The Loch Ness Monster–kindly referred to Nessie by believers and skeptics alike–has been stirring conversations since the sixth century. The cryptid–a.k.a a creature that has been suggested, but not officially discovered by the scientific community–is only rivaled in notoriety by the very famous Bigfoot.
Regardless of whether you believe in the Loch Ness Monster or not, this story is a legendary feat of public relations.
The Loch Ness Monster is thought to be a surviving plesiosaur living in the Scottish Highland’s Loch Ness.
As mentioned above, sightings have been recorded since the sixth century. The legend, however, launched into the modern eye in 1933 when a man named George Spicer and his wife saw “a most extraordinary form of animal cross the road in front of their car.” It continued when a motorcyclist claimed a similar account.
Soon after, photos began to circulate in 1934. Perhaps the most famous “snapshot” of Nessie is the “Surgeon’s Photograph.”
Sightings and scientific research about the phenomenon of Loch Ness continue to this day. Most recently there was an alleged sighting of the beast via Google Maps.
Why This is a PR Feat of History
PR is often focused on:
- Stirring and creating conversation
- Driving people to action.
The Loch Ness Monster–in legend, speculation and proven hoax form–has and continues to accomplish these two factors.
Factor 1: Stirring and Creating Conversation
When sightings emerged in 1933, the Loch Ness Monster suddenly became an incredibly popular conversation covered in countless news pieces.
Although the majority of the sightings were proven to be bonafied hoaxes, the discussions they caused are astounding. PBS states that, “The Loch Ness Monster has been headline news all over the world for more than 60 years.” From a PR standpoint that’s extremely impressive.
Nowadays, anytime another “piece of evidence” is discovered, news immediately spreads to the corners of the world.
Factor 2: Driving People to Action
In 1933, workers were trying to build a road along the loch. It’s hard to imagine now, but Loch Ness was just about isolated from the outside world prior to 1933. The sightings of the Loch Ness Monster only increased attention and need for this road as it brought workers and tourists to the area.
Tourism, Monster Hunters and Scientific Experiments
Tourists and monster hunters continued to flood the area and report a variety of sightings. The great controversy of this topic has even brought in a variety of scientists to investigate, which has only gathered more attention. Searches have included sonar and other submersible investigations.
Modern day tours include a go-around of the loch in a “privately owned” boat complete with whiskey tastings.
Though the existence of the Loch Ness Monster is inconclusive, the topic has continued to consistently stay relevant since 1933.
With this in mind, when approaching your PR campaigns ask yourself yourself the following questions:
- How can we stir and create effective and shared conversations?
- What will drive our audience to action? How can we drive that action?
- What will make our campaign stand the test of time?
- What will make our campaign an icon that appeals to a variety of cultures?