If every time a baby laughs, a fairy gets her wings, then an impending royal birth is like ascension for a publicist. While the world eagerly stands on "Royal Baby Watch," PR professionals have been scurrying about behind the scenes, getting the most play on behalf of Kate Middleton & Prince William's baby boy. And while that might sound crass, in our entertainment-obsessed culture, where celebrities are treated like royalty, and royalty like gods, there is nothing like a baby bump to enact a PR rallying cry for coverage. The #prgirls can't help it, as it were.
Some designers have been inspired? strategic? enough to incorporate the young royals into fall and spring collections. Christopher Fischer Cashmere has designed lengths in William and Kate sweaters as a part of his Christopher Fischer Baby Fall 2013 collection. To be sure, just because true royalty is rare, there's no reason not to dress our own princes and princesses in luxury, right? These cashmere baby sweaters will hit the stores a month after Kate's due date with the royal parent's names headlining the garments and press outreach. Organic and Fair-trade children's clothing company Nosilla Organics has also named a few pieces of their upcoming Spring '14 collection after members of the royal family, while Raymond Jewelry is marketing their custom monogram collection as present for new moms (members of the monarchy or not) with a special 30% off with the code (30ROYAL if you're interested).
"When a royal or A-list celebrity gives birth, there are a lot of opportunities to amplify client visibility. You may be called upon by media to suggest possible nursery items or shower gifts. We've gotten several time-sensitive requests this week and the media won't wait when it's breaking news. Any items gifted should be in stock and readily available for the public in the case the celebrity is spotted with that item and the media picks up the story." - Adrienne Dorsey, Magnolia PR
In Chicago's chic Lincoln Park, upscale boutique Young Royal Couture, along with firm Lipstick Logic, are in full on party planning mode for an in-store celebration with freebies and champagne for the mummies and sparkling cider for the toddlers on the day of the birth. Supported by PR outreach and marketing, Lipstick Logic owner Marie Hale Ramos explains, "These once in a life time opportunities give PR firms, a chance to be cheeky, push harder and really stretch their creative prowess by engaging the community in a common experience...with a little branding of course."
For home essentials Wayfair, celebrity births offer a means to pitch to outlets who normally wouldn't cover home décor but do cover celebrity news. This strategy has already led to a North West nursery look for less story in OK! Magazine. To prepare for the royal birth, Wayfair focused on two different pitch angles, a royal nursery, inspired by Kate's style and the classic symbols of the British monarchy, and a royal look for less. The approach seems to be working, Everett Uhl, who does Public Relations for the ecommerce site shared, "So far, we have gotten a few bites from outlets that typically would not cover home décor, but are covering the royal baby."
Finally, a royal birth also presents an opportunity around branded content. Paper Hat Press, creates custom books for children using their name and unique features, and is researching popular baby name trends for royalty as a content strategy and Livie & Luca shoes has been asked to create a sketch of a shoe fit for the royal baby by a major magazine. In order to make sure you're prepared, Adrienne Dorsey of Magnolia PR (who represents Nosilla Organics, Raymond Jewelry and Paper Hat Press), suggests the following: "Prior to the baby's arrival, have high resolution images (both product and lifestyle) ready for editors, samples ready to be overnighted (the overwhelming majority of sample requests I receive are for last-minute overnight!), and items ready to be purchased on their website."
This royal baby watch is the beginning of a new outreach angle for brands and publicists and perhaps a 0nce-in-a-career opportunity to secure press coverage fit for a future queen (or king!).
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