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5 Ways for PR to get Involved in ‘World Chocolate Day’

It seems like there is a world or national day for just about every day now. For example, there’s ‘National French Fry Day,’ ‘National Eggnog Day‘ and ‘National Avocado Day‘ to name just a few. Well today, July 7th is ‘World Chocolate Day.’ Today, the world comes together to celebrate one of the most delicious treats out there. PR Daily posted an article today about how PR and marketing can take part in the celebration.

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“Worldwide, roughly $101 billion is spent on chocolate each year.

PR and marketing pros taking part in World Chocolate Day are hoping to increase that number—or at least grab consumers’ attention.”

Read the entire article here!

4 Professional Athletes with Excellent Branding

With talent comes fame and with fame comes criticism. Along with our favorite singers and actors are those men and women who play for our favorite sports teams. While many children look up to these talented individuals, they do have their flaws. Think Lamar Odom, Ray Rice, Aaron Hernandez, Tiger Woods… the list goes on. The media tends to focus on the athletes with the bad reputations rather than highlight those that are using their fame to make a positive impact. Here’s a list of four professional athletes with great branding.

  1. Jordan Spieth– While his talent has been compared to Tiger Woods, they are very different off the golf course. At just 23 years old, Spieth has already had 10 PGA Tour wins, became the face of Under Armour’s golf attire and launched his own line of golf shoes. Spieth created The Jordan Spieth Family Foundation in 2013. With his younger, special needs sister as inspiration, the foundation increases awareness and provides financial assistance for those children with special needs, military families, and youth golf.

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2. Martellus Bennett– While he is known as a professional football player, Martellus Bennett claims he doesn’t really view himself as a football player. Rather, he is a creative and an entrepreneur. Known for his funny personality, what people might not know about Bennett is that he founded his own multimedia production company, The Imagination Agency. At his company, he has written children’s books and created educational mobile games and toys. He says that he was inspired by his young daughter and wanted to create books with lead characters with features similar to her.

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3. JJ Watt– Fellow football player, JJ Watt, has a passion for giving. Shortly after signing his contract with the Texans, Watt bought his mom a brand new car. In 2010, Watt launched the Justin J. Watt Foundation. His foundation’s mission is to provide middle school-aged children with the opportunities to get involved in athletics. Watt hosts multiple events, such as the Charity Classic, to raise money for his foundation. He is also known for his efforts supporting the troops.

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4. Serena WilliamsSerena Williams will go down in history as one of the greatest female tennis players of all time. Not only has she won 72 career titles, but she won her most recent, the 2017 Australian Open, while pregnant. Although, there is much more to this woman than her athleticism. She is very involved in the fashion industry and in 2015 she became the first black female athlete to be pictured alone on the cover of Vogue and she has presented her clothing line at New York Fashion Week. In addition to this, she is a certified nail technician, has appeared on various television shows, can speak four languages, technically owns the Miami Dolphins (she’s a minority owner) and has written a book.. to name a few of her accomplishments. On top of this, she created the Serena Williams Foundation to fund a school in Kenya and provide scholarships for underprivileged students in the United States. Serena Williams is a beautiful reminder to girls everywhere that they are capable of great things.

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Uber vs. Lyft

We’ve all been there. You get in your car and drive to meet up with your friends for a drink or two. You tell yourself that you will have AT MOST two drinks and that you will be totally fine to drive home. But as the night goes on you’re having so much fun talking and laughing with your friends that two drinks turns into three and then four and then you know that there is absolutely no way that you can operate a moving vehicle. There are no cabs in your area and you have work at 8:00 am so you really can’t stay the night. This is probably the predicament that Garrett Camp had in mind when he founded Uber.

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Garrett Camp founded Uber in San Francisco in 2009. I’m sure we have all heard of and probably used Uber, but in case you haven’t, Uber is a transportation company connected to a smartphone app. The cars come to you and drop you off at your destination and then at the end of your trip you are automatically billed through your credit card that is linked to the app.

Since 2009, Uber has been immensely successful bringing in approximately 6.5 billion dollars. Just a few years later, Logan Green and John Zimmer decided to join the market and founded Lyft. While the companies have the same basic foundation, they do have their differences. Uber is no stranger to controversy. Throughout the years, there have been various incidents of sexual harassment and just recently the CEO stepped down.

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However, despite its many setbacks, it seems that Uber is still on top. Recent statistics prove that Uber’s numbers are still dramatically higher that Lyft’s. Will Lyft take over or will it always be stuck in the shadow of Uber?

