Richard Branson finds the PR sweet spot

We often talk about integrated communications campaigns. Long gone are the days when companies or brands could focus promotion around a single press release. Nowadays, there are multiple touch points to reach target audiences, each requiring a different targeted approach. Today’s PR pros need multiple strings to their bows to deliver for their clients.

Just last week, visionary entrepreneur Richard Branson undertook a whirlwind tour of the UK to promote his new book, Finding My Virginity. Branson has always adapted to, or even pre-empted, the times and his latest bout of self-promotion was a triumph.

The dawn of the digital age and the rise of different forms of social media have drastically changed how society consumes information and entertainment. Conducting numerous interviews for television and print is no longer the most comprehensive way of communicating with mass audiences. Branson and his team compiled a very modern day PR campaign to gain maximum exposure on an intense promotional day.

Kicking off the day with the traditional press release on Virgin’s new venture, Hyperloop One, Branson started his media tour on the most popular breakfast radio show in the country, which boasts more than 9 million listeners per week.

Branson then moved onto Twitter for a live Q&A, in which he was asked everything from how he motivates himself, how he deals with his dyslexia, to advice for young, hopeful entrepreneurs, preferring to answer with short video clips – a lovely personal touch.


An appearance on the BBC’s early evening magazine show The One Show then followed. Appearing alongside Strictly’s Scottish sweetheart Susan Calman, Branson’s table dancing arguably reinforced Mel Brooks’ recent description of the programme as ‘a crazy show’, but only fuelled the publicity machine further.

Branson then went on to host the launch of his autobiography on Facebook Live from a theatre in nearby Camden, inviting audience members both digital and physical to engage him with their questions.

By creating content tailored to the distinct identities of each individual media platform, Branson was able to communicate his messages to a wide cross-section of audiences.

A successful PR strategy for the digital age recognises that no one medium is the most effective for telling a client’s story. To engage with the largest audience, one must utilise the plethora of options available while individualising content so that it overlaps, but never repeats itself.

Writing on his Virgin blog, Branson himself commented: “I’ve had some incredibly long, busy days this week, and when I saw a dog waving back at me from the crowd, I wondered if I was dreaming it. I offered to sign a paw-printed copy of Finding My Virginity if the dog wanted, and was happy to learn the dog was a vegetarian!

How to talk to the individual (or canine!) while concurrently talking to the masses is what PR is all about. It all comes down to an integrated strategy from the outset.

Contact us hello@sqn.agency with your thoughts on Sir Richard’s approach to PR and promotion, or if you’d like to know more about SQN’s take on integrated comms.