Immersive PR: XR Takes on Public Relations

Written BY

Emily Friedman

May 20, 2024

While using XR for training, remote support, and design has become standard practice in many organizations across industries, one lesser-known application could blossom as consumer awareness of extended reality grows: PR (Public Relations).

For several years now, companies have garnered attention for using XR, from incorporating VR into employee training to a host of experiments in the metaverse. Being an early adopter of any emerging technology is in itself a PR move, but organizations have also turned to AR/VR as a PR tool. 

XR can be a powerful publicity tool for generating transparency and buzz, converting consumers, and building brand loyalty. Here are 5 ways to use XR for PR: 

Highlighting sustainability

Brands have used XR to share how they ethically source materials, how they’re lowering their carbon footprint, how products get from the factory to store shelves, etc. At the 2018 World Gas Conference, for instance, Chevron launched a mobile AR experience to shed light on Barrow Island, a Class A Nature Reserve where the oil giant had recently opened a plant. 

Specifically, the aim was to show stakeholders how Chevron prioritizes environmental protection at the site. Similarly in 2022, ExxonMobil employed AR to visualize reduced carbon emissions. 

Reputation rehabilitation

In 2019, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) produced virtual tours of a Marathon Petroleum refinery and an Ineos chemical plant for Google Cardboard to combat “misconceptions about the refining industry” and “boost recruitment efforts.” 

Promote a cause/education

More recently in 2021, ABP Food Group developed a WebAR demo of how to cook the perfect Wagyu steak as part of a larger campaign to educate consumers about animal welfare, provenance, and safe cooking.   


And just last year, eyewear specialist Marcolin created an immersive tour of its factories to show off its creative and manufacturing departments. The experience served a dual purpose: Employee training and public relations. Employees and customers around the world could engage with the brand from anywhere using a VR headset, and “explore the heart of the company.”

Similarly in 2019, Jack Daniel’s released an AR app with animations, voiceovers, etc. all about the more than 150-year-old brand. By pointing a phone at a bottle of Tennessee Whiskey, users could walk through the whiskey-making process, learn about the brand’s underground cave water source, and meet the real Jack Daniel.

New fashioned press release

Royal Caribbean used XR to bring the traditional press release to life. Last year, the global cruise company debuted its largest cruise ship early on Fortnite. When it launches IRL, the Icon of the Seas will be the world’s largest cruise ship. Until then, Fortnite users can “hide, seek, and collect coins” in two sections of the ship. 

Whether looking to redeem or differentiate themselves, brands are already using XR to show their mission and values and it’s far more powerful than a statement on a website. New realities hold tremendous potential for brand image, advocacy, and rehabilitation in an age where younger consumers consider transparency and authenticity just as much as quality and price in decision making. 

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