We can speculate about why Wells Fargo created bogus credit cards or the motivation other brands had for doing things they knew were wrong or even illegal. Tobacco giant Philip Morris International is trying to remake itself into a purveyor of smoke-less product. It says it wants to discourage teen smoking. Then why was it flouting its own rules and using young, attractive influencers to tout its cigarette alternative?
This past Mother’s Day, The New York Times ran an opinion piece featuring several female athletes who are sponsored by Nike, focusing on the fact that Nike did not provide these athletes with paid maternity leave. The scandal reminds us that brand communicators should close the gap between what’s promoted and what’s practiced, and partner with legal teams to make sure that contractual language is consistent with brand values.
We enjoy learning about brands using unusual communications methods. Capital One bank is well known for its “What’s in Your Wallet?” tagline and sponsorship of sporting events. One of the country’s leading issuer of credit cards, the bank leaves its cards home for its latest communication effort. Instead, it concentrates on conversations with customers about purposeful travel.
Our regular roundtable feature includes honorees from the 2018 PRNEWS Platinum PR awards and speakers from The Social Shake-Up. Among the questions we put to them: What qualities does a successful communicator need? With the onslaught of technology, how can brands ensure customers have a human experience? And what social media trends are you eager to learn more about during the Social Shake-Up?
Burger King did a lot of things right in the Impossible Whopper rollout. Audience testing and the role of data played a large part in their decision. Surprisingly, Burger King did not look to coerce vegetarians with this burger. Sometimes the most obvious audience is not the correct audience.
Marvel is far more than a brand of comics and films. It’s also a marketing juggernaut. Thing is, Marvel understands the “less is more” approach with its audience. Since it has identified distinct and overlapping segments for each film release, Marvel leaves breadcrumbs of suggestion, which are enough for hardcore fans to pick up the slack. This creates FOMO by withholding information and letting the earned media hype train build momentum with what is ostensibly service journalism.
The opioid epidemic has touched one in three Americans, a new survey from NPR and Ipsos shows. In addition, pharma’s narrative about its role in the epidemic has failed to resonate with a significant majority of the American public. What steps should industry communicators take to rehabilitate pharma’s reputation with the public? Crisis communications provides a possible option.
Kanye West played an opportunistic set at Coachella 2019’s second weekend, held on Easter morning and branded #SundayService. Seeking to repair the problematic year he’s had alienating his audience, Ye’s set was largely received as rushed, opportunistic and appropriative. The overpriced merch didn’t help either. That said, communicators can learn from Kanye’s disastrous #SundayService, particularly about when branding is inappropriate and how poor visual storytelling can drastically hurt a brand’s reputation.
Go big or go home does’t necessarily apply to innovation, says Scott Steinberg, author and business consultant. Armed with knowledge about their customers, communicators can advocate for brands to make small, tactical changes to products and services that can yield significant results. Steinberg discussed his ideas about thinking small to go big during PRNEWS’ Measurement Conference in Washington, DC.
The New York Times published a story Saturday detailing how Google shares its location-tracking database with police to identify potential suspects whose devices were within the vicinity of a crime. The police then use this information as evidence while building a case, sometimes going after the wrong suspects. Google’s unwillingness to acknowledge its reputation for surveillance offers PR lessons about recognizing negative trends.