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Posts Tagged ‘Sir Richard Branson’

Virgin Galactic Space Travel Dream Has Universal Appeal

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Any adult who hasn’t had their inner child beaten out of them by life would jump at the chance to go to space. Who hasn’t dreamed of walking out of your kitchen only to pause and tell your spouse and kids, “Hey, I’ll be home a little late this evening. My spacecraft doesn’t land until 6:45.”

Today, Virgin Galactic took a major step forward with the successful test run of its SpaceShip 2 spacecraft, which reached an altitude of 56,000 feet and broke the sound barrier. Though SpaceShip 2 did not enter space, it did effectively demonstrate that its rocket and critical systems were ready for the next step. In fact, Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson said the brand plans on full space flight by the end of 2013—yes, this year. Cool.

As a child you probably thought we’d all be commuting to work in flying cars by now, but that’s what happens when you’re raised on The Jetsons and Star Wars. Reality, of course, is much different. Today, it doesn’t matter when you were born as much as how much money you have. And for a mere $200,000 you too can soon experience the miracle of space flight and even several minutes of weightlessness.

What does any of this have to do with public relations? Plenty. People want to be inspired. Deep within everyone’s DNA is the spirit of human adventure—that same cryptic drive that took mankind across tumultuous seas and frigid mountaintops just to see what lied beyond them.

We went island to island, continent to continent, and space is the logical next step. It comforts and excites the public to know that we’re not done. That we’ll keep pushing forward. Brands that can capture this dream will resonate with the public. So kudos to Virgin Galactic. You get us, and by us we don’t mean simply the people with a spare $200,000, but all of us.

Sure, there are aspirational brands out there that promise a life of exquisite luxury and decadent indulgences, but those promises only work for a certain demographic. Even the wealthiest and most perfectly tanned financiers who have just returned from St. Barts can’t compete with the pale geek who just returned from outer space. That’s just how the universe works.

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Richard Branson Rises to the PR Occasion Again

Today we’re happy to bring you a guest post from friend of the site Shawn Paul Wood. Shawn is a PR and copywriting professional with more than 20 years’ experience in the field, and he spent 12 of those years as an on-air host and radio news director. He currently writes for HCK2 Partners in Dallas and contributes to Talent Zoo‘s Flack Me blog; his clients range from notable corporate giants to megachurches, entrepreneurs and even a couple of entertainment bigwigs. Follow him on Twitter!

We have all heard the aphorism, “All news is good news.” One of the champions of that familiar saying is Sir Richard Branson, social media “influencer” and CEO of all things Virgin, who put the sentiment to the test when his airline expanded its routes to Scotland this week.

After appearing at the airliner door and traipsing down the stairs to the tarmac, he took his position on a literal promo platform to discuss the plane’s maiden voyage to Edinburgh. He then lifted his kilt so as to better display a new, um, marketing slogan: “Stiff Competition.

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Travel Providers Embrace PR as Industry Outlook Brightens

Velas Resorts Wedding PhotoArt galleries in the air, celebrity chef TV shows filmed in exotic locales, “destination wedding” social media contests– all illustrate the close creative bond between travel and PR. Fortunately, travel industry prospects have improved as consumers and clients move forward and the economy continues its slow recovery: travel experts and industry reports say 2013 is shaping up to be a good year.

The travel business is more cyclical than most, but the mood at two travel marketing industry events held in New York this week was upbeat. These events included the ATME/Association of Travel Marketing Executives Think Tank and the HSMAI/Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International Digital Marketing Strategy Conference–and while the panels and presentations focused on a cross-section of platforms, PR’s signature mixture of digital and traditional media also got its due.

“PR is often an overlooked channel, and it maximizes the trend of grazing on content and making compelling use of news events. It’s about inserting our brands in a targeted way where it’s relevant. It allows you to go places where our other media efforts don’t reach”. That assessment from Simon Bradley, VP Marketing North America at Virgin Atlantic Airways, may come as no surprise. After all, Virgin’s founder, Sir Richard Branson has long been a PR master.

Still, Virgin is far from the only travel brand using PR to creatively address different communications issues such as generating buzz, building brand awareness and incorporating consumer stories into content. Click through for examples of how the conferences’ marketing executives from international airlines, hotels and destinations use PR to their advantage.

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