Publicity Stunt numero uno – The Cork Women’s Mini Marathon was the platform for which I chose to attempt to garner the first bit of PR for weddingdates.ie. [Launching soon!]
I intended to have a whole gang of girls (and guys!) dressed up as brides running the marathon with me. Due to 30th birthday parties, Moving-away-to-Liverpool parties and generally an unwillingness to a) run a mini marathon or b) to be humiliated in a wedding dress; many of my friends weren’t available on the day to participate.
4 of the girls were bullied into it by me stepped up to the challenge and Kate, Una, Redness and my new poster girl Jenny did me proud on Sunday by not only completing the marathon in 1 hour 34 minutes, but they managed to do it with typical style and aplomb!
My good friend Peter Sweeney is a dab hand at the ol photography and jumped at the opportunity to photograph a load of brides! Unfortunately, the shutter on his new camera broke the week before, but crisis was averted when Sabrina offered up hers for the occasion. (Are you keeping count of the times you have saved my butt now Sabrina?!) Pete came up from Kerry for the event and despite being severely hungover (along with most of us!) did a fantastic job on the day and managed to sneak through the security and ended up doing the whole marathon with us, documenting the whole thing!!!
Like any good bride, we arrived late all in a flurry of veils and satin and got into the spirit straight away – the girls were nervous about being dressed up and looking silly, but as soon as we got out of the taxi and into the crowd, we were not alone! Plenty of others were dressed up and the guys in drag provided us with much entertainment, particularly the “Pants Party” brigade!
We started the whole thing at a run, but in a fairly short time had to slow down to a steady amble as poor Jenny was struggling with the weight of her train and Redness was suffering under the weight of a hellish hangover!!
We generated plenty of attention with people getting a good giggle at our get ups and we were more than happy to pose for the many photographs that we were asked for during the day. We all wore weddingdates.ie logos and to my excitement we overheard loads of people commenting on the name and talking about it as we walked the route.
Jenny has been officially designated the Poster girl for weddingdates.ie and she was the perfect model for the day and fell in love with her oversized dress complete with massive train (thanks to Easther for the dress!) Can’t wait to get her back into it again for some more promo shots for the site. (Without the runners this time!)
Jenny outside Blackrock Church…..would you LOOK at that fabulous train!!
Who would stand this one up?!!
Peter followed us around the course and we set up some great staged shots along with a ton of natural ones that he got aswell. A favourite of mine was the Autumn Leaves as confetti, its unusual, fun and perfectly seasonal.
We finished the whole thing in 1 hour and 34 minutes….no mean feat, under all that taffetta (!!) and by the time we got to Kennedy Park we were ready to party. Photographers loved our ‘unique’ look and snapped happy as we posed and I plugged weddingdates.ie unashamedly. The DJ spotted us from the stage and invited us up only to ask us to lead the crowd in the ultimate wedding dance….The birdie song!!
Never one to shy away from a chance to dance on stage, I was in my element and all the girls really got into it too (they secretly love the spotlight too!) We were thrilled we had completed the whole thing, and all the girls loved being in the wedding dresses. Now they can see why I never want to take mine off!! Any opportunity!!
As we waited for a cab out on the curb, cars slowed down, tooted their horns….we LITERALLY stopped traffic!!! Naturally we got a good laugh out of all this, but the next car to stop was an Evening Echo van. They hopped out and asked us would we mind, posing in front of the van…..Mind?!! We couldn’t wait!!! We threw ourselves into our next photo op and worked the cameras (there were 2 on us at this stage, Peter AND the Echo photographer!). The girl who was driving the van had the window down and couldn’t stop laughing at the hilarity of it all! We got some great shots with plenty of Evening Echo logos, so if we don’t make the paper, I’ll eat my hat!!
All in all, a great experience. We will DEFINITELY be doing it again next year…maybe with a few more participants even! I couldn’t have done it without my girls and of course a very special mention goes out to Peter who did a superb job on the photos and processed them and uploaded them so quickly for me.
As a PR exercise, it was my first attempt at anything like this, so it was a good learning experience for me aswell from a point of view of publicising my business and not just dressing up and doing silly things for the craic.
Lessons learned for next year:
- Be properly branded. We had homemade signs with the company logo on them. They not only looked unprofessional, they were too small.
- Be linked to a charity. The race was for charity and though we had entered to support the Irish Cancer Society, we didn’t have that on the signs. We should have had weddingdates.ie running for the Irish Cancer Society, with both logos nice and big.
- Be registered. As I couldn’t confirm numbers who were doing the race with me for definite in advance I only registered myself and Kate. And then Kate lost her number. So I was the only one with an official race number.
- Be pushy. While we managed to spot official photographers and get our faces in their lenses, I didn’t give them my business cards. I had them with me (stuffed down the front of the dress!) but in the excitement/hustle I forgot to give them to them. I kicked myself afterwards when I realised.
The runners (and dresses!) are hung up for another year….