Is Kik Replacing Snapchat?

Social media comes in many different shapes and sizes. From Facebook to Snapchat to Pinterest to Kik, there are a variety of ways for us to stay in touch with our friends and favorite celebrities every day. Facebook, Snapchat, and Pinterest are widely known by many, but what is Kik?

I’m sure many of us have heard the phrase, “You got a kik?” but what is it really. Kik Messenger is an instant messaging mobile app available for Android, iPhones and Windows Phone operating systems. Through Wi-Fi, you can send and receive messages, videos, sketches and other content with any of your friends that have the app and register a username. Sounds a little bit like Snapchat with similar capabilities and a focus on anonymity. Kik made its debut in 2010, but why did it get lost in the shadow of Snapchat?

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Ad Week recently published an article about Dunkin’ Donuts’ interesting marketing move involving Kik. On National Donut Day this year, Dunkin’ Donuts will create and sponsor the first branded face filter on Kik. This face filter will be in addition to the filter they will be creating for Snapchat. While Snapchat face filters have become increasingly popular in recent years, this is the first time a major corporation will be paying for a filter on Kik.

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Dunkin’ Donuts could be onto something here. Kik is making its first major comeback in the always evolving world of social media. Will other major corporations follow in Dunkin’ Donuts’ footsteps and create and sponsor face filters for Kik? Or is this going to prove to be a complete waste of money for the coffee and donut company America runs on?

Make sure to grab a donut for National Donut Day!

For more reading, visit Ad Week.

 

Get into the Social Media Spotlight!

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Have you ever wondered why your company’s social media accounts aren’t taking off? You’re thinking, “Other companies have a large following and seem to be so successful on social media, why are our social media follower numbers so low?” Well, having social media accounts, and having an impactful social media presence are two entirely different things. It takes more than just having the accounts and occasionally posting to them about your business to make your company successful on social media. In this post we are going to give you some useful tips from our own experience, as well as tips we found from Forbes “How to Conquer Social Media #LIKEABOSS”, to help you make an impact on your consumers through social media.

  1. Not everyone wants to hear about what your business is currently working on. Yes, it is important to share what you do as a company, but it is also important to post things that will get people talking. For example, if you are a travel company, try posting an article you find about the best places to travel in the world. That is the type of post that will grab people’s attention, get them to click on your article link, and most likely comment on the post and share it with their fellow “wanderlust” friends. This not only puts you in the spotlight, but it shows people that you have more uses in mind for your Facebook and Twitter accounts, than just trying to push your business onto your followers.
  2. Having social media and being active on those accounts shows your consumers/followers that you, as a company, are human. It makes you more assessable because you are constantly communicating with the world; and therefore humanizes you (Forbes 2016). Show the world that you have a personality! Occasionally share that funny video of a dog struggling to get out of bed and relate it to how the people of your office feel on Mondays, but make sure to maintain a balance between professional and personal posts.
  3. Social media ultimately does a great job of increasing awareness of your company. Basically, it can help to spread the word that you exist. The world is in the technology obsessed age and social media is a big part of that. It is partly free advertising, as well as the gateway to communicating with your audience, which are both big perks.

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Ultimately, think of social media as a strategy to help you reach an objective or goal. It is one path that can help you succeed, but will not be the “make” or “break” for your company. If you keep this in mind, use it as a tool, and make sure to create interesting posts consistently, it may be the extra push you need to get you in the spotlight on social media and in the business world.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/brianscudamore/2016/06/29/how-to-conquer-social-media-likeaboss/#19697fed7b08

The White House has Snapchat

White House

President Obama is already the most tech savvy president and has yet again added another social app to his resume, Snapchat. The White House official account went live January 11 with its first snap.

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According to TechCrunch, The White House launched their account before Obama’s State of the Union address to give users a behind-the-scene look at the preparation leading up to the event. This included additional footage and camera angles. The account followed White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest through his rounds in the West Wing.

The White House is making the State of the Union address accessible and relatable to a younger generation. The speech has been available through YouTube for a couple years and this year it was available on Amazon for on-demand streaming.

The White House is no stranger to embracing social media, having already established a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Vine and Instagram.

“There are over 100 million daily active Snapchat users, and over 60 percent of American smartphone users between the ages of 13 and 34 use the platform,” said White House’s director of product management Josh Miller. “In light of the number of Americans who use the service to consume news and share with their friends, the White House is joining Snapchat to engage this broad cross-section of the population in new and creative ways.”

