18th August 2014

Baking up a delicious PR mix – Why The Great British Bake Off is a PR master class

I am a baker – since I moved into a house with a large enough kitchen to actually cook in, and boosted by a new mixer, cakes have become a big part of my life. I am even *gulp* baking my future brother-in-law’s wedding cake later this week (wish me luck).

It’s perhaps no surprise then that I love The Great British Bake Off – and apparently a lot of other people do too. Ratings for the hit show are up 2 million from the last series, thanks no doubt to the move from BBC Two to BBC One, but also I think due to an amazing PR effort.

Ever since the series hit our screens a few years ago baking seems to have become de rigueur. Much has been written about why – like the recession making us all want to retreat to happier times and the trend for home-made everything taking off.

The PR behind the Bake Off is a master class in how to really tap into the zeitgeist from endearing social media conversations (like this conversation between BBC One and BBC Two’s twitter feeds) to clever positioning of Mary and Paul as the king and queen of baking.

Every week we’re glued to both the TV and then the write ups and aftermath. In the run up and after each show, the media coverage is phenomenal. We get reviews, and even round ups of the shows innuendos now. Social media has played an enormous part in the prominence of the GBBO – and even becoming part of the story on numerous occasions.

So what can we learn from the success of the Bake Off? Firstly cake sells, but also people really are at the heart of everything. I think much of the success of the show is down to the people – from the contestants (who are just like us but much better at cooking) to the judges and presenters. By making people the main ingredient of the story no matter what it’s about, we all want to read on.