Like the many millions of Brits spanning the country, on Monday evening I tuned into the last episode in the current series of Game of Thrones. Don’t worry, I won’t be unveiling any spoilers for those yet to watch it! But, looking at it from a PR perspective, I feel there are many important lessons brands can learn from the hit show.
Your staff are your best brand advocates. In Game of Thrones’ case, it’s the characters. With all the hype before, after and between shows, high-profile actors such as Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Kit Harrington (Jon Snow) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) work hard to build hype, share key messages and even plug products.
These have included Maisie highlighting a GOT special in Entertainment Weekly on her Facebook page and Art Parkinson’s (Rickon Stark) #shouldazigzagged tweet after his final scene, which enjoyed over 10,000 retweets and more than 12,000 likes!
Equally importantly, when interviewed or out in public, the characters appear to be very respectful ambassadors of the show – not dropping show secrets or publically disgracing themselves.
Any company can expect the same from staff members if they brief them accordingly. Staff should be aware of your key messages and brand values – and having a policy on company representation is not unusual.
Build an army of consumer ambassadors. One superfan of GOT is Barack Obama who famously requested to watch season six of the show before it aired on TV. More recently he even featured on a video trying to list all of the characters who have died on the show.
While most brands can’t call on support from the US president, they can request feedback from those consumers who love their brand. Do this by inviting them to comment on your social channels, website or independent review sites like Trustpilot. In fact, studies suggest 71% people are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media referral.
Timing is crucial. One thing the HBO show does perfectly, is pick its moments! While there are many fan theories and hints at storylines, no-one apart from those involved in the show really know what’s going on. Plus, the news stories and interviews they allow to break are both perfectly relevant and timed. Just this week a story emerged of Kit involved in an altercation in McDonald’s the day before his GOT audition, protecting the honour of a girlfriend; what could be more Jon Snow (well, obviously not the McDonald’s part!)?
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