Levi Strauss & Co. CCO Shares Thoughts on Blogging

Kelly McGinnis, Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, Levi Strauss & Co.
Kelly McGinnis, Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, Levi Strauss & Co.

In advance of her appearance at the Social Media Summit in San Francisco on August 12, Levi Strauss & Co. Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer Kelly McGinnis sat down with PR News to share her insight on how the popular brand uses blogging as part of its communications strategy.

PR News: Blogging as a method of connecting with customers is important for any brand. Can you share a couple of recent examples of how Levi's has used blogging to communicate the company's mission and values? 

Kelly McGinnis: Our mission and values are two of the core editorial themes that show up on the Levi Strauss & Co. corporate blog, Unzipped. While we do feature product stories and articles related to our marketing and advertising from time to time, the primary focus of our content is connected to what differentiates LS&Co. through our reputation of being a company who always chooses to do the right thing over the easy. That can cover sustainability stories—both people and planet—as well as innovation stories and employee profiles, telling the amazing stories of the people who make LS&Co. so unique. From posts about Levi’s® Water<Less™ product and recycled water efforts to stories about global worker well-being programs and our heritage in our Throwback Thursday series, we use Unzipped to tell the full story of what LS&Co. stands for as a company.

PR News: What does your team look for when developing blog content? What concerns are top of mind?

McGinnis: We try to vary our content so it covers what’s important to Levi Strauss & Co.—sustainability, innovation, our leadership, community, what it’s like to work at LS&Co. and, of course, our 161-year old heritage. We have so many rich, amazing stories to tell that my only concern is finding a way to uncover and tell them all!

PR News: How does the Unzipped blog fit in to Levi's overall social media strategy? 

McGinnis: We use Unzipped to help tell our long-form stories, but it also helps propagate our social channels—primarily Twitter (@LeviStraussCo) and LinkedIn. For example, a lot of the Unzipped content is appropriate for our company LinkedIn page to show job seekers what it’s like to work at LS&Co. We also use Twitter to amplify our Unzipped content.

From a traditional media perspective, Unzipped allows us to tell stories we’ve placed on another channel to an important audience (like the recent CBS This Morning story). Additionally, many of our posts turn into pitches that we send to key media. It helps build our relationships and their knowledge about the company, and it can result in additional pick-up.

PR News: The building and opening of Levi's Stadium must have been a big deal for Levi's on many levels. What were key elements of the blogging strategy that your team had in mind with regard to the event?

McGinnis: We’ve been telling the Levi’s® Stadium story on Unzipped since Day 1 when we surprised employees with the announcement that we won the naming rights to the stadium on Community Day in 2013. Since then, we’ve been able to use our channel to tell different facets of the Levi’s® Stadium story and our partnership with the 49ers. Unzipped gives us the ability to showcase the LS&Co. perspective on a very exciting time in the Bay Area and sports. Most recently, we were able to cover the ribbon cutting from the ground as well as our LS&Co. Family Kickoff for employees.

To hear more from Kelly McGinnis, join PR News for the Social Media Summit on August 12 in San Francisco. 

Follow Kelly McGinnis: @levistraussco

Follow Richard Brownell: @RickBrownell