12 outrageous PR stunts—and the lessons learned

From flash mobs to Taco Bell’s ‘purchase’ of the Liberty Bell, here are key lessons from outsized public relations campaigns.

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According to the Online Etymology Dictionary:

stunt (n.) “feat to attract attention,” 1878, Amer.Eng. college sports slang, of uncertain origin. Speculated to be a variant of colloq. stump “dare, challenge” (1871)

A PR stunt is a daring or challenging feat to attract media attention. Pioneered by the likes of P.T. Barnum, and mastered by folks like Richard Branson, the stunt has become a tool to generate publicity—lots of it. So what can we learn from 12 of the most outrageous stunts? Let’s have a look: 1. Frozen Grand Central The group “Improv Everywhere” masterminded this stunt in Grand Central Terminal. It inspired a number of “flash mobs” in its wake and has garnered more than 28 million YouTube views. Lesson: The three keys to a great stunt: location, location, location. Improv uses Grand Central Terminal, an iconic commuter hub in the media capital of the world. 2. British Airways can’t get it up! In the words of Virgin’s Richard Branson:

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