3000 reasons why PR is cool in any language

19 October 2009

PR is cool. PR is trendy. Best of all, PR is free. There’ve been many documented PR stunts and coups over the years, but one of my long-standing clients just pulled off a classic.

It looks like Today Translations will go down in history as the company that advertised for Glaswegian interpreters. Yes, they actually placed an ad in Gumtree, Craigslist and the Glasgow Herald for translators to help with the tricky brogue.

Apart from the Herald, they made The Sun and The Times. On the BBC, they were even bigger news — the most popular story for most of the day on the BBC News site and the subject of live interviews on BBC Radio Birmingham, Lincolnshire and Cambridge. They even aired live on peaktime Scottish TV News.

But the best news of all was an amazing 3000+ hits on their website that day — and a few offers of work from Glasgow-based businesses.

Crazily, the ad was entirely kosher. Jurga at Today honestly believes there’s a genuine need for this service. Funnily enough, it’s also not a new idea. It’s not long since the BBC provided Ceefax subtitles to Still Game, Scotland’s best-loved sitcom, which features two Glaswegian pensioners and has won high ratings UK-wide.

US DVDs of films based on novels by Irvine Welsh, such as Acid House, also use subtitles to help Americans along with the dialect. And Scottish sitcom Rab C Nesbitt, although popular south of the border, was known as much for its impenetrable dialect as for the number of bellylaughs it provided.

Anyway, do you have any idea how much it would have cost Today to buy that kind of exposure in the national media? Try £165,325. OK, I made that up. But it’s going to be a high figure. A stupidly high figure. Which only goes to show how underrated PR is.

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