Posts Tagged With: public relations pr

A “Bliss-ful” moment for Hershey’s PR

This week in Case Studies and Issues in PR we have been asked to discuss our favourite case, why it interested us, and what I have learnt from the campaign. So, without further ado, I present to you a sweet campaign put together by Hershey’s….

Now here’s a party I can get behind…
hersheys_bliss_logo In April 2008, Hershey’s was preparing to launch their new Hershey’s Bliss chocolate. With not much new to say about chocolate, Hershey’s had to come up with a creative way to get people talking about their product. With targeting female chocolate lovers in mind, Hershey’s decided to host 10,000 chocolate parties for girlfriends nationwide. JSH&A communications company used word-of-mouth, mainstream and social media to get the word out about how all of us chocolate loving females can all share in the bliss of cellulite by hosting a chocolate party. If you were one of the lucky ladies to be chosen, Hershey’s would send you package of Hershey’s products, coupons and party ideas to share with your  closest 10 girlfriends. In the end, they were able to create 150,000 unpaid brand ambassadors who promoted the product with pleasure after their parties were held.

A Moment of Bliss

This campaign stuck out to me, as it was something that was speaking right to me. Not only do I enjoy a morsel of chocolate or two from time to time (more like shamefully eating a whole chocolate bar in my closet), but I also LOVE my girlfriends. Combine that with an opportunity to throw and party, and Hershey’s has hit the dimple on the butt cheek! Although I can imagine the coordination of 10,000 parties in one weekend might come with some challenges, I couldn’t be more impressed and inspired by their creativity.

If this campaign teaches me one thing, it is that word-of-mouth advertising still remains the most efficient way to get your message across. In a time where their customer base is so big, Hershey’s was able to break down the message in a way that spoke to the everyday person, and made them feel part of this blissful chocolate experience. I am once again reminded that I am much more likely to listen to a friend’s recommendation than an advertisement any day of the week. The Hershey’s Bliss campaign proved how important word-of-mouth advertising is as they generated more than 142.5 million impressions, 15,390 blog posts, as well as an additional 10 million impressions based on word-of-mouth advertising alone. Well done Hershey’s. My second chin thanks you.

How do you think Hershey’s did with their PR campaign?

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Occupy-ing the Silence: A PR perspective of Occupy Wall Street

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Well, hello 99%. Welcome to a brief discussion on Occupy Wall Street. Today I will be sharing my thoughts on what could have been done from a PR perspective in order to keep the initial momentum of the movement going.

In case you are part of the apathetic portion of the 99%, Occupy Wall Street  is a leaderless movement that takes a stand against the “greed and corruption of the 1%”. Occupy Wall Street encourages the 99% to take a stand against this inequity by taking part in protests, standing up for our right to occupy spaces safely, and protect ourselves from the far-reaching power of major banks and multinational corporations.  Amazing, right?!?

As one of the 99% (we’re a big group!), I must admit that when the Occupy Movement occurred in September 2011, I got swept up in the excitement, as well as the ideology behind the cause. The general momentum of Occupy was helped along by Manhattan PR Firm Workhouse, who provided some much needed clarity and communications about what was going on.It was exciting to see a group of people trying to tackle the corruption that occurs within major banks and corporations. Combine that with the catchy messaging of “We are the 99%,” and I’m sold. The slogan does a great job at grabbing people’s attention and showing you that you are not alone. “We are the 99%” denotes that there is no segregation based on sex, race or age; instead, it gives people a platform to take a stand against financial inequities that exist in our “free market.” It turns out that this free market of ours comes at quite the cost….

