The @Kotex @Pinterest Campaign

As we all know Pinterest is a rising social media force. It is a great forum for people to share what inspires them and show their own creativity. Kotex recently ran a campaign using Pinterest to identify female influencers to reach their target consumers.

Check out this quick video produced by the agency (Smoyz) who managed the campaign.

Obviously a super smart, well executed campaign that tapped into the passions of their consumers. According to the numbers, they had tons of interactions and reached a lot of consumers.

Why It Worked

As I mentioned earlier, Pinterest is all about creative inspiration. Kotex did a great job of joining the conversation (not taking over the conversation) by enabling these influencers to share their own creative skills with their communities.

I’m happy to see a brand in the right space, talking with the right consumers for the right reasons. Unfortunately, a lot of brands see the shiny red ball and want to go after it without thinking through why they need to be where they are.

The Next Level

Here’s my question though, now that Kotex has created this great community of women that are super stoked about the brand, how are they going to fan the flame?

Here are a few ideas that came to mind:

Social Good – Tap each influencer to find out what local charities they support that directly help women. After each charity has been identified send a creative inspiration kit that speaks to the mission of each organization. Each influencer will be asked to bring members of the women’s organization together to design something that represents the organization. Pictures are then taken and shared across their social networks. To give back Kotex then makes a charitable donation for each pin, share, tweet, Instagram.

Advisory Panel – Take a cue from Fiskers scissors and ask these influencers how each product can be improved. Consumers love to be heard and asking for their input is definitely a way for consumers to be heard.

I think one of the most important parts of a successful social media campaign is its ability to create real-life connections. Encouraging consumers to be a part of a real community is how you turn one time buyers into lifetime customers. I am looking forward to seeing what Kotex does to continue the conversation with the community they’ve created.

What are some ways you have seen brands continue to conversation with their communities?

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Let’s Get Instagrammed (with guest speaker Lisa Weser)

I have some awesome news. On Tuesday March 27th at 6 p.m. at Rockfish Interactive join me and Cincinnati PRSA New Pros Committee for a special Skype presentation on all things Instagram from Fleishman Hillard Senior VP Lisa Weser (@lisaweser). Thanks to Justin Goldsborough, co-moderator of #pr20hat, and all around good guy, I was able to connect with Lisa Weser and can’t wait to hear her discuss Instagram itself and the trends that make it such a great niche social network.

Here are a few of the highlights of Lisa’s career:
–    Helped launch the first iPhone (and three subsequent models)
–    Established twitter.com/att and att.com/socialmedia
–    Sent AT&T’s first tweet and attracted its first 27,000 followers
–    Managed AT&T’s online newsroom and content strategy
–    Provided intranet counsel to AT&T, GM and Visa
–    Conceptualized and built AT&T’s “Twitter Tribe” ambassador program
–    Managed an award-winning AT&T Social Business Adoption employee campaign
–    Partnered with Panera Bread to execute a Mashable-recognized Pinterest strategy

Space is limited (there is a cap of 35 and 27 have already RSVPed!) so if you’re in the Cincinnati area RSVP by clicking here to RSVP on the Facebook event. Once you have RSVP’ed don’t forget to share the event with your Facebook community and tweet about the event using #CincyPRSA.

Quick Bonus: Click here to check out an awesome blog post from Lisa – Your Brand CAN Instagram

Be on the lookout for tweets and a recap of the event next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Social Media Tools, Tactics and Trends

I have been fortunate enough to serve on the New Pros Committee this year with a few other incredible young pros. I was tasked to set up the June speaker to discuss Social Media. I am REALLY REALLY EXCITED to announce Stephanie Wonderlin (@swonderlin) as our guest speaker.

Mrs. Tweetheart TV Herself

Stephanie, based out of Austin, Texas will be joining in via Skype. At her day job as The Director of Account Services at 44 Doors (@44Doors), a Mobile Experience Solutions Agency, Stephanie empowers clients such as Kendall-Jackson, Coca Cola and AT&T with more impactful and measurable ways to engage mobile consumers.

