Imagine that you’re the PR Director for a small, private company that is preparing for its Initial Public Stock Offering and hoping to secure the attention of institutional investors. What would constitute a home run is a glowing, front page article in the Wall Street Journal touting the numbers and the euphoria surrounding the next most anticipated Wall St. debut since Facebook. Today, it happened. Twitter, the latest social media darling received a glowing endorsement from corporate news editor Dennis Berman. The numbers appear to add up and seem rather convincing if you believe his analysis. Certainly some investors don’t share this enthusiasm, particularly after the miserable stock performance of Facebook following its own IPO. However, the significance of this positive news article in arguably one of the nation’s most respected business newspapers can’t be overlooked. What do you think is the value of this single article?
Actions that get results is one way to measure a successful PR campaign. Since media outreach is a foundational principle of any campaign, consider the actions and results of a recent news announcement. The American Humane Association takes advantage of the collective public interest in the annual Academy Awards by issuing its own news release of pet Oscar(r) winners who win “Pawscars.” The creative news release, complete with video links appeared yesterday, distributed via PRNewswire.
The result? A news article and link in today’s issue of USAToday.
And that is just the beginning of the media coverage. It will likely be featured on numerous TV outlets and news media websites across the globe.
The power of PR to influence the media is real!
An essential element of PR planning involves research. Primary and secondary sources of information are helpful in setting benchmarks for PR plans in order to effectively evaluate the success of your PR efforts. When evaluating products or services or even new ideas, a new business trend dubbed “crowdsourcing” has appeared. A cross between brainstorming and croudsourcing, it is a new method of quickly testing ideas with a large number of people. Consider this article about crowdsourcing. The authors claim that this new method is the future of innovation, ideas and problem solving. In their recent book, Crowdstorm, they lay out a compelling case for getting advice from the smartest people in the crowd. It’s worth a look.
Hurricane Sandy brought out the rats. According to this CNN story, the floodwaters in New York subways drove these underground residents out of their homes and into the city: http://www.cnn.com/video/?hpt=hp_t2#/video/us/2013/02/20/tsr-rats-invade-ny-post-sandy.cnn
The county health department, city officials, residents, local business owners and pest departments all have something different to say. For pest control companies, one owner put it this way: “Peoples nightmares are a good day for us.”
This was a PR opportunity for entrepreneurial companies who want to get featured in the news. Business is booming and one way to take advantage of the news cycle is to promote your services when the opportunity presents itself.
Another example is when the maker of Oreo cookies tweeted a response to the temporary power blackout at the recent Superbowl, “you can still dunk in the dark,” and almost immediately tens of thousands of followers retweeted the message earning instant media attention.
Can you think of any other recent examples of businesses taking advantage of current events?
Product promotions have risen to a new level with the pending launch of the new video streaming and Internet enabled glasses from Google. According to the company, a limited number of customers will be selected to later purchase the $2500 glasses (for a discounted price of $1,500) when they Tweet about how they would use them or make a post to their Google+ account. A NY Times blog piece describes it here.
The “select” few who are chosen to receive glasses before the public launch will certainly have bragging rights. I suppose if you’re one of those people who constantly shares every aspect of your life on Facebook, you can do it now with video and stay connected with a pair of glasses that documents what you see! Hurry, the deadline is February 27th and in your Tweet you should use the hashtag: #ifihadglass
More ideas are found on the Google video here: http://www.google.com/glass/start/how-it-feels/
One new study reveals some interesting data about cell phone usage, particularly by men. Click here. The data reveals some interesting tidbits, particularly that men talk longer and speak faster than women. While this has huge ramifications for mobile commerce, it presents some interesting opportunities for marketers who want to attract and or influence mobile phone users. Perhaps all those gender based assumptions we make have been wrong all along! This presents an opportunity for PR people and numerous related tech businesses. What do you think?
Cruise lines seems to be taking a beating these days. If it’s not a runaway virus that is sickening passengers, it’s a runaway ship that’s floating without power. Carnival Cruise Lines seems to be the latest victim of a business crisis that seems to go out of control at ward speed. Enter social media and complaining customers (or in this case, actual passengers tweeting their discomfort). It seems that the CEO’s first response is to claim that it’s all under control and that they are handling it alone. What a PR disaster! How would you recommend this company deal with the ongoing crisis?
Read more Carnival Cruise Disaster
***Update: Another article asks the question about appropriate compensation. Apparently, customers have been offered a full refund, a voucher for another cruise and $500. Is this enough? See the article here.
Japan airlines has already lost an estimated $15 million due to the grounding of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft in its fleet. See the recent news story here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayinthesky/2013/01/31/ana-tab-for-dreamliner-woes-stands-at-15-million-so-far/1880647/
What’s more, the damage to Boeing’s reputation is likely to last for some time and will be perhaps far more costly. The essential thing is for Boeing to take responsibility–even if the batteries which seem to be the culprit–were manufactured by another party. What else can or should Boeing do to ease consumer fears?
The latest in a series of celebrity spoofs use football quarterback Tom Brady as the spokesman for the Under Armour brand of undergarments. The video boasts some entertaining moments and tongue-in-cheek humor, but the brand message perhaps is lost of the viewer. After watching the video, I remembered the characters and even the quarterback, but I couldn’t really remember the products being promoted. Watch it here and then post your comment.
Ahh, these misconceptions about what PR people do persist! A recent article in PR Daily gave me pause and caused some chuckling. What really struck me is the thought that we often have ourselves to blame if we can’t articulate how PR involves research, action planning, communication and evaluation–the oft-used R.A.C.E. acronym by PR people to define the strategy involved in the PR process. And it was only this year that the professional association PRSA finally adopted an approved description of the profession. Here it is in all its glory: ”
“Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
Above all, a PR person must be a good writer, an effective advocate and counselor with the wit and wisdom to express ideas and adapt to challenges. Now that you know more about what is expected of PR people, does that influence your opinion?