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The latest news and industry trends

Posts in public relations
Creative Content and Story Telling
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It’s no secret that the competition to be seen on social media has become intense. More than ever, brands have to find new ways to stay engaged and get noticed online. Aside from posting regularly and creating compelling written copy, brands are creating stories and alter egos that leave their followers staring at their phones waiting to see what their next move will be. They are even jumping in on trending celebrity news on social media. This week, Twitter erupted when Kim Kardashian tweeted to fast food chain Jack in the Box. The internet immediately exploded with food chains tweeting to Kardashian with tons of funny comments.

Known for their comical Tweets, Wendy’s immediately jumped in with a comment for Kardashian

Known for their comical Tweets, Wendy’s immediately jumped in with a comment for Kardashian



Not to be outdone, Burger King jumped in with it’s own comments about Kim and her experience with Jack and the Box

Not to be outdone, Burger King jumped in with it’s own comments about Kim and her experience with Jack and the Box

Some of you may remember last year when Wendy’s created a ‘mixtape’ entitled ‘We Beefin’ with “diss tracks” against McDonald’s like ‘Rest In Grease’ and ‘4 for $4’. The viral post made headlines, and got people talking about the fast food chain again. While it’s unclear as to whether the mixtape increased their bottom line or not, it was definitely a great PR push for the company, and a way of solidifying how they want to be viewed as a brand…fun, engaging, and relevant.

What does your brand say about you? Has your company embarked on a social media campaign with a funny theme or story line?

Tell us your thoughts on story telling through social media.



Raising The Bar
Oprah Winfrey at the 2018 Golden Globes. Photo courtesy of Google Images

Oprah Winfrey at the 2018 Golden Globes. Photo courtesy of Google Images

Oprah Winfrey officially raised the bar Sunday evening at the Golden Globes with her acceptance speech for the Cecil B DeMille Award. It’s safe to say that we probably all expected something phenomenal to come out of her mouth. But I don’t think we were expecting her words to be as touching as they were. Ms. Winfrey boldly declared what seemed like a new revolution of power, calling out injustices such as the wage gap and sexual assault.

Winfrey proclaimed that instead of bashing the media for “fake news”, that she is instead relying on the media more than ever before. With years under her belt as a public figure, and the host The Oprah Winfrey Show, many may have forgotten her journalistic roots. It was her passion for telling stories and giving others a platform to share their voice that pushed Oprah to create iconic platforms like the Oprah Winfrey Show, O Magazine, and now The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). The outspoken media mogul literally made people stand up and cheer as she addressed the social issues that have been swept under the rug for so long, and boldly shouted “Their Time Is Up!”. Her call for justice was met with tears, applause, awe, and even the hashtag #Oprah2020


“What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we have”
— Oprah Winfrey

Now, I’m not exactly sure Oprah even has a desire to run for Presidential office, but what that outpouring of support did tell us was that people are still feeling a strong need for inspiration, support, and a motivating message; even ones with large bank accounts. I watched as women in the entertainment industry stood up and cheered at the words coming from Oprah, and I was reminded that although the world throws everything at us to cause division and strife, that deep down inside we all still hurt the same way. At that moment I didn’t see a room full of stuffy rich Hollywood actors. I saw a room full of PEOPLE. Men and women who in some way or another could understand and empathize with what Oprah was saying. People nodded in agreement as she called out farm workers, tech professionals, athletes, and countless others whose names we will never hear.

Today I sit in reflection and introspection; wondering what it is that I can do to empower others. I think of my little 15 minutes spent with Oprah, and the amount of inspiration she gave me. The feeling of endless possibility is almost overwhelming. I see the power of movement, and the people who are tired of sitting down waiting for something to happen.

Billingslea Media Owner & Operator Evelyne Billingslea meeting Oprah Winfrey December 2016

Billingslea Media Owner & Operator Evelyne Billingslea meeting Oprah Winfrey December 2016

 

What will you do? How will you help keep the movement going? Time is up. A new day is on the horizon.

To donate to the Time’s Up foundation, check out their GoFundMe page, where any amount is welcomed and appreciated.

 

The Shea story: Branding Mistakes from the pros
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In the digital world, brand ambassadors can either make or break you, Having every day consumers share the benefits of your products and services can be one of the most low cost ways of advertising. But what happens when you do something to disappoint that customer base? How in the world do you rebuild a brand that is trusted by the people who will put money behind your brand and endorse you at all times? Shea Moisture is just one brand that is feeling a huge negative effect from a campaign that angered their core base. Now we are looking at what they could have done differently to avoid the backlash. 

Shea Moisture is known is for creating products primarily for African American women. The company prides itself on using all nature products and endorsing a mission to give reverence to its African ancestors It's latest ad did not seem to reflect that mission. The company, who has recently been acquired by a larger company, is expanding its customer base. They have created new products that can be used by women of all different hair types. The newest ad expressed the perils of women who have experiences "hair hate". Shea Moisture presented an ad that showed them as the solution to these women's problems. The only problem was that they left out one important hair type in the ad: that of the African American woman. 

 

The internet was immediately in an uproar as Shea Moisture began trending on social media. The response from women in the African American community was so swift that Shea Moisture immediately issued an apology. 

"Wow - we really f-ed this one up! Please know that our intent was not, & would never be, to disrespect our community" 

 

But for some, the apology made it worse. It seemed empty and meaningless, and was only met with more criticism. While most people can understand a company wanting to expand, and ultimately increase its profits, loyal customers want to continue to feel an attachment to the brand they grown to love for long. Dove, another beauty centered company seems to be able to hit the mark every single time with its rebranding initiatives. When Dove decided a couple of years back that they wanted more influence in the African American market, they went straight to the source for assistance in how to deliver a campaign that this new audience could identify with. They asked for input from women in the African American community and used the results to expand its market. Dove got it right. and continues to get it right repeatedly. There is a craft to changing things up within your brand. Here are a couple of suggestions on how Shea Moisture could have done things differently: 

Expanding the Product Line

A great company is expected to grow over time. It's perfectly natural to see companies expand their offerings as they grow. But it's important to be cautious about doing so. You have to access the details of your expected results. Are your results to sell more products, or to create more loyal customers? If your company is focused on creating loyal customers, then its important to think about the long term effects at all times. Your customers should serve as silent partners or board members to whom you look to for guidance on how to operate effectively. The last thing you want to do is exclude them from your expansion. 

Alternative Ads

A world where one company offers products that are inclusive of a variety of different groups is an amazing setup. However, when trying to stress inclusiveness its important to remember to include all groups involved. Once again, we can refer to some of the campaigns previously launched by Dove where they focused on showing a variety of women with different skin and hair types, and even different shapes. It helped to build a sense of community. Instead of adding on to the customer base and merging two markets together, Shea Moisture divided them. As women continue to fight for equality in the US, one of the last things they need is more division.

No Apologies

Sometimes there are things that are better left unsaid. Shea Moisture's long, heartfelt apology was almost like a slap in the face to those who were already outraged. The apology seemed like a simple "No. We still want you to buy from us", instead of a "No. We really do understand you. We promise". Once you've mad someone feel as though they matter less to you, words just don't cut it. People want action, and they want it right away. They want a crisis communication team in place that can work on slowly developing that trust again. The trust was not built overnight, and it most certainly will not be regained over night, 

 

What do you think Shea Moisture could have done differently? Would you continue to support a brand that made you feel excluded? Let us know in the comments.