PR Hacks

Grab the World by the (Eye)balls: Plan a Perfect Publicity Stunt

Bryce North
6 minutes
May 27, 2024

Nobody is above a publicity stunt or two and, in today’s saturated market, they can help a business when standing out is harder than ever. They can be difficult to get off the ground, though. Planning can be a bitch, and shit can always go sideways.

Well, your first step is to get some balls and dive in headfirst or it’s never gonna happen.

This article will dig into both why you need a badass stunt in 2024 and also how to pull it off. Continue reading to learn the steps you need to take to grab the world’s attention and jerk it until you’ve drawn out every drop of popularity. Let’s get started before someone else beats you to the opportunity.

Why Bold Stunts Capture Attention

These days, doing something ballsy enough to get noticed is not as simple as it used to be. When you nail it, though, you’ll create a buzz and make your brand an unforgettable force of nature. As people love sharing shocking or funny content, it’ll also increase your reach online, giving you the reputation you want to foster.

Your first step, though, is to be one fearless son-of-a-bitch. Making a splash demands that you cannonball into the swimming pool of marketing, getting everyone else wet. Sure, some people might bitch about it, but with the right attitude, you’ll come out the other end as the reasonable one.

Know What You Want

Once you know you want to barrel in this direction, try to set clear goals for the stunt. While KPIs and corporate objectives may seem boring compared to what you might do to get attention, they are why you are doing this. It is important to remember this is simply another form of marketing, otherwise you will end up wasting both your time and money. 

As such, think about things like:

  • What is a publicity stunt that works with your current marketing strategy?
  • Do you want to increase engagement or brand awareness?
  • Is it important you align with a major industry event?
  • Will you need to avoid being steamrolled by other significant events?
  • Is there a trend you can engage with to appear relatable?

Understanding all the above will ensure that you can amplify the impact of your stunt to its greatest potential. 

The Risks and Rewards of a Big PR Stunt

A successful marketing stunt can skyrocket your brand, surpassing all else you might try that year. At the same time, there is always a risk of some form of backlash if you execute it badly or if something goes wrong. 

As you’ll need to pour money into this, be ready for the possibility that:

  • Shit might blow up fast on social media and get you a lot of likes
  • It could crash and burn

Brace for both these situations to cause you potential issues and it will save your ass. Check you have the scalability to handle any sudden expansion. Then, work alongside your PR department to prepare for a negative reaction.

After all this is said and done, the media coverage alone can often be worth the risk, even if it all goes sideways. All you need to do is ensure you handle the blowback like a pro.

Brainstorming Your Next Viral Stunt

I know they say that “there are no bad ideas” in many brainstorms, but let’s be honest here, we all know that’s horse shit. Nobody wants to waste their time bandying about some lame concept that everyone except one person knows it’s going to go over like a wet fart. So, make sure that you harness your team’s creativity in the right way.

How to Get Fresh Ideas That Don’t Flop

Start by trying to build up brainstorming sessions between diverse team members of a range of backgrounds. I know that this might sound “woke”, but the stats are clear that diverse teams kick ass at thinking up unique ideas due to the range of backgrounds.

Of course, the classic suggestion is not to shoot down any initial ideas. As you continue, though, be ruthless about what you might want to veto so you don’t waste time on dead ends. Also, document all ideas you make up so you don’t keep bringing up the same old crap.

Make sure to research popular PR campaigns, see if they’ve been done before, and look for common elements. You might be able to prove the basics of a concept through other famous publicity stunts. You can then pivot it into something that matches your brand much better.

Taking Action to Become Popular

When you are about to start, you should ensure you are acting within the bounds of the law. For example:

  • Get any necessary permissions from the owner of the stunt location
  • Get a lawyer to cover your ass by crossing the t's and dotting the i’s
  • Have a first-aid team on standby
  • Hire experts to safely use any technology you leverage

Working with your local authority may even give you an opening to run similar events moving forward. As such, try to build up a professional relationship that benefits each of you and consider their advice related to location and time.

Before you get into the field, prepare to shit to hit the fan in case things might not go as they expect. Discuss every possible issue people can conceive of, as well as what mitigating steps you can take should they happen. 

Whether you are using staff members, or have hired actors to help with the event, have a few who are “plainclothes” individuals. They can help intercept potential issues and even pivot a bad situation back to your intended direction.

As the situation evolves, be aware that you may need to pivot in the field. As such, have a way to extract everyone involved or contact every participant at short notice without interrupting the flow. This will allow you to minimize disruptions and make fast decisions that keep things on message.

Getting the Help You Need With Your Next Publicity Stunt

You now have the blueprint to create a stunt that dominates the headlines. So, it’s time to get it done before your competitors fuck you over by getting in there first. This kind of work can take a lot out of any company, though, so ensure you have the support you need to get the plan off the ground.

At Don’t Be a Little Pitch, we can help you nail any publicity stunt from start to finish. So, hit us up to learn how we can get you the attention you crave.

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