Business PR Tips

What does THAT DRESS tell us about a great potential PR story?

Posted by Deborah | March 3rd, 2015 | No responses


Whether you’re a tabloid reader, an online news junkie, or a slave to the broadsheet, chances are you’ll have seen a certain story about a certain dress in the last few days.

The ‘is it white/gold or blue/black’ dress became something of a viral sensation, after the image originally being tweeted.

In a matter of hours the story was doing the rounds of social media, taking up twitter and facebook feeds alike.

Hardly surprisingly, it didn’t take long before broadcasters and print media were scooping up the sensation to use on their news agenda.

So, how does something as simple as a story about a new dress manage to achieve more column inches than some meticulously planned ‘budget-busting’ PR campaigns?

It’s all down to image, audience and intrigue. Here’s five ways to learn from THAT DRESS when compiling your next press release:

1)      A good story has a good image. Yes, you can get column inches without photography, but we live in a world where our emotions and inspirations are heavily influenced by imagery – hence the success of the likes of Pinterest and Instagram.

2)      Social media and traditional PR do not have to sit in isolation to one another. As you compile your thoughts around your PR activity, consider what it can contribute to social media. Note that in this case, as with the case of ‘no makeup selfie’ and ‘icebucket challenge’ news editors were influenced by the viral phenomenon that was taking place online.

3)      Are you ready to cope with the response? All too often clients approach with excitement about carrying out a PR campaign but have often done little in the way of considering what effect it may have on their business if the PR really takes off. In this case, the retailer would have been inundated with site visits for that particular dress. Make sure you’re ready for the enhanced demand on your service / product, or for an increase in activity to your online presence.

4)      Not every PR campaign needs to cost a fortune. This one activity will have done the retailer ‘very nicely thank you’ with much less than they might have planned to spend on their PR and marketing activity all year. Be creative around what your story offering is, how you can tell that story and who you’re trying to reach.

5)      Capture those who help you tell your story. When you do have great success with a PR campaign or press release submission, it’s a great idea to ensure you keep track of who is helping you tell the story and how they treat it. It gives you a good chance to revisit them with new angles and to be well remembered. Of course, it would be pretty impossible to learn the names of each and every person who tweeted this one picture – but you could certainly pick up some new contacts in the blogging space and find journalists all too keen to take the next story about the retailer’s range.

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