10 of the Best PR Campaigns of 2022

A 3D rendering of a megaphone laying on its side. A megaphone is used to disseminate a message to a large number of people and is often associated with public relations professionals, as they are trying to spread a message about their client's products or news to media outlets. That's why this image is being used as the header image for a blog on the 10 of the Best PR Campaigns of 2021
A 3D rendering of a megaphone laying on its side. A megaphone is used to disseminate a message to a large number of people and is often associated with public relations professionals, as they are trying to spread a message about their client's products or news to media outlets. That's why this image is being used as the header image for a blog on the 10 of the Best PR Campaigns of 2021

Getting your brand noticed and not just seen is arguably becoming harder. The bar to entry for new brands is lowering, thanks to digital technology and talent access across borders. Consumers are constantly bombarded with advertising messages—as many as 10,000 ad impressions per day—which leads to overstimulation and a reluctance to retain information. But a strong PR campaign can be game-changing for brands that want to break through the noise and be remembered. 

Unlike traditional advertising or marketing, a PR campaign is designed simply to get people talking. It’s a way to put your brand in the spotlight, drum up some press, and make a lasting impression on your audience. 

What exactly goes into a PR campaign? Let’s look at some specifics as well as some of the best recent PR campaign examples from 2022.

Table of Contents:

What Is a PR Campaign?

Conversation bubbles and megaphone.

Let’s start with a definition. A PR campaign is a series of planned activities designed to give a company or brand publicity. Most PR campaigns have specific business goals, such as driving website traffic, getting notice about a new product, or drawing attention to a cause. Activities are carried out in a specific time frame relevant to the overarching goal. 

A successful PR campaign hinges on a strong communication strategy. Create the right message for your intended audience. Choose the right channels for your message. Know who else might be listening (e.g., your competitors). With communication as your foundation, your brand can start to make a positive connection with the public.

Tip: Want to learn how to create a PR campaign? This guideline will help you. Also, consider taking a look at our free PR in the Age of Influence Report.

Why Should Campaigns Be Part of Your PR Strategy?

In a world driven by sales messaging and calls to action, your public relations strategy can be a breath of fresh air for consumers. The brand isn’t asking for anything in return from the public. Instead, a PR campaign gives the audience a chance to learn more about the brand without marketing or sales pressure.

Taking this pressure away allows consumers to lower their guards and be more receptive to your company. A well-designed campaign breaks through their internal “ad blockers.” Campaigns aren’t just about the products or services you sell, but rather your brand identity.

As a result of a great PR campaign, brands can establish greater credibility with their audiences and build stronger media relations. Brand identities become stronger and more memorable. And in many cases, sales naturally follow. 

How Does a PR Campaign Work?

We have already published another dedicated blog telling you how to create a PR campaign, but in general, they work like this:

Every PR strategy begins with a goal. Maybe you want to call attention to a new product or a rebrand. Or maybe you want to put your brand in a positive light after receiving some negative publicity. Whatever your goal, start your PR campaign with a goal and work backward to decide the best approach for sharing your message.

Some PR campaigns are nothing more than a well-written press release distributed on large media networks. News media outlets, blogs, and other publishers may pick up the press release and share it on their channels. You can share this same press release on your channels, too, such as a website, blog, email subscriber list, and social media. 

Or, you might choose to launch a solely social PR strategy. Social media PR targets your social audiences and relies on likes, shares, and comments to help you spread the word. You can also pay for ads to expand your PR campaign’s reach.

Other campaigns take publicity to new heights, though. For example, Red Bull’s New Moon event showed wingsuit-clad stuntmen descending from the sky with sparklers, creating the image that UFOs were landing on Earth. In the UK, a nude art installation promoted Sky Arts and its milestone in becoming a free-to-air television channel.

Whether a written press release or a live publicity stunt, a PR campaign’s role remains the same: to intentionally attract attention from an audience to promote a brand (and ideally receive some sort of response).

For help planning, executing, and measuring the impact of a PR campaign while minimizing their time and cost investment, get in touch to learn more about Meltwater's media database and PR reporting.

Best PR Campaign Examples of 2022

Ready to launch your own PR campaign? Glean some inspiration with some of the best PR campaigns we’ve seen in 2021-2022. 

1. Airbnb.org for Ukraine Campaign

State of emergency sign.

For most of 2022, Ukraine has been plagued with war, unrest, and plenty of uncertainty. Millions of people have lost their livelihoods. With the war’s end nowhere in sight, many brands have stepped up to support refugees and those who have stayed behind to support and defend the country.

One brand campaign that stands out is Airbnb.org. The short-term rental company hit the ground running in partnering with international and regional nonprofits and governments to secure housing for up to 100,000 refugees. The company has been coordinating efforts to offer shelter and safety free of charge. More than 28,000 people have signed up through Airbnb.org to offer temporary housing to others, while Airbnb founders have committed to match donations up to $10 million.

