PR by the Modern Day British Royal Family

In the glow of the Royal Wedding, there has never been one family that has been more talked about in history as the British Royals. Dotted with scandal, the famous family have had their fair share of ups and downs, being highly criticized in the past for rigid ideals and out of touch communication. One thing's for sure, the Royal Family are never without entertainment, yearned for by the public, with the fantasy of a Royal fairytale. An array of weddings, affairs, and questionable Halloween costumes have graced the pages of many a news story and with good reason - everyone want to know more - the good, the bad, and, of course, the ugly.

With the whole reason behind PR being the building and maintaining of public perception, no one does it quite like the Royals. Their well oiled machine works endlessly to ensure a continual stream of information is provided to the public, upholding their status and relevance. Not always an easy job when you have unruly youths and unrelatable heirs. However in recent years, there has been an undeniable shift in how the Royals have been perceived and much of this is thanks to the PR moulding of William and Harry, their subsequent marriages, and the overall demand for a modern monarchy.

From their attire at public engagements to announcements from the household, each piece of information is strategically tailored to bring maximum benefits and allow the brand of the Royals to evolve with the times. So what can we learn from the Royal Family in terms of PR? Here are five lessons we can take from their majesties:

Humanize the brand

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle are blossoming PR advocates for the Royal family. Kate has been directed as a doting mother and the “people’s princess,” an angle she shares with her late mother in law, Diana. With Meghan’s ethnic diversity and past relationship history, she has become the beacon of cultural enlightenment and the Royal families openness to change.  

For the least favourable Royal, namely Prince Charles, who has been criticized on many occasions for his lack of humility, the future King has recently been showing signs of humbling himself in an attempt to win over the public before he takes to the throne. The wedding of Harry and Meghan was the perfect, and well televised, moment for Charles to shine. Walking Ms. Markle down the aisle when her own father was no longer able to attend and the added attentiveness to his son’s future mother in law, were all seen as compassionate and definitely raked a few brownie points with the public. Remember, public opinion can be changed and sometimes it is subtly acts that provide the biggest impact.

Consistency

The Royal Family can be split up into subcategories. Harry and Meghan are the fun, laid back Royals. William and Kate are the paternal and future monarchs. And the Queen, well, she is just the Queen. Every branch has a different style, tone and public perception that needs to be individually catered for and it is most important to stay consistent in the way their “story” is told. Seamless messaging on all fronts, from social media to language used in public speeches, and, of course, the right attire and etiquette in the public eye, are all neatly packages and tied with a bow when it comes to the Royals. Stick to branding ideology and this couldn’t be more simple.

Stay relevant

Staying relevant and providing information that is significant is probably one of the most important parts to PR. No one wants to read old news and no one wants to hear you telling about it. The Royals are a great example of a family who have continued to strike while the iron is hot and make the most of a publicity tidal wave. When Kate gave birth for the third time, instead of doing what all new mother would and, quite rightly, lie in bed recovering, the Duchess was seen a few hours later standing on the steps of the hospital with the newborn Prince Louis, waving to the British public. This was again seen with Harry and Meghan, being the most sought after couples to watch, who two days after their wedding were seen attending Prince Charles birthday, rather than sunning themselves privately on their honeymoon. Momentum is everything and while you have the attention of the public, give them everything you got.

Continual updates

Being the Royal Family, any news presented is snapped up by the press instantaneously but it is still important for them to provide a continual stream of information. Having definitely embraced the online world, the Royals use multiple platforms to provide images of the family and share announcements. All social media channels are used to communicate and stay connected with the public, posting twice a day on their instagram about Royal outings, what they are getting up to, and even providing interesting facts from past monarchs. Their website is equally used to provide behind the scenes information of Royal events. Simply, people are fickle and like to be constantly entertained. Hence the media need to be provided with constant updates to write about in order to stay interested. Weekly fun snippets sent to press about the brand is a great way to stay in the minds of the media and public.

Leave them wanting more

When it comes to announcements from the Royal Family, the strategy is to always leave the public wanting more. Small drops of information are provided at a time, having the public scouring daily for more. This is best seen through the engagement announcement for Harry and Meghan. First there was speculation, then there was an official announcement, followed by Meghan and Harry taking the opportunity to be photographed with the ring and so it went on. What many would usually do in 1 week was spread out over months and the public loved it. Never be afraid to leave them wanting more, a cliffhanger will always have them coming back.

Matthew Watt