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Top of the PR pops: October highlights

Blog post   •   Nov 06, 2014 09:53 GMT

Our Top of the PR pops post has come a little later than usual this month as we were a little distracted by all the fun things happening around Hallowe'en. 

Nevertheless, here is our round up of the things that got us talking over the last few weeks...

The voice of a child bride

Did you know that the UN estimates that 150 million girls could be forced into marriage before their 18th birthday in the next decade? That's one every two minutes. 

For the last month, Thea, a 12 year old girl from Norway started blogging about her upcoming wedding to Geir, a man 25 years older than her.

Shocked readers called the police and shared her story across social media, within one day the blog went viral and became Norway's most read blog. The hashtag #stoppbryllupet (stop the wedding) began trending on Twitter.

Thankfully, the blog was a clever hoax created by Plan Norway, a Norwegian branch of Plan - for their campaign against child marriage. The symbolic wedding went ahead with hundreds of people demonstrating outside the church and 18 year old Shahida Akhter Shorna from Bangladesh, who managed to prevent her own marriage at the age of 14, speaking on behalf of real child brides. 

The campaign garnered international media coverage throughout October, drove conversations across social media and what's more, provided a platform from which real child brides could share their stories. 

Tweet to freedom

A couple of weeks ago a David Willis, a Texan tourist, was locked inside the Trafalgar Square branch of Waterstones in London for over two hours.

David turned to Twitter to alert Waterstones that he was trapped inside and was retweeted over 12,000 times. 

Waterstones Tweet

Although the manager of the Trafalgar Square branch said he was mortified, Waterstones took advantage of what could have potentially been a mini crisis and turned it into a great PR opportunity. 

After receiving tweets from people saying that they wouldn't mind being locked in over night, they partnered with Airbnb to offer ten lucky people the chance to have a sleepover - including a tour, food and entertainment - in their flagship London store. 

I for one would have been delighted if I'd been chosen! 


Have you ever faced street harassment?


Hollaback, an organisation seeking to stamp out street harassment and intimidation, with the help of Rob Bliss Creative created a video of a young woman, dressed in jeans and a plain black t-shirt, walking around Manhattan for 10 hours. A hidden video camera was placed in the backpack of a man walking in front of her, catching every catcall and whistle. 

Street harassment is a power dynamic that constantly reminds historically subordinated groups (women and LGBTQ folks, for example) of their vulnerability to assault in public spaces. Further, it reinforces the ubiquitous sexual objectification of these groups in everyday life. 

I think you'll be surprised at how much of this the young woman in the campaign was subjected to. 


The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation

You may have seen the beautiful Swedish shampoo digital ad which featured a model whose hair blew in the wind every time a train passed through the subway station. The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation were inspired by this and created their own, much more powerful, version. 

This just goes to show that repurposing great ideas that others have had can be equally creative and extremely compelling in it's own right. 

Mynewsdesk highlights 

Needless to say, we've been pretty busy this month but these were our two main highlights:

Ad:tech London, the world’s largest interactive advertising and technology exhibition and conference, partnered with us ahead of their 10th anniversary conference. For the first time it enabled the 100 speakers and 150 exhibiting organisations to share their news, stories and industry insights on ad:tech’s website via their online newsroom, in the run up to the event.

Our Content Marketing Manager, Mutesa Sithole, gave a presentation on tech brands as publishers which you may like to have a look at...

Mynewsdesk Ad:Tech London

On 21st October, Communicate Magazine's Digital Impact Awards was held for the fifth year running. It brought together digital communications professionals from both in-house and agency teams to celebrate the best corporate websites and the most successful communications campaigns.

We interviewed our client and senior press officer at Panasonic UK, Claire Eaton-Whitfield, who was awarded Highly Commended in the best online newsroom category. 

What were your October highlights? 


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