Canadian brand Tweed, North America’s first federally regulated producer of cannabis, scored a coup in 2016. It struck a deal with Snoop Dogg, one of the world’s most prominent hip hop icons (and marijuana enthusiasts), to market Leafs by Snoop, the artist’s own line of cannabis products. To the layperson, a perfect marriage like this sounds like a product that would sell itself. PR pros know better, though; a good campaign is everything.
Stories by Ian James Wright
Since President-elect Donald Trump is a controversial figure to say the least, it’s difficult to tell exactly what the impact of an endorsement on a brand’s bottom line would be. Is increased enthusiasm from Trump supporters canceled out by antipathy from his critics, or does one side weigh more heavily than the other—and is the equation different for a New England brand like L. L. Bean and one anchored in Trump country?
Snap Inc. is testing two new ad features on Snapchat this month. The first feature addresses one of advertisers’ perennial complaints about Snapchat, allowing users to swipe up to be directed to another app; the second aims to make user sign-up processes for ad products more seamless via autofill.
The toast of the social media world this week has been fast-food chain Wendy’s sassy backtalk to an annoying troll on Twitter. Most of the communicators we’ve spoken to would advise people running a brand’s Facebook or Twitter account to be meek and deferential to an agitator like this one. Why, then, has Wendy’s been showered with universal acclaim?
IKEA, the Sweden-based furniture giant, agreed to pay $50 million to settle a lawsuit over deaths that occurred when its dressers tipped over onto children. It’s a significant black eye for the brand going into the holidays; one wonders, then, if another bit of related news was carefully timed to divert the conversation to something a bit more lighthearted.
Skype, Houseparty, your days may be numbered: Facebook has now entered the arena. Its recent announcement enthuses that “Chatting face-to-face live as a group is perfect for those spontaneous moments when text just isn’t enough… or when you have a major case of FOMO.”
The choice to use a picture without any dark-skinned people to pat oneself on the back for “diversity” is an odd and ill-informed one. The lesson that communications pros should remember is that visual storytelling is a language—a language that, though as rich and nuanced as any language can be, relies heavily on the first impression, the momentary glance.
When it comes to framing news in a flattering light to the right audience, Boeing has just pulled a deft PR judo maneuver that’s worth studying. On Dec. 11 Boeing signed a deal to sell 80 aircraft to Iran for $16.6 billion, a deal only possible because of the nuclear deal framework the Obama administration negotiated in 2015, which lifted economic and financial sanctions against Iran. But there’s a huge obstacle that could cause trouble come Jan. 20: Donald Trump.
Developing a brand message can be difficult. It can be even more difficult to ensure that your message stays consistent across all channels, both internally and externally. And when you have a crisis on your hands, and don’t have the luxury of a great deal of time in which to craft messages that address the crisis, that can be more difficult still.
What’s your dream job? Where would you work in PR if it were entirely up to you? PR News will honor these workplaces at an awards luncheon Dec. 6 at the historic National Press Club in Washington, D.C., where we will also bestow awards for PR People, Rising PR Stars and Diversity & Inclusion.