By: Laurel Budrick (@budrick_l )
Roses are red, violets are blue, public relations is the greatest‒it’s true! Love is in the air. For brands, this is just another chance to capitalize on a holiday all about love. For a public relations professional, this is a chance to create awareness and build relationships with their public(s). Valentine’s Day is all about appreciating the relationship you have created with others and showing that affection through one (or more) of the five love languages. Nevertheless, PR is about creating a relationship between its organization and its public, making Valentine’s Day the perfect holiday for our field. Creating a Valentine’s Day campaign is a great way to help create engagement with your audience. This year, Valentine’s Day lands on a Thursday, making the holiday a four-day weekend of celebrating love and relationships. Or, crying with your pals to cheesy romantic comedies and loading up on chocolate covered strawberries.
For a public relations professional, brainstorming begins. How do we position our client in a way to make them stand out? This is truly a time for advertising and PR professionals everywhere to put their best foot forward, especially on a holiday all about relationships. PR can easily translate this when interacting with their clients and use Valentine’s Day to show appreciation towards their audience.
In honor of this lovely holiday, here are my top three favorite PR campaigns implemented during Valentine’s Day:
Lush 2017 Campaign: #BetterTogether
During the 2017 holiday season, Lush proved that love is love with their #BetterTogether campaign. This campaign included photographs of same-sex couples enjoying their new bath bombs and bubble bars, which they posted on their Twitter, Instagram, and website homepage. This campaign created so much positivity, with thousands praising Lush for their support in the LGBT community.
Aerie Social Media Campaign: U-Day
Aerie is notorious for their body positivity, which they took advantage of in 2017 by creating the U-Day social media campaign. Aerie twisted the term V-Day to U-Day, emphasizing a message about self-pampering and self-love.
Dunkin’ Donuts: #DDLoveContest
Dunkin’ Donuts has always been consistent when it comes to creating new donuts to position themselves for the upcoming holiday season. In 2018, DD launched an Instagram campaign, #DDLoveContest, where users used the hashtag and posted a photograph of themselves with their significant other or friend and wrote how their relationship runs on Dunkin’. It encouraged the audience to share stories of friendship and love, and by doing so one lucky winner received a free trip for two to any city in the U.S that has a Dunkin’ Donuts.
Nevertheless, Valentine’s Day is a wonderful holiday to reflect on the relationships you cherish and remind your loved ones that you have in your life how much they mean to you. Public Relations has not only highlighted the valuable relationships consumers have with an organization, but also the relationships you create through networking. I am extremely thankful for all the people I have met during my time as a member in PRSSA and through my public relations studies at Grand Valley State University.
Laurel Budrick is a recent graduate of Grand Valley State University where she studied advertising and public relations and minored in marketing. Last year, Laurel was a member of GVPRSSA executive board and has enjoyed her time immensely with Grand Valley’s chapter. She is looking forward to moving to Detroit post-grad. In her spare time, you can find her in a local coffee shop.