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PR Stunts: Three Tips for Understanding and Creating a Publicity Stunt

By November 16, 2021October 24th, 2022No Comments
what is a pr stunt

Publicity stunts can make or break a client. The media construes many tactical stunts in a positive light. But just as many fail miserably and earn a trail of negative press. Yes, publicity stunts are oftentimes quick and flashy ways to generate public interest, but they must be handled with care. When done right, a carefully calculated stunt will stick with audiences for years to come.

Here at Durée & Company, we understand what makes up a successful publicity stunt. Below are three tips to best help a brand understand what a stunt is and how publicity stunts can impact a brand.

  1. What is a publicity stunt? Understand the definition first.

A publicity stunt is a planned event designed to attract the public’s attention and garner media coverage for a brand or figure. Publicity stunts can be professionally organized by a PR firm or even planned by a performer or public figure trying to stand out from the rest.

For example, when Tesla sent one of its cars into space in 2018, there was an uproar of media coverage and public opinion. Was the stunt risky and costly? Yes. But Tesla pulled it off, garnering a ton of press and positioning themselves as one of the most modern and innovative car makers in the world. Creating over-the-top and unusual gimmicks makes people pay attention.

  1. Thoroughly plan any publicity stunt.

There are several steps to take in planning a thoughtful publicity stunt. First, a business or brand should know the goal of the stunt. Who is the target audience? How does the business want someone to feel about the stunt? And how will the company measure its success? Maybe it’s the number of sales the company makes or the Instagram followers it gains. Whatever it is, begin with the end in mind. Have a vision!

Next, choose a platform on which to promote the stunt. Of course, social media and the Internet are unbeatable options today. However, don’t overlook traditional media. You can tie a stunt to a specific campaign announced via a press release. You should document a publicity stunt to use it as a tactic to promote or announce a specific campaign. From here, repurpose content on social media.

Finally, weigh the criticism the brand might receive from a stunt with the potential accolades. Then, determine how to scale back if you find too much risk. Have multiple eyes look at the plan and review it from every angle, making sure the company is ready to face every potential consequence.

  1. Keep it brand centered

A successful publicity stunt should reflect the voice, values and objective of a brand. Of course, many stunts are outlandish or outrageous, but they must still adhere to the brand guidelines in some capacity. When Taco Bell decided to pull an April Fool’s Day prank and ‘buy’ the Liberty Bell in 1996, it received a ton of backlash. Yes, it was all over the news for a day or so, but this stunt did nothing to push the brand’s ethos or really say anything at all about the fast food company.

That’s why brainstorming several ideas in the early stages of concocting a publicity stunt yields the best results. Then, through process of elimination, the top idea (or a combination of them) will shine through. And at the end of the day, at Durée & Company, we know it is important to work closely with the client on publicity events or stunts to make sure it is their vision, too.

Ready to tackle a proper publicity stunt? At Durée & Company, we will help any brand pull off the feat of the century while also making sure it is aligned with a company’s standards. Contact us today to get started.

About Durée & Company 

Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm founded in 1999. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Aspen, Colorado. Durée & Company serves the corporate, agency and nonprofit practice areas for local, national, and international clients. Services include public relationssocial mediamarketingcontent developmentadvertisingspecial eventsbrandingradio promotions and more. Durée & Company clients include well-known names in businessfashionhospitalitytravelhealth and wellnesscannabis and hemppsychedelicstechnology and cryptocurrencymarine and yachtart and culturenonprofit organizationslegal and professional services and real estate. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms. To learn more, call 954-723-9350; go to; or Join the social conversation and follow Durée & Company on FacebookInstagramTwitterYouTube and LinkedIn at @DureeCoPR.

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