When Stephanie isn’t on the cutting edge of mobile innovation at 44 Doors she is a @NikeWomen Make Yourself Blogger and hosts her own Youtube webisode series called Tweetheart TV, the first interactive social media show. Stephanie reviews the latest social media tools  in power packed 2 minutes videos. Check out her latest video here:

Stephanie will lead the group in a 30-40 minute presentation on the latest tools, tactics and trends in social media. We will have 20 minutes of Q and A after so have your questions ready!

Here are all the event details:

When: Tuesday June 14 @ 6:00 PM

Where: Northlich (720 Pete Rose Way Cincinnati, OH 45202) Parking is free to attendees in the Northlich lot.

RSVP to cincynewpros@yahoo.com or on our Facebook Event Page – Please submit any questions on the Event page’s wall

Tweeting is Encouraged! Please use the #cincyprsa hashtag and chat it up with Stephanie –@swonderlin

See everyone there!

Weddings, Funerals and Social Media

Today I had the unfortunate experience of attending a funeral. It was not unexpected, and thankfully she went peacefully.

As I sat in the ceremony and the later at the wake, I noticed many people were on their phones, text messaging, tweeting, facebooking and surfing the web like at any other social gathering.

It got me thinking…

How long before people begin to add (and in my opinion harness) social media for good at such gatherings? As the mouse jumped on the wheel and got my social media brain going I thought how could social media be integrated into social gatherings like funerals and weddings.

Here are my thoughts.

Funerals

Twitter Fountain ~ Claim a hashtag, as an example #CelebrateAnne, Encourage guests to tweet during the reception and share memorable stories, favorite quotes, fond memories, and pictures. This would also allow people who couldn’t attend the reception to interact and engage with their loved ones.

**Social Good Tie-In** The family could donate money so for each Tweet to the church where the service was held**

Create a Ning commuity ~ It would allow loved ones to share longer stories with relatives and loved ones. This might especially be valuable for a terminal patient, or a way to grief in the case of a sudden death.

Weddings

Photo courtesy of funny-wedding-ideas.com

Create a Facebook Event – Invite all wedding guests to the event. Ask guests to share their favorite memories and pictures of the couple. These comments and pictures could easily be turned into a slideshow during the reception.

Claim a Hashtag and Use a TwitterFountain – (Ex. #ShippWedding) Encourage guests to Tweet pictures and share fun moments from the reception. Depending on the social media savvyness of your guests, you could leverage a reduced price on the venue by encouraging guests to check-in using Foursquare, Yelp (write positive review), Facebook Places, etc…

**Social Good Tie-In** Take something traditional away (I’m not sure exactly what to take away, but I’m sure there’s something with all excess associated with weddings theses days) and assign a monetary value for each Tweet ~ Then make a donation on behalf of the entire wedding to a cause or organization.

As our use of social media continues to evolve, it will be very interesting to see how and where it finds its way into such important parts of our culture like funerals and weddings.

What do you think?

-Andrew

What To Do When Sh*t Hits the Fan

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a Cincinnati PRSA Young Pros panel discussion on Crisis Communication.

The Young Pros committee lined up two great speakers: Jill Isaacs-Dunne of Metro/SORTA and Maureen Richmond of First Group. Each speaker shared multiple stories, and provided valuable insights.

In my young career I have not handled any “crisis” situations, which is a big reason I wanted to attend. Jill and Maureen did a great job of explaining how and why they handled different crisis, in addition to discussing what they would have done differently.

I pulled away several insights I’d like to share with you today.

  • Plan and Practice: Make sure your organization has a plan in place for crisis communication. This will be invaluable as crisis hits. Having a plan is great, but what happens if it is flawed? That is why it’s important to stress the importance of practicing crisis situations to upper management.
  • Gather Information: Information is your friend! Soak up and embrace the massive amounts of knowledge your internal assets already have.
  • Honesty and Transparency: It’s o.k. to say “I don’t know” ~ Do not give an answer, if you are not positively sure about it. It is essential to deliver the right information during a crisis. Speculation will become rampant all by itself, don’t add any fuel to the fire.
  • Interesting Tip: Send out an “FAQ Sheet” to brand advocates (Followers/Fans) ~ This engages and empowers them to share the correct information with their networks. It is important to think about creating brand advocates whenever interacting in the social space, not only during a crisis. The beauty of social media is the ability to directly interact with individuals. Constantly building and developing strong relationships with consumers will ensure your brand has built in story-tellers to share your message.