In addition (and thanks in large to user-generated social media PR), people around the world starting booking rooms at properties in the Ukraine as a way to support hosts during the conflict. This movement started as a way to send immediate assistance to those whose travel businesses had been impacted.

2. Penguin Random House’s Unburnable Book

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

In response to schools banning and burning books, publisher Penguin Random House launched an unburnable copy of Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. The book represents one of many works that has notoriously been the target of book bans. Wrapped in a black cinefoil jacket, the book features white heat shield foil pages, nickel wire binding, stainless steel bands, and high-temperature adhesives to protect the freedom of expression. The book was placed on Sotheby’s auction, with proceeds promised to PEN America to continue protecting free speech.

3. Iceland’s Out-Horse Your Email Campaign

Horses running.

With travel back on the menu for millions of tourists, Iceland is taking advantage of people’s wanderlust and encouraging them to disconnect from work. The Out-Horse Your Email campaign is a clear winner in tourism PR. The country’s tourism board build a giant working keyboard – big enough to hold a horse! – and taught the horses to walk on it. Tourists can let the horses handle their inbox while they sit back and relax on their Icelandic vacation. The idea is to show that nothing is more important than taking time to disconnect and enjoy a well-deserved trip abroad.

4. IKEA’s Seed Ball Campaign

Potted plant growth stages.

A fun PR and social media campaign, IKEA created a playful take on its famous Swedish meatballs with its release of the IKEA Seed Ball – at least, the instructions on how to make one.

The Seed Ball is a savory, nutritious treat for bugs created in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund. Using simple ingredients like clay, dirt, and wildflower seeds, IKEA fans can craft their own seed balls to nourish the insect community.

5. LEGO's MRI PR Campaign

Lego MRI set.

LEGO has always been focused on childhood development and fun, so it’s no surprise their public relations strategy includes a little something for younger audiences. The company recently donated 600 LEGO magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner building kits to help children overcome fears of getting an MRI scan. Through play, role-playing, and interactive building, LEGO and hospitals can help children to build confidence while learning and having fun in an otherwise nerve-wracking environment.

6. Coinbase Super Bowl QR Code

QR code.

It’s bold of a brand to promote themselves so subtly on such a huge national stage like the Super Bowl. But the stunt paid off in spades for crypto brand Coinbase. The company paid nearly $14 million to show a black screen with a colored floating QR code. Curiosity seekers that scanned the code were directed to a link to receive $15 worth of free Bitcoin.

The ad proved so popular that the resulting website traffic crashed the company’s app. It racked up more than 20 million hits shortly after airing.

7. ITV’s Second-Hand Wardrobe Campaign

Group celebrating.

While many TV stars enjoy top-rated wardrobes from designer brands, ITV decided to take a different approach with its newest season of Love Island. The channel recently teamed up with eBay to announce that the show’s contestants would be wearing second-hand items in an effort to promote sustainable fashion.

With the fashion industry often coming under fire for their wasteful practices, this PR campaign encourages the practice of buying used, even when you’re a celebrity.

8. Dove #TheSelfieTalk Campaign

The selfie talk campaign.

PR and social media go hand-in-hand, especially when it comes to gaining a response from your audience. Getting your audience involved in a communication campaign leads to user-generated content that can naturally strengthen the impact of your campaign.

As a leader in body positivity for women, Dove stays true to its brand with its latest social PR movement, #TheSelfieTalk. Aimed at young girls and women, the campaign is a smaller piece of the larger #NoDigitalDistortion movement that is working to improve body image.

The brand features two digital download kits as part of its campaign: one for parents and one for teachers. Each kit includes ways to talk to kids and teens about selfies and how to embrace individuality and body positivity.

9. Gymshark’s Mental Weight Campaign

Lifting weights.

A champion of physical and mental health, Gymshark brought awareness to the often-secretive nature of mental illness in a communication campaign. In a series of weightlifting photos the brand posted on social media, subtle statements on the sides of free weights remind us all that the loads we carry in our minds can often be as heavy as the weights we lift at the gym.

10. CPB London’s International Women’s Day Campaign

London's women's day campaign.

Combatting gender pay gaps and promoting inclusivity have been common trends among PR campaign examples. One creative agency sought to expose gender biases that many people have but don’t always recognize it with a recent poster campaign. The team researched common gender biases according to how children perceive men and women in the world. The company then turned those insights into colorful posters that were displayed throughout London. By helping to uncover unconscious biases, the company brought awareness to gender issues at a critical time – International Women’s Day.

How will you create your next PR campaign? Meltwater can help you shine when you need it most. Our PR strategy tools and expertise help you create and manage your PR campaigns from end to end. Request a demo today by filling out the form below.

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