Picking your battles: brand engagement

Everyone loves brand involvement, but there are times and places for it. A brand should know when to pick a fight or to just let it go. Let me show you three examples of good, bad and the okay in brand engagement. When mentioning a celebrity or brand you are picking your battle and it is best to evaluate all outcomes before name dropping. Social media allows ways to build loyalty or look awful.


Bad Example: Watch for someone known for rants

Since 2009 when Kanye infamously stole Taylor Swift’s moment at the VMA awards, we should know that he is outspoken. He later wrote a song about making her famous for his latest album, but Pizza Hut UK did not get the point. Kanye went on a Twitter rant about how he was in debt, but could still afford designer clothes and furs. Carter’s clothing and Baby Gap was smart enough not tweet to Kanye that they might be a cost-effective alternative. However, Pizza Hut UK didn’t consider that. It was hilarious at first because they tweeted for him to fill out a job application. The laughter ended when Kanye replied, “He needed more money in order to bring more beautiful ideas to the world.” Pizza Hut UK made matters worse by tweeting a fake resume with multiple spelling errors and a reference of Taylor Swift that was crossed out. It ended up poorly reflecting on Pizza Hunt in the end.

Okay Example: Beyoncé and Red Lobster

In the lyrics to “Formation,” it stated when they would frequent Red Lobster. Beyoncé is a hard person to say something about and she has her fan base the Bey Hive, which can sting you if you say something particularly negative about Beyoncé. Although Red Lobster saw a 33% increase in sales the week of the release of Beyoncé, they faced criticism because it had too much of a pun. In addition to a lack of response time, they also stated they had “Cheddar Bey Biscuits.” The tweet received over 14,552 retweets. However, the tweet garnered positive and negative reactions from people.

Great Example: An Internet star is born and a Chewbacca Mask

When Candace Payne broke the record for Facebook Live views, Kohl’s ran to support her. They surprised her kids with their own Chewbacca masks as well as a monetary credit to Kohls’. Candace could be viewed as an ad for Kohl’s because she mentioned them and their product. Needless to say, that mask sold out on Internet sites. Kohl’s won by thanking her for her loyalty. Not to mention that Payne seems like a grateful person because she reminded her children to give thanks. Unlike a celebrity, Candace Payne is a normal person who happened to stumble upon a brush with fame, which makes Kohl’s seem like a relatable brand that is appreciative of their loyal customers. This will be interesting to see if over the next few weeks Kohl’s stocks increase for a company that has been experiencing a drop in stocks.

emma-hawesEmma Hawes is currently working as a freelance social media content creator, while attending graduate school online at Purdue University. Hawes has a bachelor’s degree in communication, with concentrations in journalism, public relations and broadcasting from Mississippi State University. In college, Hawes was a freelance broadcasting technician, working behind the scenes for games with ESPN. When she is not behind her MacBook, iPhone or camera, she enjoys watching comedy, reading and cooking. Her fictional idol is Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation.

PRSA New Pros Teleseminar: March 13 on Real-Time Marketing with Arby’s

Josh Martin, Social Media Manager at Arby’s, will host our first PRSA New Professionals Section Brown Bag Discussion of the year. Josh gave us a preview of what you will be able to learn from his teleseminar on Real-Time Marketing Done Right. Register for the March 13th teleseminar today.

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 9.43.54 AM

How would you personally define real-time marketing? 

To me, real-time marketing is simply making timely responses to mainstream events.

What are some notable differences when executing RT marketing with an agency vs corporate?

Agencies bring a lot of creativity and strategic thinking to the table when it comes to RT marketing. Corporate lives/breathes the brand on a daily basis and often has a better understanding of what will work with their audience. The magic happens when both agency & corporate can work together seamlessly.

What are some of your goals when planning/executing RT marketing? 

My goal for RT marketing: Don’t do anything stupid. RT marketing is about two things: listening and engaging. We want to make sure we’re listening first and understand the conversations that are taking place. If we decide to pursue an opportunity, our goal is for the content to not feel forced and stays consistent with our brand voice.

What advice do you have for brands/companies that don’t have a budget to promote/push out their content?

Brands can still be effective in social media, even with a limited budget. They need to be laser-focused on developing a content strategy and be patient with results.

In your opinion, is there a good ratio to be used of pre-planned content and real-time content?

Specifically during a major event, when brands are trying to stay relative. It’s important to have pre-planned content at the ready so you can move quickly during a major event, but it’s as equally important to be flexible and pivot to real-time content when an opportunity presents itself.

Want to learn more from Josh? Register here.


February Twitter Chat Highlights: Real-Time Marketing

We’d like to thank everyone who participated in the February #NPPRSA Twitter chat by discussing the opportunities and challenges of real-time marketing. This month we discussed ways that brands can be authentic when engaging in real time and also addressed some the of risks that can come with real-time marketing.

Real-Time Marketing Twitter Chat Highlights

Specifically, we’d like to thank our two special guests for February: Adam Naide and Ken Burbary. Adam Naide is the Executive Director of Marketing for Social Media at Cox Communications, where he leads overall strategy for the company’s social media presences including fan engagement, customer acquisition & retention, social commerce and Social TV. Ken Burbary is the Chief Digital Officer at Lowe Campbell-Ewald. Ken has over 20 years of marketing experience with a focus on digital for Fortune 500+ brands.

Join us again on March 6 for our next #NPPRSA Twitter chat and stay up-to-date with PRSA New Professionals on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.

Review highlights of the chat below. What did you learn from the February chat? Should brands attempt real-time marketing? Is it worth the risks? How can brands authentically engage with consumers?


Amy BishopAmy Bishop works in digital PR and marketing for DigitalRelevance, a content distribution and promotion agency. She is also Social Media Co-Chair for the PRSA New Professionals Section.  Read her insights on customer experience and social business on her Marketing Strategy blog. Connect with Amy through Twitter, Pinterest or Google+.