Clever PR Ideas For Mother’s Day


Mother’s Day is one of the most unavoidable holidays when it comes to marketing opportunities, and for public relations campaigns, it’s not one to be ignored. But consumer public relations professionals have their work cut out for them, as media quickly grow weary of endless pitches about “perfect gifts” for the day. Still, clever ideas that win earned media and positive brand buzz do exist. Here are a few.

Turn data into holiday fodder. Sound statistics are hard for media to ignore, and if you’re able to package data from a survey or other original research into something that plays to Mother’s Day (or any holiday for that matter), you might have yourself a win. This story shows how one survey linked questions for moms to the Presidential candidates – a clever move in a season when a raucous election is winning round-the-clock earned media coverage.

Offer DIY ideas that are real. Consumer media are always looking for new ideas on how to help readers hack their own personal style, and Mother’s Day traditionally tops the list for handmade gifts. If your company falls into a creative category, a DIY design tip could do the trick, such as this article’s practical tips on how to create your own flower bouquet (yes even from the grocery store flower section). Keep in mind, Americans are expected to spend $2.4 billion on flowers this Mother’s Day, which is twice what they spend on Valentine’s Day, making it the biggest flower-giving day of the year.

Tap into local pride. It’s easy to focus on big top-tier media with national reach, but it’s important to remember the power of the hyperlocal movement and local media, especially for consumer facing brands. Top local media in every market are bound to do write-ups about ways to “keep it local” for Mother’s Day, including highlighting places to brunch, local establishments to patronize, and locally made goods. Consider any and all local angels that could play to these types of opportunities.

Create your own celebrity angle. If your company is fortunate enough to be able to partner with big names, earning publicity and media coverage is easier. But of course not every business can be Apple partnering with Taylor Swift to create a commercial that goes viral. For the rest of us, suggesting the right connections can make sense. For example, this list of double strollers Blake Lively ought to consider for her growing family made the rounds on social and earned media alike, after running in US Weekly, earning brand buzz and multiple placements without ever having an “official” celebrity connection. In another spin on that angle, one contributor curated a list of Mother’s Day gift ideas from products featured on Shark Tank, without any apparent endorsement from the hit show.

Find the niches. Of course, gift guides will abound, and for consumer brands it’s worth offering up your most fitting products. One way to be less mundane is to find the niches where your offering might fit in. Consumer tech products can go under “tech-savvy mom” gift lists while personal finance services are for the “financial guru mom” lists, etc. As a former client used to always say, “there are riches in niches.”

Six Reasons Why You Want A Mom On Your PR Team

As Mother’s Day approaches and we get ready to celebrate the moms in our life for all they do to keep their families’ lives running smoothly, we thought it a good time to recognize the role their rare skill set plays in managing a PR program of any kind — B2B, consumer and everything in between. Here’s why:

Moms multitask. Really.  Everyone claims to be a great multitasker, but for most, it means toggling back and forth with nothing getting done very well or thoroughly. Not for moms. These women have had to manage needy infants, household demands and jobs where there’s little margin for error. They do it all!

Moms will come back there! If there’s bickering or in-fighting on your PR team, moms will not tolerate it. They’ll work diplomatically with you to solve the issue and strive to foster an atmosphere of convivial collaboration. They are the originators of the “family meeting,” after all.

Moms will turn this car around. If something isn’t working, moms won’t hesitate to put a new plan into action. Their keen sense of observation and “bullshit detectors” mean a sound, no-nonsense approach to solving any account concerns.

Moms aren’t “made of money”. Therefore, they will be great stewards of yours! Many moms are the “CFOs” of the household, used to budgeting and smart fiduciary planning.

Moms really do want the best for you. Most moms (and any parents) are rather selfless creatures. This ethos finds its way into work relationships as well.  A mom on your account means you and your business will be well-cared for, even nurtured.

But they will fight for their own.  Like the classic mother lion defending her brood, most moms are instinctively and often fiercely protective. You never want to cross a mom, after all!

Give The Gift Of Good PR To These Women On Mother’s Day

I was all set to wax rhapsodically about some moms who had earned terrific PR for deeds well done this year. Then the Tanning Mom appeared, followed by the Stripper Hot Dog Mom and in an entirely different category, Linda “I don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000” Evangelista and her outrageous child support demands!

So instead, I offer up some free PR advice for these and other “moms behaving badly.” There may not be redemption in the court of public opinion but at least their kids may still have fond feelings for them. Now, heed these words!

For the “Tanning Mom”

Stop tanning immediately.

Come clean about what really happened with your young daughter at the salon and if there really was “fire where there was smoke,” apologize!

Have fun with the critiques such as SNL and the terrific Kristen Wiig impersonation.

Milk your 15 minutes in a smart way. Get involved with the Skin Cancer Foundation and speak out about the safety concerns associated with tanning; conversely, you could explore a spokesperson gig for a self-tanner or bronzer brand!

