Brand Awareness: Ice-Bucket Challenge…What’s the PR value?

So the hot topic at the moment on social media and ‘big debate’ as cited by PR Week is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Today Ian Griggs has published an article through PR Week asking if these types of campaigns reach the charities ultimate goal of long term engagement.

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Many moons ago, I wrote about the PR reason behind the no make up selfie. But, I completely bypassed the PR value behind it and the long-term objectives. The debate raised by PR Week is very interesting, but on this one I think they have missed the point. These campaigns aren’t about long-term engagement, it’s about awareness and bringing the charity to the global stage.

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Benedict Cumberbatch’s ALS Ice-Bucket challenge was one of the best!

ALS has been shot straight in to the lime-light and become a house hold name by being beamed through our computers, tablets and mobiles by our friends, family, celebrities and role models.

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Rita Ora takes part…

Campaigns like the ice bucket challenge are short, sharp and facilitate engagement. However, they are not sustainable. It’s all about brand awareness and once this has been gained organisations then have the power, legitimacy  and opportunity to run campaigns to form long-term engagement.

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Savvy Social Media Tycoon Mark Zuckerburg joins in…

Brands are built by creating strong emotional ties and Denise Lee Yohn, a PR academic, suggests four ways to do this, which can be seen in the image below.

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The ice-bucket challenge creates social bonds through the act, nominations and humour, which has a wider appeal than the no make up selfie, with ex-presidents to international superstars jumping on the bandwagon.
From a PR perspective ALS should now create and implement a PR strategy capitalising on their prominence within global media. Organisation’s when using this kind of social media stunt must ‘strike while the iron’s hot’ to build the brands identity, audience perception and ultimately reputation.
What strategies do you think can be used to create long-term engagement and sustainability for organisations such as ALS?
Please feel free to share your comments below!

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