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PR Articles

Royal Endorsement – I am Invictus Games 2016

The Invictus Games is an international Paralympic-style multi-sport event for ex service men injured in the line of duty, created by Britain’s Prince Harry. So who better to endorse the event than the prince himself and why not bring along Granma too; and since this years event was hosted by USA it wasn’t a surprise to see President Obama involved in the promotion of the event as well. Boom! Brilliant!

All the royal and presidential ‘cast’ showed their acting skills in a short sketch to promote the games and at the same time backing up a good cause, the Invictus Games Orlando 2016. This event aimed to support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.

It is more than obvious that having people like the members of the Royal Family and Barack and Michelle Obama associated with the games could only be good for the event. The world we live in now is about influencers, and that is all a celebrity really is; and let’s be honest all of them qualify as both influencers and celebrities.

In general, the celebrity who endorses a campaign should have some type of association with the brand. In this case, who better to represent the brand than Prince Harry, who spent ten years working in the Armed Forces and has first hand experience of what soldiers live with in the field. There is a strong synergy and relation between the brand – I am Invictus Games Foundation – and Prince Harry.

Thanks to these endorsements, the games have reached their objectives by capturing the attention of the audience, increasing brand awareness, strengthening recall of the brand, reinforcing the image of the foundation, and increasing the likelihood of attendance.

Prince Harry not only endorsed the games but he was always involved in the event, he was as an excellent host, a genuine supporter of the participants and also interacting with the audience. There can be no better endorsement of an event than to have such a high profile and popular host as Prince Harry.

The promotional video generated big press coverage in different media channels, BBC, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, Express,, and Huffington Post to name but a few. The games were covered by BBC and people talk about the games in social media too, for example the foundation has 65K followers in Twitter and the Orlando games twitter account has 19.4K followers, 3,412 Likes and generate 1,538 tweets.

I would say that this endorsement deal was done correctly; not only because it helped the foundation to reach their own objectives but more importantly to help all veterans to lead healthy and dignified lives after service, and in many cases it gives the participants something that makes a real difference to their lives.

Here some stats to illustrate the success of the games.




Photos from:







Once upon a time …. PR practitioners started using visual storytelling to capture the attention of the audience.

Stories always have been around us, they have the power to inform, persuade and provoke emotional responses. Thanks to the digital era and the fact that people read less and less, visual storytelling has become more popular. As PR practitioners we always want to find the best way to engage with audience and visual storytelling has shown to be a powerful tool to connect with them. In fact, storytelling is important for organisations to develop their media strategies.

Through digital stories people can construct narrative, choose images and the music or sound that they feel best represents their experiences. In short, if you put all these ingredients in a blender, you will make a visual storytelling shake that the drinkers would like to share, or maybe not? When the visual is weak, it generates a negative outlook on the brand. Visuals should be fun to help to reinforce your story, which in the end helps you to capture the attention of your audience better.

Here are a few stats to illustrate why PR practitioners should no longer ignore the inclusion of multimedia in their campaigns.

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Here there are my top five guidelines for using visual storytelling in public relations. 


Sometimes a good quality image is all you need to tell your story. Images can easily “depict the stunning sights-yet-to-be-witnessed of places or the unpredictable side of people”. Images with authentic content are beneficial because people want real moments from everyday life, moments that allow them to make connections of human experience.

Good Example

Dove #Speakbeautiful Campaign.

This campaign shows a real situation that millions of women around the world are experiencing. The target audience of this campaign feel personally identified with the message.


You can stimulate the senses through an image. Through images with sensory content you get more attention from your audience since they would feel identified with the experience you portray in that image. These types of images are powerful because you can create a ‘tactile’ experience.

Good Example

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An image should appeal to sight, hearing, taste, touch or smell. This picture make you feel the thirst that the cat is experiencing.


By showing a prototype of something you will make the audience facilitate recognition and make connections with their own experiences. In short, it is about putting across an image of something that is familiar to the audience that in turn would evoke emotions. This content is valuable because if you understand the core emotions and motivations of your audience, you will definitely achieve a reaction.

Good Example

Harley Davidson – CVO Breakout

This campaign shows the ‘The rebel’, a rebel blond woman who is powerful, independent and risk-taking. This image is effective because the ‘rebel’ audience value the unconventional and strongly reject the status quo.


