Public Relations and Content Creation
Ryan Giggs had kept his hair loss treatments a secret from the world for more than a decade.
Since becoming a partner in hair restoration business MHR Clinic he’d also a hair transplant.
All associated with MHR Clinic knew what national media coverage around his hair loss and restoration could do for sales.
But the Utd legend’s turbulent relationship with the tabloids presented a problem. News outlets had highlighted his triumphs as a footballer and manager, but they’d persisted in revealing salacious details of his private life for more than 25 years.
Ryan’s concerns over how the press would handle news of his hair transplant were legitimate and he made them explicitly clear to us.
Ryan sat down with Stones PR on a Saturday morning. MHR Clinic was closed to shoot the interview. Our video team from Sagitta Media had signed their NDAs.
As the cameras rolled over half an hour Ryan revealed how long he’d been hiding his hair loss and how friends were first to spot his thinning locks, as he ran rampant at Anfield.
He explained that going bald had made him feel paranoid and how hair treatments and his FUE transplant had taken a weight off his mind.
Stones PR followed Ryan’s interview with a meticulous studio edit.
We prepared a suite of campaign content for a cross-platform approach. It included video edits for website and social, a news release, images, a website landing page and additional social media content.
A plan to protect Ryan was devised. The strategy was shrewd and brave. By giving his hair transplant story as an exclusive to The Sun newspaper, we would attempt to control the most damaging version of it. The Mirror, Mail and others would typically write less sensationalist versions than their notorious rival.
Five meetings with the newspapers’ editors ensued. Terms and conditions were finally agreed. The Sun could have its big reveal, but not the fun it wanted. It accepted there would be no mention of Ryan’s personal life.
Our own hugely positive story was presented to the newspaper for print and our micromanagement of the project continued from there, until deadline.
Launch day came in early 2020. All agreements were honoured. MHR Clinic had an 850 word DPS ‘Picture Exclusive’ on 16 and 17 of The Sun. Ryan’s hair transplant story read like advertorial and was littered with mentions of MHR Clinic, drawing in Ryan’s illustrious football career but nothing else.
At SunOnline, the outlet’s homepage led with a ‘Giggs Video Interview Exclusive’ in an article studded with hyperlinks to MHR Clinic’s website.
By 9am, The Mirror and MailOnline had requested all content, also in return for clean copy with traffic links to MHR Clinic. The Manchester Evening News, SPORTbible.com, Sport.co.uk and 90min.com followed. By midday our campaign had hit Spanish national outlets Antena 3 and Marca. During the afternoon, national outlets in Indonesia, Malaysia and Africa made it a global news story. Man Utd fanzine sites of course ran their versions. A day later, the MEN published a print article on page three of its newspaper.
A 10-day concerted social media campaign of video shorts and coverage hits was run on Facebook, twitter and Instagram to coincide with the press launch.
MHRClinic.co.uk saw website traffic impressions leap from 60 per day to 2700 on launch day. More than 1300 people visited the following day and then the site received an average of 600 hits each day for another week. Website visits finally stabilised at around 130 per day thereafter.
The firm had 179 motivate enquiries for hair assessments within a week of the PR campaign launch, equating to hundreds of thousands of pounds of income for the business. After leaving the campaign in the hands of Stones PR, all parties achieved their aims.
Stones PR also handled MHR Clinic’s high profile PR campaigns around World Cup referee Mark Clattenburg, BBC weatherman Simon King, soap actor Adam Rickitt and Dancing on Ice star Ryan Sidebottom.
Simon came to MHR Clinic with contractual constraints. The BBC would not allow him to do commercial endorsements.
We had a paparazzi photographer ‘snap’ the BBC broadcaster visiting MHR. Then we leaked the photo story to The Sun newspaper with some ‘friend said’ quotes about his hair loss.
This put an unarguable connection between Simon and MHR Clinic for later purposes.