For the “Stripper Hot Dog Mom”

Stop offering sexy additions to your menu.

Put on some real clothes.

But not right away…this may be an instance of “any publicity is good publicity.” Curiosity-seekers ought to drive business through the roof!

Stick to cooking.

For Linda Evangelista

Try to wear less than $5,000 of luxury accessories for your day in court. You know, look needier!

Put some of that cash to good use and start a foundation for children of single supermodels or, in a more serious vein, children of disadvantaged single-parent homes.

Get ready for more critiques and arm yourself with “key messages” that don’t make you look so greedy.

Take the high road and only speak kindly of your child’s father; you want this out of the news cycle as quickly as possible.

Any other words of wisdom you’d like to share with these moms or any other moms?

@#$% Our Mothers Say

It’s been a big week for world news, and as we slow down to celebrate Mother’s Day I have collected some “mom-isms.” At first glance, the wisdom may seem dated and quaint, but some aphorisms are worth a second look.

So, before you decide whether you’re going to see the latest Kate Hudson movie or debate the week’s Idol castoff, pause and reflect on some sage advice from the original expert – mom.

“You be the good one.” My mother preaches this philosophy when one feels blamed or wronged. When this happens, try to be the sane, rational party. While I applied it to high school relationships, there is a business context.  A client/media contact/co-worker/boss has flown off the handle over a seemingly innocuous offense. Do not embrace the crazy with them! Take a deep breath, sleep on your response and be the better person.

“When someone laughs at you, laugh with them.” From fitness pro Denise Austin’s mom Rita, the way to deflect criticism and deflate hurtful taunts. In the business world, it translates to “don’t take yourself so seriously.” Be prepared for an idea you love to tank in a brainstorm. Be prepared for a bigger ego than yours to reject a suggestion, or even take credit for it! Take these incidents in stride and show resilience by coming right back.

“They didn’t get this way because of you.” What my mother is saying here is, you cannot change people. Don’t take someone’s gruff or dismissive style personally. Instead, in business, adapt a little to that person’s style when interacting. Sometimes the best way to effect a change is to change a bit yourself.

“Think before you speak.” This one’s on nearly everyone’s list. All you need to do is substitute verbs like “post,” “tweet,” or “send” for “speak” and you’ve got a mantra for the digital age.

I’m sure you have a favorite quote of your mother’s. Send them our way. Doesn’t mom still know best?

Mother’s Day Goes Social – And Socially Conscious

Brandweek ran an interesting feature recently about a M2Moms survey in which 73 percent of moms said they feel advertisers don’t really understand them. While it’s true marketers have lagged in recognizing the purchasing power and social clout of mothers, I feel many are listening to and reaching the so-called Power Moms, on their own digital turf.  Here are a few Mother’s Day campaigns worth watching:

1-800-Flowers‘ “Spot A Mom” campaign is interesting for two reasons. It recognizes 24 mommy bloggers who apparently exemplify certain maternal archetypes, like “Do It Yourself” or “Red Carpet” moms. Supported by (somewhat anemic) Twitter and Facebook accounts, it relies on social networks and bloggers in advance of a traditional ad buy.  Customers can also link to a website at which they can “spotlight” an extraordinary mom, which is a more typical promotional tactic. More interestingly, it markets to the social mommies as customers, not just recipients of floral gifts. Kind of counter-intuitive. 

Phi­losophy and Snapfish hooked up to add color to a promotion to celebrate the relationship between moms and daughters. Through a fairly robust Facebook page and a song by Amy Grant, among other tactics, it encourages women to create a “She Colors My Day” image and photo book at Snapfish. For each book created, Snapfish donates 50% of net proceeds to benefit the Women’s Cancer Research Fund. Visitors can also buy campaign-branded Philosophy bubble bath and download the song “She Colors My Day” by Amy Grant. Philosophy donates 100% of net pro­ceeds to cancer research. There are many elements here, but they’re fairly well integrated, and I like how it bridges two or more generations of women.

The Mother’s Day Every Day Campaign (led by the White Ribbon Alliance and CARE) has a more hard-hitting message. A mother dies in childbirth every minute, and the campaign advocates for better healthcare to reduce fatalities among women and infants. Huffington Post joins the cause with a blog series every day for the week leading up to Mother’s Day. The campaign also features an online “Wall of Mothers” where visitors can post a photo and send an e-card to mom.

My favorite campaign, though, is the simplest. Created by, a three-year-old grassroots group that advocates for ending economic discrimination against mothers, it’s been a huge hit among my friends and family. This is a simple, customized video tool whereby you can put in your own name, or that of your favorite mom, to create a funny mock salute announcing her as Mother of the Year, complete with Red Carpet celebrity interviews and a speech by President Obama. It’s reminiscent of the viral get-out-the-vote campaign just before the 2008 election, and what I like is that it encourages moms to honor one another, with a nice dash of humor flavoring a message that is never strident or too self-important.