Five top tips for great BLE PR

License to PR's Louise O’Shea reveals her top tips for securing great coverage around this year's Brand Licensing Europe show.
Publish date:
Social count:

The dust has just about settled on Licensing Expo but on planet PR we are already thinking about October and you know what, the highlight of the European licensing calendar, Brand Licensing Europe 2016.

Mad? Not really, there are a hundred other things to get through before BLE. But the point is that it’s never too soon to start.

For sure, the best PR opportunities of the year happen around BLE - there will be hundreds of press and media people from the trade and the consumer press on site, as well as hundreds of inches online and in print dedicated to the choicest trends and news.

Tip one - It pays to be well prepared.

Nothing to say yet? That’s no excuse – Our second tip for BLE success is to think beyond the news agenda.

For example, we’re been talking to the Licensing Academy team for months about speaking slots for clients and about the jewel in the crown - the keynote address. Making time to think this one through could result in the sort of incredible TV and media coverage The Moomins got last year. And if you can’t clinch the keynote spot this year, you probably have someone in your team or company that could contribute to a debate or feature, a case study or a profile – even if there is no ‘news.’

You’re too small for PR? That’s no excuse either. The press is interested in the industry itself, in opinion, in trends and the most interesting of these often come from smaller, disrupter companies. So tip three is to embrace the opportunity and recognise that a great story is a great story and in our experience, great stories can be found in the most unlikely places.

You’ve no time to think about PR yet? Tip four – Make time.

I know it’s tricky. But it’s good to hard wire promotional opportunities into your BLE plan. I’ll bet BLE is your biggest single investment of the year. Good to underpin that investment with activity that raises the profile of what you are doing in the lead up to the event, during the show and afterwards.

You want to be on the lists of retail buyers’ must-sees before BLE even opens its doors. Do you remember the Chupa Chups Lolly Grabber Machine? Did one of your contacts skip down the aisles with a Moschino Powerpuff Girls handbag? Did Bart and Homer Simpson serve you a sweet treat during D’ohnut Hour?

It’s not all luck and lollies you know.

Clients we work with often say it’s good to have someone with a foot in the media camp to help identify the most appealing messages as well as to deliver them with maximum impact and work with the sister agencies who play a key role in making the show a success. Tip five – Speak to the experts.

It pays to take control of the conversation and make sure your company and brands are part of it. It’s never too soon to start thinking about how you’re going to shape and then broadcast your message.

Louise O’Shea is the director of leading specialist licensing PR agency, License to PR. She can be contacted on 020 7637 4660 or via



BLE 2012: The reaction

Figures show that this year?s Brand Licensing Europe smashed all records in its 14-year history, including 20 per cent more exhibitors. We speak to exhibitors and visitors for their views

Featured Jobs

Aardman Job Logo 620 x 349

Brand Manager (Maternity Cover)

Part of the brand team, The Brand Manager works closely with several members of the department, including Studio Publicist, Community Managers, Licensing, Sales and Attractions and Live Experiences teams to implement local and international strategies in the form of brand plans and maximising on all activity surrounding the properties.

Universal Job Logo 620 x 349

Senior Graphic Designer, EMEA - Consumer Products

Working in tandem with the Product Development team and reporting into the Design Manager EMEA, the purpose of this role is to drive forward our creativity across all licensed consumer products. As part of the creative team, you’ll be developing exceptional creative assets and product concepts for numerous NBCUniversal franchises that inspire licensing partners across the entire region.

SanrioJob Logo 620 x 349

Creative Manager

Best known for global icon Hello Kitty, Sanrio has a portfolio of more than 400 characters. We license a unique collection of branded gifts, stationery and fashion accessory items while collaborating with the most respected companies in the world. Our EMEA business coordinates the development licensing throughout Europe, Russia, Middle East, Africa, Asia (for Mr Men), Australia and New Zealand. An exciting, permanent opportunity has come up at our London office to lead our Design team as Creative Manager (m/f)

Vivid Job Logo 620 x 349

Digital Marketing Executive - Toys & Games

Vivid is Britain’s biggest toy company and the 20 largest in the world. With offices across the globe, they sell an amazing portfolio of toys and games to over 60 countries. Vivid is best known for its association with blockbuster brands and is very excited about future opportunities around the world.