So…Are we still Occupying?  12347490-confused-young-businesswoman-shrugs-her-shoulders-in-a-clueless-gesture

No one can argue that Occupy Wall Street generated a lot of noise and media attention. I still remember walking by the Legislative Building in Winnipeg and seeing people camping outside, rain or shine. The momentum was palpable and people were revved up for change; however, almost 2 years later the revolution seems to have lost it’s horsepower, and is in more of an idle position. Now, I would not classify myself as a political activist, nor have I rallied for large scale change. I have never slept outside as a form of solidarity for a cause, nor have I passionately picketed on the front lines. However, as one of the 99%, I was waiting for the actual movement or change that would result from all the ruckus and noise. It seemed as though the movement lacked a definitive direction, or strategy as to how this 99% of people were going to “overthrow” this 1%. As we saw with Kony 2012, momentum is only the first part of a good campaign. Once people lazily lift their head from their computers, they need a call to action strong and clear enough to make the change occur. Communication plays such an important role when trying to affect change that you literally need to spell it out for people. Furthermore, I’m not sure if the 99% can agree on how this change is going to occur. I have seen a group of 5 people melt down because they were unable to agree on things. Statistically, it doesn’t look good.

In the end, the real issue with the management of Occupy, is that there is no management at all. One of the fundamental ideologies of Occupy is that it is a “leaderless resistance movement.” To me, leaderless implies that there is no one taking control. In order to communicate to 99% of people effectively, the message has to be clear, concise, and consistent.

What would it take to convince you to take part in a movement?

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Comment #3

Today, I decided to respond to journalistics blog post on “What led you to PR?”  Now, I know that I might not be “contributing to the PR conversation” with this one, but it struck a cord in me. At a point where I am feeling quite stressed and overwhelmed, I thought it might be nice to remind myself why I am on this path.  I justified responding to this blog because I thought that even if one person read  my comment and found themselves in a similar situation, I might be able to show them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Here is my response to the blog:

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Categories: PR Fundamentals II | Tags: , | Leave a comment

RACE Formula and the PR Campaign

I have spent the past year learning about Public Relations (PR), and the mandatory steps one needs to take to create a successful PR strategy.  I am a passionate communicator, excited by new ideas and creativity. However, I constantly have to remind myself that there is more to PR than just good ideas, and catchy key messages.

When embarking on a new PR Strategy it is important to remember the RACE Formula, to avoid making some critical mistakes. What critical mistakes, you ask? Jumping to tactical ideas for a campaign before putting in the leg work of research and analysis (action). Was that a communal groan I just heard?!?! Yes, research and analysis(action) can be challenging, but it is the only way a PR professional like yourself will understand the basis and reasoning behind your campaign.

Let’s take a moment to review the 4 pillars of the RACE Formula:

    1)  Research: Every good PR strategy begins with some strong, solid research. By research, I don’t mean the first 3 websites that show up on a Google search. The goal is to find out as much external and internal information on the company as possible. Who are you targeting? What is the landscape of the market?  What is the current public opinion?

    2) Analysis (or Action): Once the research is done, you need to understand how you are going to put this information into action. This is where the goals and the objectives are stated, and the PR campaign starts to take shape.

    3) Communicate: Yay! My favorite part. This is where the strategies and tactics are decided. The meat and potatoes, if you will. Just remember: strategies and tactics are different. Strategy is the plan of action to attain a goal, tactics are how you’re going to get there.

    4) Evaluate: Measure the success of your hard work through evaluations of the campaign. The evaluation should be both quantitive and qualitative, and include recommendations for the future.

That’s it! Four easy steps to a successful PR campaign. Seems easy enough, right?! Wrong. Companies seem to struggle with this concept all the time.

Busting the ‘Block

Blockbuster is a prime example of a company that implemented tactics before doing the proper research. In 2003, Blockbuster came out with a campaign saying good-bye to late fees. I distinctly remember the campaign they rammed down our throats about the much awaited abolishment of the late fee. The problem was that there were late fees… sneaky ones. Economically, there idea was a bust. Plus, by the time they tried to salvage it, they were too late. Blockbuster failed to take into consideration companies like Netflix, and ended up losing their market share altogether.

So, use this tale as a precautionary one. Tactics before research is like putting on sunscreen for an indoor event. Useless. Be sure to follow the RACE Formula, and I’m confident you will find the success you are looking for.

What’s your favourite story of a PR Campaign gone awry?

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