Pandas and princes: keeping ahead of the news agenda

News agenda: brand development

There’s no escaping it. You can’t hide. Baby fever is sweeping the nation.  The birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first son – Prince George of Cambridge preoccupied journalists but the news agenda is now being dictated by another impeding arrival which was announced last week.

On 9 August, Edinburgh Zoo exclusively revealed to the BBC that Tian Tian, a female giant panda, ‘may be pregnant’. She is showing strong signs that indicate she is with child [or should I say cub?]; her hormone and protein levels are up and she is behaving uncharacteristically.

So while the Queen celebrated the birth of her great-grandson – and the first time in 119 years three successive heirs to the throne have been alive at the same time – she may soon be celebrating the first British-born panda since the record books began.

So while the UK glows in all the baby-fuelled glee, the clever boffins in creative departments up and down the land are working away to come up with the next big stunt to celebrate the births.

To mark the arrival of baby George, here’s my round up of three of the best stunts from BT, Jelly Babies and Magnum…


British Telecom shared its message of congratulations [and confirmed the sex of the royal baby should anyone have missed it!] by lighting the LED screen at the top of the telecoms Tower in blue hues exclaiming, ‘It’s a boy!’.

BT - it's a boy!


Jelly Babies:

Bassetts extended its ‘sweet’ wishes to the royal couple by placing a number of adverts in the national press celebrating the arrival of Prince George.

Celebrating the NEW arrival


The ice cream producers capitalised on its mini magnums, mocking up a shot of a ‘mummy and daddy’ magnum adorned with crowns either side of a baby magnum. The image read ‘congratulations’ with the hashtag #miniroyal.


Working in PR, one of the skills of the job is to be one step ahead of the news agenda.  Being aware of topical content and emerging trends is the key to securing coverage in your client’s target media.

While we’ve known for the best part of nine months of the impending royal arrival [and creative departments have had plenty of time to prepare], working in PR you need to be able to respond the moment news breaks – it could be a quick rapid response comment to full blown crisis communications for a client.

So while we’re keeping our eyes on the news agenda for our clients, creatives up and down the country will be keeping an eye on a potentially pregnant panda.  I wonder what clever stunt they’ll come up with next to mark the arrival of this bundle of joy?