Monthly Archives: August 2014

How You Can Learn from Oscar Mayer’s Creativity

by Victoria Colbert, Professional Outreach Chair

Have you seen some of Oscar’s Mayer’s PR campaigns the past couple of years? Pretty impressive in my books. I’ve never really been a fan of Oscar Mayer wieners, or much of their other products really, but I have to tip my hat when Oscar Mayer launches an integrated marketing campaign, merging both branding strategies and social engagement to deliver some of the most outstanding PR campaigns I’ve seen.

The history of Oscar Mayer dates back to the 1920’s when the meat packing industry was notorious for mishandling meat and mistreating employees. To ensure customers that Oscar Mayer’s deli meat in his butcher shop was safe, consistent, and of quality, he labeled all of his meats with a yellow branded rubber band for his customers. Little did he know, a yellow branded rubber band would be the stepping stones for a nationally recognized food brand 100 years later. It’d be hard to come by someone who didn’t know the Oscar Mayer name. I mean, there’s the famous Wienermobile and the jingle that’s been around since the ‘60’s. With a huge consumer loyalty base, what is Oscar Mayer doing these days to keep their name, brand, and products relevant?

The Great American Bacon Barter

If I didn’t see it for myself, I wouldn’t have believed that one man trekked across the U.S. with no money, only bacon as currency. In September of 2012, Oscar Mayer appointed comedian, Josh Sankey, to roadtrip from New York to Los Angeles with 3,000 pounds of their new Butcher Thick Cut Bacon, bartering with Americans just to get by with basic daily essentials. Sankey bartered bacon for a couch to sleep on, food, drink, some New York Jets tickets, and a tattoo. Keeping his social following involved, Sankey kept his Twitter followers informed of each city stop, used YouTube to post videos of his exchanges with Americans, and also launched a Bacon Barter site. Not only did this Great American Bacon Barter earn tons of ad and PR awards, news coverage and impressions, Oscar Mayer and the Great American Bacon Barter earned knowledge that Americans love bacon more than they love cash.

The Unsung Bacon

We often hear about the Unsung Hero, defined as the brave soul who often goes unnoticed, unappreciated, and unacknowledged. Earlier this year, Oscar Mayer introduced America to the Unsung Bacon, Michael Bacon- Kevin Bacon’s virtually unknown brother. In a clever stunt to promote Oscar Mayer’s Turkey Bacon, the Unsung Bacon campaign strove to make Michael Bacon the most popular Bacon family member on Twitter, with a goal to gain more Twitter followers than Kevin Bacon’s some 400 thousand followers. In a short Youtube video, it is explained that Michael Bacon is a well accomplished man, with many talents and awards, including being an Emmy winner, musician and composer, so essentially he is as “good” as his brother Kevin. In a similar parallel, many Americans prefer pork bacon rather than turkey bacon despite its nutritional benefits. So now we understand Oscar Mayer’s “Unsung Bacon” approach. In the end, Michael Bacon did not exceed Kevin’s 400K followers, but he gained a significant amount, jumping from one thousand to eight thousand. If you still want to support the cause, you can follow Michael at @MichaelBacon36.

As cliche as it sounds, Think Outside of the Box!

I sometimes sit in brainstorms and think of the most ridiculous ideas, sometime stunt-y, sometimes brilliant, but many times I don’t say anything because I fear I’m going to sound stupid and my ideas are nothing to build off of. Then I watch how Oscar Mayer conducts their marketing campaigns, and think to myself “Duh!” I mean, they even have launched a bacon scented alarm app… Genius or ridiculous?

The stock market knows better than I, but I don’t feel like Oscar Mayer is declining in sales, or losing consumer loyalty. Yet, they’re creating brilliant original content to keep their consumer audience engaged. It’s really as simple as blurting out a ridiculous idea when brainstorming how to launch product, make an announcement, or celebrate an event. These ideas get people talking, and when people talk they share. In PR, we’re constantly trying deliver messages that will get people’s attention and earn their trust, that’s essentially what our jobs are- to act as the liaison between the the client and the public. What good are we if we’re not keeping the market audience engaged? It’s as simple as the “dumb” idea you’re dying to blurt out.

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The CYA Approach to PR Writing- Three tips to help catch common errors

by Jade Stevens, President

Imagine waking up to your client’s ad on television. You are excited to see the final product of a project that took months of conference calls, emails and research to pull together. As you watch the end of the ad, you can’t help but to notice a typo. How could you miss this? Weren’t there rounds of revisions and thousands of eyes that should have caught that typo before it went live?

These may have been a few of the immediate thoughts that ran through the heads of Mitt Romney’s communications team, when they saw this:

A photo of the White House taken with an

As bad as it may seem, typos happen. No matter how many times you use spell check or proofread, it’s likely that something might be overlooked. See if you can catch the typos below:

reebok_typo

It will happen to the best of us and eventually we will all make that devastating typo in a document where it seems like the end of the world. But it doesn’t have to be because many of these said typos can be prevented. I want to share three tips that I’ve learned to cover your a** in PR writing.

  1. Two pairs of eyes are better than one- I have learned that once you come too close to working on a document, you can be your worst editor. Mainly because you know what it needs to say even if it doesn’t necessarily read that way on paper. Have a fresh set of eyes check it for grammar and for content. You may find that they will catch the most obvious errors.
  2. Check It Once, Check it Again, Then Check To Make Sure That You Checked It Again- When writing, we are often placed on tight deadlines that causes us to rush and not give the proper amount of time needed to proof and edit our work. Sometimes it’s best to work backwards from your deadlines and give yourself additional deadlines to ensure your document has been edited correctly. For example, if you have something due in two days, work to make sure the draft version is done in enough time to have at least one other person look at it. Or if your deadline is in a couple of hours make sure to let your colleagues know in advance that you may need them to look at something to meet a deadline.
  3. Be Honest With Yourself- If you find yourself writing a lot, which I’m sure you will. You should be able to catch your common errors. This is an area that you should work twice as hard on to make sure it doesn’t happen. It should also be the first thing you check for when editing your work.

Now please note these tips will not prevent every typo from slipping through the cracks, but it will definitely help catch the more common ones. Writing well comes with writing often and allowing others to see your work. The more you work at it, the better chance you have at preventing major mistakes like the ads previously mentioned. To see the 14 of the worst typos, click here.

If you would like a workshop to focus on common errors in PR writing email me at jade@prsala.org.

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