While once known best as the “disappearing” messaging service, Snapchat has since developed a social platform for sharing content in a more authentic way. Snapchat’s Stories features is becoming one of the app’s go-to-draws, in which users will see all of the posts by the White House. These short-form, mobile-friendly media collections have grown over time to attract millions of users. Live Stores, for example, are capable of drawing in an audience of 20 million in 24 hours.

As for the new White House Snapchat account, the launch is a continuation of the company’s efforts at “meeting people where they are” – that is, on the social media platforms they use, said Miller.

For those who just want to see the president doing goofy things, that may not be coming just yet. But it won’t be all serious posts. The account has already been full of Sunny and Bo, the President’s dogs, lounging around on the lawn.

Check out the full article here: http://techcrunch.com/2016/01/11/the-white-house-joins-snapchat/.

Zuckerburg to Donate 99% of Facebook Stock

Zuckerburg Blog

For Silicon Valley’s newest generation of billionaires, the biggest trend in innovation is actually something old – giving back. As someone who is no stranger to innovation, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg is at the forefront of the movement. The 31 year old with a net worth of $37.5 billion announced on Tuesday that he and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, will donate 99 percent of their Facebook stock shares throughout the course of their lives. The stocks are currently worth more than $45 billion and will be donated to charitable causes still to be announced, or even still to be created.

According to a recent New York Times article, Zuckerberg’s charitable plans are the latest indication of a growing interest in philanthropy among Silicon Valley’s young billionaires, who unlike previous generations of business tycoons, appear eager to spread their wealth while they are still young.

Zuckerburg and Chan have a new baby girl, Max, who was born just last week. The couple says the pledge to donate the stocks is all about making the world a better place for her generation and those to follow. Publishing an open letter to her, they explain the better life they wish for her to have. The letter explains that they are making the donation because they wish to help advance human potential, promote equality and help create technology to foster change for the future.

“Today your mother and I are committing to spend our lives doing our small part to help solve these challenges,” writes Zuckerburg. “I will continue to serve as Facebook’s CEO for many, many years to come, but these issues are too important to wait until you or we are older to begin this work.”

Many industry leaders are showing support for the donation and aim for change including one of Zuckerburg’s childhood heroes and the wealthiest man in the world, Bill Gates. Mr. Gates and his wife congratulated his efforts releasing a statement.

“The example you’re setting today is an inspiration to us and the world,” they said. “We can be confident of this: Max and every child born today will grow up in a world that is better than the one we know now. As you say, ‘Seeds planted now will grow.’ Your work will bear fruit for many decades to come.”

Zuckerburg believes that by creating and building new, innovative technology will help drive changes to improve education worldwide. The improved technology would then increase literacy rates and decrease poverty levels in these areas.

To learn more read the full New York Times story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/02/technology/mark-zuckerberg-facebook-charity.html?_r=0

Oct. 21, 2015: Brands That Leveraged #BacktotheFutureDay

BttF Day Blog

Last Wednesday marked the day Marty McFly went to the future in the 1980’s movie, “Back to the Future,” and brands didn’t skip a beat aligning themselves with the cult classic. Fortune took an in-depth look at how brands like Nike, Toyota and Pepsi  leveraged the day with ads connecting them to the film, while Ford and Universal created mock ads for a Flux Capacitor and Hoverboard. Lyft even added an element to their ride-sharing app called “McFly Mode.” Great Scott!

Here’s how each of these companies used Back to the Future Day to promote their brand:

  • Nike: When Marty McFly arrives in 2015 in the film, he puts on a pair if Nike sneakers that can lace themselves. Starting in January 2015 Tinker Hatfield, the original creator of the concept, said the Nike team was planning to release self-lacing shoes at some point in the year. The concept was again teased to the world this past Tuesday via a tweet. As of now, we still wait for the futuristic sneaker to become a reality.
  • Toyota: Not only does the car in the film travel through time, it is also fueled by garbage. The car company used the date to promote its new hydrogen fuel car, the Mirai, by including actors Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd in the debut commercial.
  • Pepsi: The drink of choice for Michael J. Fox’s character in the film, Pepsi released limited edition bottles of the soda that were sold on Amazon. However, they may have been a little too limited. Many fans hoping to get a bottle of the Back to the Future Pepsi took to Twitter to express their disappointment.
  • Ford: In honor of Back to the Future Day, Ford created a dummy version of a flux capacitor – the essential part for time travelling in the film. The Y-shaped generator powered by a getting struck by a bolt of lightning bolt or nuclear fuel was released in a mock ad and advertised to sell at a fictional $1.21 million.
  • Universal: Unfortunately not a real product, but Universal released a mock ad for a hoverboard like the sweet ride available in Back to the Future’s version of 2015. Check out the ad here to see how Universal envisions hoverboards in 2015.
  • Lyft: The on-demand ride sharing company offered free rides for up to 15 minutes around New York City in a DeLorean, the type of car used in the film. Users simply had to press the “McFly Mode” button in the Lyft app and the DeLorean ride would arrive minutes later.

