Content Creation and Public Relations
We met Ryan Sidebottom at MHR Clinic just after he’d retired from cricket.
The England international was quietly focused on developing his bowling academy but, elsewhere, there were whispers of a turn on ITV’s flagship, Dancing On Ice for the gentle giant.
Ryan’s trademark curls were doing well to hide his receding hairline but he still wanted a hair transplant, especially if he was to spend more time in front of the cameras as a celebrity name.
MHR Clinic told Stones PR it wanted national newspaper coverage around his forthcoming hair surgery. But, while cricket fans appreciated Ryan for his bowling skills, he wasn’t yet a household name for most of the public.
Ryan would need a good innings on ITV’s ice show to peak the media interest in his cosemtic surgery.
And fortunately, for everyone, 6ft 4” Ryan skated into the nation’s hearts and the semi-finals of Dancing On Ice, greatly improving our odds of generating media coverage.
To increase our chances of creating national newspaper coverage we convinced the sportsman to let us film his daylong FUE hair transplant surgery.
On the day of his procedure, we took a photographer, videographer and four HD video cameras into theatre, and proceeded to interview the new celebrity about his reasons for having a hair transplant, while he had a hair transplant.
It was the first time it had been done and was the sort of stunt that would convince tabloid newspaper editors of our story’s merit.
By the time Ryan had completed a post-op interview at MHR Clinic and our team had produced a suite of video, photo and written content which drew on our media assets, it was several months since his appearance on Dancing On Ice.
With this in mind, we timed our campaign to coincide with growing anticipation of the announcement of ITV next line-up for the show.
Our Ryan Sidebottom PR campaign would become a harbinger for ITV’s 2019 Dancing On Ice autumn series – a week before it revealed its latest cast of contestants.
A news-ready press release was produced, a website landing page for Ryan’s commerical endorsement was created. A suite of social media clips were edited from our interview video.
As Ryan’s profile was still not sufficiently big to guarantee other newspapers would follow a rival’s exclusive, we gave our content to several newspapers in a scheduled release.
All embedded our surgery video in online pages which also hosted our photos and copy. Links to those pages were held on each of the outlets’ homepages for more than ten hours on launch day. Each national newspaper also circulated their story on social media, again featuring our video footage.
A 10-day concerted social media campaign of video shorts and media coverage hits was run on MHR Clinic’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, to keep the press launch alive.
The content proved so compelling that it was shared widely online. MHR Clinic’s celebrity hair transplant video featuring the Dancing On Ice star was watched by an estimated audience of 5.5 million UK viewers as a result of the campaign.
Cricket fans, and fans of the ITV show, picked up on the story. As a result, MHR Clinic realised tens of thousands of pounds of business in the four months after our public relations campaign went live.
MHRClinic.co.uk saw website traffic impressions leap from 45 per day to 690 on launch day.
More than 400 people visited the following day and then the site received an average of 140 hits each day for another week.
Website visits finally stabilised at around 60 per day thereafter.
The firm had 70 motivate enquiries for hair assessments within a week of the Ryan Sidebottom PR campaign launch, managing to convert more than half of them.
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 Wales manager Ryan Giggs.
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.
As a partner in MHR Clinic Ryan Giggs wanted to come clean about his hair treatments and transplant. The value of him publicly endorsing the hair clinic’s work was in no dispute. How mainstream media might use his revelations was another matter.
Orchestrating a campaign around his revelation required a deft touch. Questions were prepared and vetted by Ryan. Both videographer and photographer signed NDAs. A date with Ryan was set.
MHR Clinic Manchester was booked out. An interview recording and photo shoot were completed in a morning before a meticulous weeklong edit ensued. Three video edits and a series of social media clips were produced. News releases and images were edited. A website landing page for his endorsement was drawn up.
We controlled how the UK’s most sensationalist newspaper handled the story by striking an exclusive deal with The Sun. Our plan, we reasoned, was that all others would fall in line with its soft approach.
Five meetings with the newspaper laid the ground for an agreement. Launch day came. To read more about how our PR campaign around Ryan’s hair transplant revelations passed off, 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.