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.

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.