2017 has come and gone, but we don’t want to forget about some of the biggest PR wins of the past year. Here are a few of our most memorable examples of great PR, marketing and communications.
THE PEOPLE OF HOUSTON
When Hurricane Harvey caused devastating flooding and loss in Houston, the nation stepped up. Houston Texans Tight End JJ Watt posted an initial donation goal of $200,000 on Twitter to help victims of Harvey – the donations came pouring in and resulted in a relief fund of more than $37 million. Countless other celebrities also used their social platforms to raise disaster relief funds as #HoustonStrong became the national show of support.
While Houston was facing a 1000-year flood and as residents were recovering in the storm’s aftermath, the Houston Astros were making history. #EarnHistory became the team’s slogan as they raced toward the first World Series win in franchise history. With a broken and distressed city behind them, the Astros topped the L.A. Dodgers in Game 7 to win the 2017 World Series.
The beloved fast food chicken company had a few great moments in 2017. Chick-Fil-A hosted a “Rivalry Restaurant” for two of college football’s biggest foes, Auburn and Georgia. Rival fans from each team attended a watch party on the Alabama-Georgia state line and ate Chick-Fil-A side-by-side. The game was not close (No. 7 Auburn beat No. 3 Georgia 40-17), but this story of unlikely people coming together is close to our hearts.
Just a few months later, the Atlanta-based company served sandwiches at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport after a power outage stranded thousands of passengers traveling ahead of the holidays. To help the community, Chick-Fil-A broke its own iconic rule of being closed on Sundays, which garnered national attention.
The publishing company did something pretty remarkable in 2017 – they made a 189-year-old dictionary relevant to the trends of today. By implementing the #WordoftheDay campaign, Merriam-Webster’s Twitter following doubled from January to May.
The social media campaign began in the wake of sexual assault accusations against prominent film producer Harvey Weinstein. Actress Alyssa Milano popularized the #MeToo hashtag and asked others to share their stories of sexual harassment and abuse. The stories came flooding in from both celebrities and ordinary women as #MeToo was shared millions of times across various platforms.
On Dec. 6, the #MeToo Movement was named Person of the Year by TIME Magazine. The voices behind the movement who openly shared their stories were aptly called The Silence Breakers. The publication’s cover photo features six women whose voices helped launch the #MeToo movement, including the elbow of a woman wanted to remain anonymous but still represent all women who have been affected by sexual abuse.
What other PR and marketing wins from 2017 made your list? Check out a similar post we wrote in 2014, where we highlight the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the Ebola crisis and more.