Our Favorite PR Moments of 2022

By Staff

LEGO MRI Machine
Photo courtesy of the LEGO Foundation

The LEGO Foundation donates LEGO® MRI Scanners to hospitals around the world

In February, the philanthropic arm of LEGO®, The Lego Foundation, announced it would donate 600 models of MRI machines to hospitals to help kids understand the loud and intimidating machines. Playing with the models, kids can “rehearse” the process and work ask the clinicians questions – taking some of the scariness out of the situation. View it in action HERE.

Outdoors for all! Georgia State Parks and Aimee Copeland Foundation’s all-terrain track chairs

Georgia State Parks and the Aimee Copeland Foundation partnered together to provide free, high mobility all-terrain track wheelchairs at 11 state parks, historic sites and a wildlife center to improve access and help people reconnect with nature and history, explore nature trails, go fishing and enjoy other outdoor activities.

Side note for anyone traveling in California: Our client, Save the Redwoods League, released A Disabled Hiker’s Guide to the Redwoods.  

Airbnb commits to free short-term housing to refugees of the war in Ukraine

When Russia invaded Ukraine, many companies and business leaders voiced their opposition. Airbnb was in a prime position to make a difference for those forced to leave their homes. In the six months following the initial announcement, more than 48,000 hosts offered temporary stays to refugees in 160 countries and regions around the world through the company’s platform.

USMNT taps Ted Lasso’s words of encouragement for World Cup

For this year’s World Cup, held in Qatar, the US Men’s National Soccer Team harnessed the unique character of television soccer coach Ted Lasso. In a series of billboard ads in each of its 26 players’ hometowns, USMNT had the fictional coach post inspirational letters that capitalized on the moment. Comms is life!

The Queen is dead. Long live the King!

News of the anticipated, but nonetheless surprising, passing of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain took the world by storm and generated a notably bifurcated media response:  On the one hand, there was broad recognition and appreciation of a leader who had ruled consistently through decades of head-spinning cultural and political change. On the other, her passing catalyzed a moment of profound reckoning for the legacy of colonialism, racism and classicism that the British Empire – and the monarchy itself – represents. Within days, the media began openly opining on how and whether King Charles III will be able to bring the monarchy up to contemporary expectations. This is much more than a PR question, of course, but the process of this questioning and its outcomes will inevitably and inextricably be shaped by the media.

Same Show, Different Jimmy

While we’re not big fans of PR stunts for April Fools’ Day, late night talk show stars Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon pulled an epic prank on everyone (much of their staffs included) and traded hosting duties for the night of April 1. Fallon came to Hollywood to host ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live and Kimmel flew to New York to host NBC’s The Tonight Show. Studio audiences for both programs were not informed of the move prior to the shows’ tapings, adding to the overall surprise of the talk show swap for both in-studio audiences and viewers at home.

Kudos to the ABC and NBC late night communications teams for working really hard to keep the secret and pulling it off, too.

Watch Kimmel’s monologue from “The Tonight Show” here and Fallon’s monologue from “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” here.

POTUS Takes a Test Drive

President Biden’s test-drive of the new Ford F-150 electric truck on May 18 was an unscripted PR coup for Ford and one of the best PR moments of the year. It showed that the President is committed to supporting and promoting the adoption of electric vehicles, which aligns with his administration’s focus on combating climate change and transitioning to a clean energy economy. By driving the truck himself, President Biden demonstrated his personal support for electric vehicles, and that they’re fast, powerful and fun to drive – and that he also really enjoys driving. The event received widespread media coverage which helped raised awareness about the availability and benefits of electric trucks and the innovation coming from the country’s transportation sector.