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THE PR SUPPORT Stories To Tell


If there’s a good story to tell, the Disney PR team knows how to tell it – and to whom. The national press to TV stations, fashion titles to regional newspapers, trade publications to blogsites are targeted to receive relevant press releases resulting in reams of column inches, airtime and webspace that support Disney, its franchises, retail customers and licensees.


“Every day really is different for the PR team,” states Sandra van Vreedendaal, who heads up PR for Disney’s consumer products, retail business, live entertainment, Disneymedia+ and media distribution activities. Working at both a national and regional level


as well as catering for the consumer and trade press, one day the PR team could be lining up a live appearance on the TV news programmes (such as when Zoe Ball appeared on the Lorraine Show in connection with the Winnie the Pooh Storytelling Academy), the next making sure all the glitzy glossies have what they need for their ‘red carpet’ film premiere stories and the next it could be making sure that licensees’ products have the maximum chance of being featured in a newspaper’s Christmas Gift Guide. In addition to Disney’s ‘home generated’ press activity, Sandra and her colleagues also work hand in hand with the PR teams of the company’s partners – be they retailers, licensees or affiliated organisations. “It made absolute


sense, for example, for us to work closely with Visit Scotland on activity which coincided with the launch of our Brave film and also with milk company Cravendale on its Muppet tie-up as it all helped to promote the movie.” Such is the variety of the Disney franchises and all the related activity attached to those, Sandra points out that it is her team’s responsibility “to be aware of where the


opportunities are to get in the public eye with the information.” While some releases are lapped up by all the fashion titles (the Inspired by Minnie at London Fashion Week initiative and Chopard’s launch of its Happy Mickey Collection being two prime examples) others lend themselves more to regional or trade exposure (as has been the case of the Disney ‘shop in a shop’ concept in three Asda stores).


“Some of our press releases have


Above: London’s Metro newspaper was among a whole host of media to lap up the news of the Minnie Inspired activity during London Fashion Week.


a really wide reach and surprise even us sometimes – The Lady did a wonderful double page spread recently on our Winnie the Pooh Storytelling Academy while the Mail Online gave some great coverage for our Back to School creating a


healthy lunchbox ideas. ” So is all publicity good publicity? Certainly seems to be in Disney’s case.


Right: There were more than 60 different articles published about the Winnie the Pooh Storytelling Academy which celebrity Zoe Ball fronted to encourage parents to read to their children.


A SPECIAL MAX PUBLISHING 141 disney PUBLICATION 2013


Above: One of the many PR shots that were taken to promote the Disney ‘zone’ that has opened in three Asda stores, which the regional press were keen to pick up on the stores’ vicinity.


Above: The Sun was one of 90 publications, including 12 national newspapers and 15 consumer magazines who featured Disney products in their Christmas gift recommendations - and that was with still a month to go till Christmas! Top right: Among the PR activity which fanfared The Muppets movie was some great coverage of how designer Giles Deacon designed a special dress for Miss Piggy's red carpet appearance at the UK premiere.


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