Jill and Maureen were great about answering questions and giving us words of wisdom. They both reminded us that everyone has been there, don’t be afraid to consult someone when crisis hits. Jill added, “Don’t hesitate to call one of us, we’ll talk about it over a beer, or better yet, we’ll have a beer after it’s all over!”

This obviously got everyone laughing, but comments like that from veteran pros reinforce my passion for public relations. Collaboration and a willingness to help one another is unparalleled in our field.

I would love to hear what other crisis communication tips you have to add!

Until next time, whether it’s B2B or B2C, it’s all Business to Person

Utilizing #Hashtags to #Engage

As I continue to grow as a communicator I enjoy trying new and innovative ways to engage in the social space. My employer, Busam Automotive, has been great about giving me some freedom to experiment with new tactics.

A few weeks back we had a pet adoption day at our Subaru store, Love a Pet at Busam Subaru. We invited 4 local animal rescues to attend and bring their adoptable cats and dogs. I also reserved a pet name tag engraving to have at the event.

To promote the event I used traditional strategies like pitching to local media and bloggers, making a Facebook event, and so on. ~ But I wanted to do something a little more innovative ~ In comes the hashtag.

The first thing I did was claim a hashtag, #LoveaPet. Claiming a hashtag is fairly simple and doesn’t take a lot of time. To claim a hashtag check out What’s the Hashtag ~ You can also claim it on What’s the Trend. Claiming a hashtag is beneficial on several levels.

  • Gives you an opportunity to give a quick “elevator pitch” about the event
  • Allows you to add other links and relevant pages ~ i.e. press release, Facebook event page, relevant blog posts, etc…
  • SEO (link building)

After the hashtag is set up you have to get the word out and encourage involvement. To engage followers I tweeted saying I would make anyone a pet name tag if they tweeted back their pet’s name, a picture of their pet and used #loveapet.

After the responses I selected one and made a short video ~

In addition to the short video, I made tags for followers who interacted. I took a picture of each tag and tweeted the pictures at them with #loveapet. I also incorporated the hashtag on the actual tag ~ (I later mailed the tags)

I was glad to provide the tags, but didn’t expect much beyond a RT or a thank you ~ I was wrong!

The video was made for Kelly Rodamer ~ It turns out she has a dog blog and did a post on the event!

After I mailed Dino’s tag to Amy Storer-Scalia she took a picture of it and tweeted it using #loveapet.

There is one problem with using a hashtag for an event ~ How do you use the hashtag when the event is over? I have a few suggestions ~

  • The Love a Pet Event was the kickoff the Pet Adoption Month at the dealership. We are donating $100 for each Subaru sold in the month of November. I use the #loveapet when tweeting about our donation totals. It’s a great way to showcase social good using the hashtag.
  • Before the event I visited each animal rescue and featured the organization in a blog post. I use #loveapet when tweeting about those posts.
  • I follow local and national animal agencies. I RT and interact with them and add #loveapet whenever relevant.

Incorporating #loveapet into our overall PR strategy proved to be a valuable tool. Have you used hashtags for an event or cause? Would like to hear what else you have to add!

Until next time, whether it’s B2B or B2C it’s all Business to Person

Reaching Out to Different

A quick thought…

As a young communications professional I do everything I can to connect, interact, and engage with all kinds of different communications professionals. It is great to network of course, but what I really enjoy is collaborating and sharing ideas. It is so interesting to meet new people who come from different backgrounds, have had different experiences, or are just plain different!

A couple of questions for discussion.

Veteran pros, what is the best way to reach out to you?

Young pros, what do you think are the best ways to reach out to veteran pros?

Interested to hear different thoughts and perspectives from different people!

Until next time, whether it’s B2B or B2C it’s all Business to Person