Whether a devoted fan who has waited decades for this day or just someone who wanted to take part in the Back to the Future Day festivities, brands successfully engaged audiences through strategically impactful advertising.

For more on how brands utilized the date for product placement read the full Fortune article here: http://fortune.com/2015/10/21/back-future-day-brands-twitter/

 

Extra Gum Pulls At Audience’s Heartstrings

Extra Gum Blog

After what may have seemed like a very long two years since the success of Extra’s first gum wrapper centered video, “Origami,” the company released a second advertisement featuring the brand’s foil wrappers. Quickly capturing a favorable public opinion, the new ad, “The Story of Sarah and Juan,” gained 74 million views within a week of its release.

Audiences have eagerly waited for the Wrigley Company to produce another video for the campaign. With the tag line “Give Extra à Get Extra,” the ads tell stories about how it’s the little things that add up.

Marketing Magazine talks about the “Minty Love” vibe of the ad and the love it or hate it mentality viewers will have. The video starts on the steps going into a high school where students Juan and Sarah first catch each other’s eyes and one offers the other a stick of Extra Gum. As the ad continues, the relationship of the two characters has its ups and downs. However, there is always one constant – Extra Gum.

Whether it’s the love story or the catchy Haley Reinhart cover of Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” the video has captivated the minds of its audiences. In two minutes of video, an emotion can be conveyed that will resonate with audiences, potentially creating  a very positive brand association for Extra.

The ad comes at a time when viral videos are what create an engaging, lasting memory with a brand’s audience. Audiences have taken social media by storm, sharing the ad on their Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. Twitter users took to the social media platform to express the emotions watching the video evoked in them. Many also noted that they were initially exposed to the ad through it playing before the YouTube video they were attempting to watch. These various channels are key for reaching the maximum possible audience.

For more on The Story of Sarah and Juan check out the Marketing Magazine article here: http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/article/1368588/love-hate-it-extra-gums-the-story-sarah-juan-definitely-having-moment

Public Relations Tips From The Pope, @Pontifex

Pope Francis

If you’ve turned on a television or gone online in the past week, you know that Pope Francis is in the United States. As this is his first trip to the U.S., the media and country alike are overjoyed to host the Pope during his visit. Since arriving, Pope Francis has met with President Obama, spoken before Congress and will meet with the United Nations today.

Through his philanthropy, inter-faith outreach and even social media, the “People’s Pope” has already made a huge impact on the world. His connection with the people has only been strengthened by this trip.

With over 23 million Twitter followers, he is currently the most retweeted leader in the world. Known to be straightforward with the general public on Twitter, Pope Francis has helped shape a humble, more accessible and service-oriented image for the Catholic Church. His ability to connect and understand creates a mixture of leadership, engagement and strategy, all important factors for engaging with an audience.

Here are three ways to improve your communication tactics based on Pope Francis’s social strategy via Crenshaw Communications:

  • Show, Don’t Just Tell. Our political and business leaders have mastered the art of speaking a lot while saying very little. They avoid tough questions by “bridging” to robotic message points and are quick to offer a hollow apology when things go bad. But behavior speaks louder than even the most polished tweet or speech. Much of Francis’ reputation is built on true stories about his experience in South America or his small but symbolic rejection of traditional papal luxuries.
  • Speak Plainly. When Francis does speak or write, he uses plain language. To sound the alarm about environmental peril, the Vatican’s statement was larded with bureaucratic terms. But @pontifex’s tweet was more direct. Plain speaking is powerful.

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  • Be Inclusive. Public Relations professionals see clients that fall into the trap of addressing only their own customers, employees and even competitors. Similarly, previous pontiffs have been preaching to the choir – literally – in reaching out to devout Catholics. This Pope includes non-Catholics and lapsed churchgoers in his communications.

Whether your beliefs align with his or not, there are many communication tips to be learned from Pope Francis. He is changing the way world leaders communicate with their audience – the world.

For more information take a look at Crenshaw Communications’ full article here: http://crenshawcomm.com/3-simple-pr-lessons-from-pope-francis/