When PR opportunity knocks…

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the Paralympics on Channel 4, marvelling at the inspiring athletes and their achievements, but also appreciating the complementary adverts that have been carefully selected to air during the break instead of the usual raft of tea, furniture and betting app promotions.

I’ve also been tuning in to watch The Last Leg, a topical comedy show first launched for the Paralympics in London that rounds up the day’s sporting action in a fun and insightful way, with two of its three presenters having disabilities themselves.

The other night, The Last Leg team challenged their viewers to tweet in with suggestions of things that could be renamed to honour our British Paralympians. Realising the potential for some very timely and high-profile coverage, the team at NCP responded that they will be renaming one of their sites the “NCP Sarah multi-Storey Car Park” in Dame Sarah Storey’s honour, releasing this accompanying image:

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It may be silly and it may just be a stunt, but it is certainly creative and it worked. The image above was shown on The Last Leg the very next day, to millions of viewers in a prime time spot.

If you work in the PR industry, you have to be able to spot an opportunity like this and respond at great speed. It only takes a competitor getting their image to the press first, or stalling long enough for interest to dwindle, and your great idea will come to nothing.

So don’t miss out. Keep abreast of the news every day, know what is capturing people’s interest and move as quickly as you can when an opportunity arises. It could win you some huge pieces of national TV or print coverage – and many, many brownie points to boot.

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Is it ok to poke fun at the Paralympics?

After the BBC did such a wonderful job with their coverage of the London Olympics, I was hugely disappointed to discover that the Paralympics was being broadcast on Channel 4. However, after seeing their inspiring “Meet the Superhumans” advert the week before, I started to believe that the coverage might be ok…

Source: radiotimes.com

In fact, it’s been pretty great. While it’s no match for the BBC’s 24 channel coverage which allowed you to watch whichever event you wanted, Clare Balding has been a fantastic host and “The Last Leg”, an¬†alternative review of the day’s¬†action, is comedy gold.

With a host who has a prosthetic leg and guests including paralympians and other disabled celebrities, it has succeeded in mixing disability and comedy Рa combination which could have very easily been disastrous.

I’m particularly enjoying the regular feature “Is it ok?” where viewers tweet their questions and the panel debate whether the propositions are acceptable.¬†For¬†example,

#isitok to tell a partially sighted Paralympian that their performance was blinding? (from @sallypmoore)

While I doubt the format would have been this succesful outside the bubble of Paralympic fever, I have to applaud Channel 4 for their coverage so far. Thanks for entertaining the nation this past week!