unofficial” view, even though it’s probably the best possible source of user-generated content a brand could ever ask for. 

An exception to this was the show Peaky Blinders, which issued a call to fans to create art for their new season’s imagery in 2019. Not only did this generate interest among casual viewers and those who were not yet fans, but it also strengthened the relationship between the show’s creators and the viewers who love it—a win-win. 

Related read: How to Take Your User-Generated Content from Good to Great

7. American Heart Association Go Red for Women 

The American Heart Association’s heart disease awareness campaign, Go Red for Women, asked celebrities to wear red to call attention to the prevalence of heart attacks and other cardiac issues among women. 

The public relations campaign educated millions of Americans on just how common heart disease is among women, while also generating millions in donations. 

8. American Express Small Business Saturday

If you’ve ever taken part in Small Business Saturday as either a shopper or a business, you may not even know it was started by American Express. 

That’s part of the beauty of Small Business Saturday: it’s such a sincere effort to get people to shop small during the holiday season, and because of that, when people do learn that AmEx created it they’re more liable to have warm feelings toward the brand. 

Related read: Here’s How to Build Trust In Your Brand in 2022

9. State Street Global Advisors Fearless Girl 

The Fearless Girl statue that the Wall Street firm State Street Global Advisors firm placed to face down the famous Wall Street bull became a symbol of the financial sector’s lack of gender diversity, and the women who have been at the forefront of trying to change that. 

But in addition to its symbolic importance, it’s also a carefully crafted advertisement—one for the firm’s exchange-traded Gender Diversity Index SHE fund. 

The firm has faced some criticism over the years since putting up the statue, as it hasn’t always been clear whether State Street Global Advisors is making gender diversity a true priority. 

And this brings up another important point when it comes to creating successful PR campaigns: Your brand needs to put its money where its mouth is. If you say diversity, or sustainability, or another issue is important to you, make sure you’re backing that up with real action. 

Related read: Negative Public Perceptions and Other PR Problems: How To Change The Narrative

 "The Fearless Girl" statue facing Charging Bull in Lower Manhattan, New York City

10. Gender Pay Gap Bot Fights For Fair Wages 

As we’ve stated, many companies like to raise awareness of social issues and fight for change. The Gender Pay Gap Bot is an automated Twitter account that advocates for women’s rights to equal pay—and on International Women’s Day, the bot ran a PR campaign to hold companies accountable. 

Their slogan: “Stop posting platitudes. Start fixing the problem.” 

As companies in various industries filled users’ feeds with empowering messages, the Gender Pay Gap Bot responded with data revealing the inequities in compensation between their male and female employees. This PR strategy sheds light on these issues through transparency and neutral messaging. Today, the Twitter account has over 240,000 followers. 

11. McDonald’s ‘We Hire People’ Campaign

Companies that emphasize the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives are paving the way for a kinder, more inclusive world. Promoting these brand values through public relations strategies is a great way to show your commitment to welcoming all of your employees and customers. 

McDonald’s ‘We Hire People” Campaign does just this. The fast-food chain introduces viewers to many individuals with various cultural backgrounds, passions, and ages. The advertisement shows that McDonald’s doors are open to everyone. These messages are essential in 2023. 

Creating an innovative, successful PR campaign requires a team of experts who know your brand inside and out. If you’re looking for help making your next PR campaign stand out, get in touch with Zen! 

By AKDSEO