James Chong, senior manager of social customer engagement at TOMS, is tasked with managing TOMS’ social budget while spreading its cause-related messaging to new audiences. Chong, who will be speaking at PR News’ Digital Summit Feb. 24 in Huntington Beach, CA, shares the arguments for paid social that he’s made to senior leaders.
Stories by Sophie Maerowitz
Social platforms are in a constant state of evolution, with new features being rolled out at a breakneck pace. And every brand can benefit from keeping an eye out for upcoming social platform updates and trends. Yelp, for instance, with its diverse audience of businesses and consumers, prioritizes staying current to ensure it serves content in the most engaging way possible. John Carroll, manager of local outreach at Yelp, will be speaking on what’s next in social at PR News’ Digital Summit, Feb. 24 in Huntington Beach, CA. He shares seven trends in social media to be on the look for in 2017.
Given the rapid pace at which we digest information, expert crisis management is the best defense against a brand reputation meltdown. Managing the flow of harmful news articles and social media posts is a delicate craft, best handled by PR pros with a balanced approach—neither dismissing the seriousness of claims, nor issuing a hasty apology. One such PR professional, George Atallah, assistant executive director of external affairs at the NFL Players Association, spoke on crisis PR with Doug Simon, president and CEO of D S Simon Media, at PR News’ Media Relations Conference in December.
Facebook has announced several new features communicators can use to more effectively measure and broadcast quality content to engage audiences. The update includes six distinct features that will help stabilize footage, increase flexibility and collaboration for multiple admins and improve metrics and views post-broadcast. Here’s a breakdown of all six updates and a few ideas on how communicators can start putting them to good use.
What’s the secret sauce for injecting authenticity into today’s competitive college market? A solid influencer program, according to some. PR News spoke with Christina Sponselli, director of social media at University of California, Berkeley, about the school’s influencer recruitment and relationship-building strategy. Sponselli will be speaking at length on influencer marketing at PR News’ Digital Summit on Feb. 24 in Huntington Beach, CA.
It can be challenging to pick and choose when to use humor in communications, especially for well-known brands whose audiences religiously follow social channels and dispatches. In recent years, the White House—a brand unto itself—has used humor to great effect. David Litt, special assistant to the president and a presidential speechwriter from 2011 to 2016—and now head writer and producer at Funny Or Die D.C.—reflects on the uses of humor during the Obama administration.
McDonald’s has opened a location just a stone’s throw from Vatican City, eliciting complaints from Vatican authorities. NBC reported at least one cardinal’s public opposition, calling the opening “perverse” and “abberant.” Amidst a flurry of international headlines, McDonald’s has been noticeably silent, and has not issued any kind of public statement. The fast food chain hasn’t even announced the opening on social media or other official channels. McDonald’s silent posture is likely a strategic move to keep the brand out of a volatile situation.
If you’ve noticed more announcements at the top of your Facebook feed, it’s likely due to Facebook’s latest rollout, Moments. For various events, from lesser-known holidays to news to cultural moments, Facebook has added a card to the top of users’ feeds to keep them in the know and spark conversations. The feature is similar to Twitter’s Moments, but if 2016 has taught us anything, it’s that Facebook won’t hesitate to poach competitors’ most popular features (e.g. Instagram Stories, Facebook Live). Facebook has also unveiled an e-card feature for posting holiday cards to friends’ feeds.
Every brand under the sun wants influencers to act as ambassadors, but as with any partnership, the right fit is key. Influencers should have more than a large following—they should be able to lend an authentic voice to your brand’s story. But how to find the right match? John Walls, director of brand PR, luxury and lifestyle brands at Hilton Worldwide, makes use of influencers regularly, and notes that authenticity is all about understanding potential influencers’ aesthetic and tone. He discusses influencer relations with Doug Simon of D S Simon Media in this brief video.
Celebrities: They’re just like us. At least when it comes to Snapchat perks, that is. Unlike other social platforms that serve as advertising opportunities for celebrity influencers, Snapchat has kept the influencer marketing door firmly shut. A ban on all paid influencer posts on the platform has helped boost Snap Inc.’s reputation as a bastion of raw, authentic content. This vacuum of celebrity endorsements on Snapchat creates a perfect opportunity for brand communicators seeking to experiment with posting more spontaneous, raw content.