Months later Simon had his hair transplant and, like all clients, had MHR’s technicians take photos of his procedure on his phone. Two weeks later as he returned to live TV, Simon pre-empted any bad reaction to his changed appearance by posting his surgery photos on Instagram with an heartfelt account of why he’d had a hair transplant.
The Sun, the Mirror and the Daily Mail all reported his emotive reasons for tackling hair loss and used his surgery photos. As his visits to MHR Clinic were already in the public domain, all easily deduced his new look was the clinic’s handiwork.
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 15 million readers and resulted in more than £85,000 of business for MHR Clinic.
Corrie actor Adam Rickitt, once famous for his long blond hair, was thinning badly when he came to MHR Clinic.
Absent from UK screens for 13 years, like his hair, his profile had seen better days. Adam was also prescribed medical treatments to restore his hair – not as dramatic as a hair transplant in terms of news value.
Stones PR conducted a video interview with Adam. He was candid about the potential effect of hair loss on his career and agreed to a photo shoot. We prepared a ‘news-ready’ PR campaign including video, photos, a press release, a landing page and social content.
Our director travelled to London to strike a deal with Reach Plc for the campaign to run exclusively in The Mirror, Daily Star, Manchester Evening News and Birmingham Post.
As agreed, The Mirror’s article appeared on a home page banner and had links to MHR’s website. The exclusive was followed up in The Star, Manchester Evening News (in print and online), the Birmingham Mail while the UK’s leading entertainment site Digital Spy also picked up on the story.
All provided links to MHR’s website and posted to social channels. Coverage reached more than 15m UK readers, generating more than £110,000 of business for MHR Clinic.
Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg was a year on and national media was already aware of his hair transplant when MHR Clinic asked Stones PR to generate coverage around it.
We conducted a video interview to relay Mark’s human story of hair loss, pairing it with clinic photographs of his extensive transplant procedure and transformation. A ‘news-ready’ PR campaign including video, photos, a press release, a landing page and social content was prepared.
The Daily Mail was harnessed as a lead steer. It used all surgery photos of Mark, generating a strong response from The Sun, Scottish Sun and Irish Sun. FourFourTwo magazine, Yahoo Sports , SportReff and ESPN also ran stories. Spanish media outlets Mundo Deportivo, AS, Cuatro and Sport.es followed. Countless traffic links to MHR’s website were set up in the process. All circulated their articles on social media.
Coverage of Mark’s hair transplant reached a global audience of more than 65 million readers. Our PR campaign generated more than £285,000 of business for MHR and put the business firmly on the map as a big player in its industry, just 20 months after opening its doors.
Stones PR met Ryan Sidebottom after he’d retired from cricket, and as he was appearing on ITV’s Dancing On Ice.
Ryan wasn’t a household name but fortunately he skated into the nation’s hearts and the semi-finals of the ice dance show.
His surgery followed and to increase our chances of coverage, Stones PR filmed Ryan’s surgery. We took a photographer, videographer and four HD video cameras in tow to interview him about his reasons for a hair transplant. while he had a hair transplant. Perfect tabloid fodder.
We prepared a news-ready PR campaign and timed its launch with growing anticipation of the following season of Dancing On Ice, a week before the show’s new line up was announced. Our campaign became a harbinger for the 2019 series.
The Daily Mail, the Mirror and The Sun ran stories about Ryan’s procedure. All used our video, photos and copy. All held stories on their website homepages for several hours. Each circulated their stories on social media.
MHR Clinic’s celebrity hair transplant video was watched by an estimated audience of 5.5 million UK viewers. MHR realised tens of thousands of pounds in business within a month of our public relations campaign. To read about the content creation process for this campaign, click here.
Whether you wish to prevent media intrusion, generate PR coverage, turn the tide of opinion or sell your story, you will find it easy going when discussing your media needs with Stones PR. We love advising, guiding and supporting organisations and people as they engage the media.