You need to make relevance between the cultures of your audience to be appealing to them. The idea is to create an image that is relevant to your audiences real life, it could be said that images with relevance move with time. Images with relevant content are potent because you “evoke real emotions by being in the current moment”

Bad Example

Protein World – Beach body ready


The visual content was not relevant and appropriate and for these reason the audience – women – didn’t react in a positive way and as a result this campaign has had terrible feedback.


It is essential that your visual narrative provides details of the story that ‘visual readers’ understand and that also makes them to want to know more. By being logical and consistent you can in some way control the message that you want to be passed to others.

Good Example

The scarecrow Campaign – Chipotle Restaurant.

This is a very strong story with powerful visual that evoke emotions. It is simple and very well executed story, it is logically structured and resonates strongly with the psychographic characteristics of its target audience.

Bad example:

The amount of information you laid out is really matter. This is an infographic with such an overload of information that it doesn’t have coherence, it isn’t even logically constructed, which in turn would definitely be unfavourable for you story.

Remember that keeping it real and simple is often the way to impress; at the end all that you really are trying to do is to share an experience that resonates with the majority of your audience.



Visual storytelling: inspiring a new visual language. Robert Klanten, Sven Ehmann, and Floyd Schulze. Berlin: Gestalten, 2011.

The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand. Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio. McGraw-Hill, 2014.

The power of storytelling in public relations: Introducing the20 master plots. Michael L. Kent. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, United States.


A critique of Coca-Cola’s digital engagement campaign ‘Share Your Voice’

Since I can remember Coca-Cola has always been around. In my opinion their campaigns have always been good, some better than others. The next digital campaign I am going to review is from Coca-Cola, this digital campaign impressed me from the way they developed their creativity online and connected to mass media and the offline world.

In 2013 Coca-Cola delivered a great digital engagement campaign with an exceptional idea  of connecting Coca-Cola consumers with their favourite rockstars. They set the first internet banner that allowed fans of Adrian Despot, the lead singer of the Romanian band Vița de Vie, to interact virtually with him. Basically Coca-Cola created an online banner with the singer ready with his guitar waiting to take a call from his fans to sign along with him his song ‘StartDust’ and from this point other digital tools were used to fire up the target audience.

In this campaign I can see how Coca-Cola did a good job of analysing one of its target audiences – teenagers from Romania – and how they developed a content appealing to them, the target audience was the well-known UGC (user generation content. The fans could call through their mobile phones and tuner it into microphone, so they could sing along with Adrian Despot.


This situation created a sense of community around Vița de Vie fans who drink Coca-Cola, with a content that mobilised the Romanians teenagers to promote the brand. The audience here amplified the message by sharing it in different social media channels like Facebook and YouTube, which in turn helped to reach many other teenagers.

I could say that it was a good established two-way partnership, because Coca-Cola made fans of this band feel that they really matter to the brand.

Coca-cola really made the most of the ‘online duet idea’ teenagers received a link of their personalised duet video on YouTube which they were free to share online. There were also CD singles made and posted to the singers, and some fans even earned a featured personalised MTV video. This obviously supported the brand all the way.

You could say that this Coca-Cola campaign had a grand finale. The brand recorded all of the voices and then played them back during the band’s live show at B’estfest festival in Bucharest, Romania’s biggest music festival. In fact, during the gig, the lead singer explained the campaign before singing ‘StartDust’; then during the song all of the names of those who participated were projected on the big screen.

Overall, I think that in this campaign Coca-Cola used very engaging digital media content, where participation and interaction were key factors of their strategy. They activate multiple ideas for their target audience to feel part of the campaign. Coca-Cola cleverly combined physical with digital experience; they connected fans to their idol online, and then took it offline to make it a unique experience for the fans.

This creative campaign generated 4.59 million media impressions and mouse-overs. The campaign won different awards such as Silver Drum in Digital Campaigns at Golden Drum Festival 2013, Winner in Digital Branded Content at Internetics Festival, Romania and Winner in Interactive Campaigns (FMGC) at Internetics Festival, Romania.



Images were took from the following video

How the field of public relations is adapting to the digital media landscape.




Articles that inspired this video are:

How is PR changing?

How has social media changed the way newsrooms work?

PR must reinvent itself to survive the media disruption

The impact of social media on public relations

The role of new public relations practitioners as social media experts

Is using social media “good” for the public relations profession? A critical reflection

Book: Putting the Public Back in Public Relations by Solis, B., & Breakenridge, D. (2009)


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