FOOTBALL legend Ryan Giggs had kept his hair transplant and treatments secret from the world for years.
As a partner in a new hair restoration business MHR Clinic he wanted to reveal their benefits to the world.
His endorsement of hair transplants and treatments would not only raise MHR Clinic’s profile but generate significant sales.
However, the former player endured a turbulent relationship with media especially around matters in his personal life.
Ryan’s fear over how the press would frame news of his secret hair transplant was shared by all associated with MHR Clinic.
GIGGS sat down for interview with me on a Saturday morning.
Our video team from Sagitta Media rolled cameras and over the following hour Ryan revealed how long he had been hiding his hair loss from the public.
He explained candidly that balding had made him feel paranoid, particularly ahead of a televised match.
He recalled how friends in a pub first spotted a bald patch on his head as they watched him score two goals at rivals Liverpool.
He also noted how his hair transplant and treatments had taken a weight off his mind.
Hear more from Ryan in these videos.
WITH a suite of videos edited, a copy-rich news release prepared, photos taken for media and MHR Clinic’s website updated, we were launch ready.
Meetings with newspaper editors ensued to secure guarantees of sanitised coverage of Ryan’s story in return for the content.
There would be no mention of any past or present problems in Ryan’s personal life.
A hugely positive story was presented to the newspapers for publication.
WHEN launch day came MHR Clinic enjoyed articles in The Sun, Sun Online, The Mirror, The Daily Mail, the Manchester Evening News, 90 Mins, SportBible and Sport.co.uk.
Several Manchester Utd fanzines carried the story too.
By the afternoon the story had spread to Spain. Its leading national sports newspaper Marca picked it up as did Antena 3, one of the nation’s mainstream television channels.
More articles appeared in prominent publications in Asia and Africa.
I RAN a 21-day concerted social media campaign of short video edits and media coverage articles on MHR Clinic’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages following the press launch.
Content and design for a landing page on MHR Clinic’s website was completed by Stones PR. It caught all web traffic that moved via links embedded in media articles and in social media posts.
THE Giggs campaign’s ‘social shorts’ can be viewed below.
THE company saw website traffic leap from 60 impressions per day to 2700 on launch day. More than 1300 people visited its website following day. Then the site received an average of 600 hits each day for another week.
Website visits finally stabilised at more than double their initial level, settling at around 130 impressions per day.
The firm had 179 motivated enquiries for hair assessments within seven days of the PR campaign launch, equating to approximately £200K of income for the business.
BBC weatherman Simon King came to MHR Clinic with contractual constraints. His employers wouldn’t let him do any commercial endorsements.
So, I had a paparazzi photographer capture the BBC broadcaster on one of his visits and leaked the photo story to The Sun newspaper with quotes from ‘a friend’ about Simon’s fear around his hair loss.
The connection between Simon and MHR Clinic was established for our PR campaign that would come later.
Simon had his hair transplant. I ensured MHR’s technicians took photos of his procedure on his iPhone, with Simon’s consent. Two weeks later, he returned to live TV. Simon pre-empted public reaction to his appearance by posting the surgery photos on his iPhone to Instagram, with an heartfelt account of why he’d done it.
The Sun, the Mirror and the Daily Mail all reported his emotive reasons for tackling hair loss. And they all lifted his surgery photos from Instagram. His previous documented visits to MHR Clinic ensured all publications could easily deduce where he got his new look.
Stones PR orchestrated four national newspaper articles around Simon King’s hair transplant, without him publicly endorsing the clinic. News of Simon’s hair transplant reached an estimated audience of 12 million readers and resulted in more than £55K of business for MHR Clinic.
STONES PR prepared and conducted a video interview with Adam Rickitt as he returned to UK TV screens for a role in the popular Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks.
Responding to lines of questioning, Adam became candid about the potential effect of hair loss on his acting career and how he had sought treatments to ensure he could still secure important roles.
The former teen idol agreed to a photo shoot. I put together a news-ready PR campaign, including video edits, a series of photos, a copy-rich press release and landing page for MHR Clinic’s website. A raft of social content was also readied.
With all content in the can, I travelled to London to strike an exclusive deal with Reach Plc for the campaign to run in four of its major news titles – The Mirror, Daily Star, Manchester Evening News and Birmingham Post.
As agreed, The Mirror’s article appeared on the publication’s home page banner which contained links to MHR’s website. That exclusive was then followed up by The Star, Manchester Evening News (print and online), the Birmingham Mail, while the UK’s leading entertainment website Digital Spy also picked up and ran the story. All provided links to MHR’s website and posted on social channels.
Coverage reached more than 9m UK readers, and generated more than £45K of business for MHR Clinic.
WHEN MHR Clinic called Stones PR, Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg was already a year since his transplant.
Worse, national media had picked up on his radical change, published it and people knew about his hair transplant.
The challenge was to make new news.
Mark’s clinic records and endorsement deal revealed photos of his two-day procedure and 8000 hair transplant.
I conducted an interview with Mark who relayed his story of hair loss. Pairing it with the surgery photos was easy.
A news-ready PR campaign included candid video interview, photos, a copy-rich press release, a website landing page and social media content.
The Daily Mail was approached as the campaign’s ‘lead steer’ guide the rest of the media pack. The paper used all of the surgery photos of Mark and generated response from The Sun, Scottish Sun and Irish Sun all of which asked for the content. FourFourTwo magazine, Yahoo Sports , SportReff and ESPN also ran stories. Spanish media outlets Mundo Deportivo, AS, Cuatro and Sport.es followed.
Many traffic links to MHR Clinic’s website were established. Media titles circulated articles on their social media channels.
In total, Mark’s hair transplant reached a global audience of more than 45 million readers. The PR campaign generated more than £285K of business for MHR Clinic.
It was the PR campaign that put MHR firmly on the map.
STONES PR met Ryan Sidebottom shortly after he retired from county and England cricket.
He was though due to appear on ITV’s Saturday night family show, Dancing On Ice.
While Ryan wasn’t a household name he skated into the nation’s hearts and the semi-finals of the show, Viewers took to his spirit and charisma, as his profile rose.
Ryan’s surgery followed the final show. To increase chances of coverage around his new celebrity status, I opted to film Ryan’s hair transplant surgery.
Taking a photographer, videographer and four HD video cameras into theatre, I interviewed Ryan about his hair transplant while he had his hair transplant.
He chatted away, endearingly under slight sedation, utterly comfortable with the follicle removal and replacement going on, on his head.
A further interview was conducted, weeks later at MHR Clinic. His hair surgery results had come through very well.
I timed a news-ready PR campaign to coincide with the new season of Dancing On Ice. The strategy was to ‘newsjack’ the big reveal of the show’s new line-up.
Two days after its first contestants were ‘leaked’ to media, I launched the campaign with heavy reference to the show.
All used the video edits, photos and copy. All teased the story on website home pages for hours. All put posts on social media.
MHR Clinic’s celebrity hair transplant video was seen by an estimated audience of 5.5 million viewers. MHR realised £60K of business within a month of the campaign.
Read more about the content creation for this campaign here.