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April 22, 2019

Out of the Box Marketing Campaigns – Round Three – Shaving Time and Money

We promised a few of these, so here’s another one of our favorites. We have to do it. It’s mandatory. Everyone should know this video.

This video and marketing campaign was inspired by the quintessential grandfather, the wonderful tough guy out on the prairie that he was, and how the only thing he ever needed was one blade to shave. We’re talking about this one:

Back in 2012, Dollar Shave Club released its infamous video, which has scored nearly 22 million views and it never gets old. In fact, it sent so much traffic the website that it crashed the company’s server in the first hour. What makes the razor delivery company’s video so catchy is it’s apparent disregard for advertising standards. It’s self-deprecating and arrogant at the same time. It uses the f-word and succeeds. It embraces every nuance of good comedy – slapstick, one liners and…timing.

dollar shave 2

Twelve thousand people signed up for the Dollar Shave Club service within 48 hours. The company now boasts 2 million subscribers. But profitability didn’t impact their levity, which is an inseparable part of the brand. Their print and social media ads continue to embrace comedy and challenge their competitors who make shaving seem…complicated. Dollar Shave Club is easy, funny and inexpensive.

This direct, humorous approach to sales may not work for every company, but it’s a clear winner for Dollar Shave Club.

Out of the Box Marketing Campaigns That Worked!

Here at Myers Public Relations, we love creative marketing campaigns that make audiences think, laugh and pay attention. We also like to give credit where credit is due and thus, we present the first in a series highlighting some of the most creative, thought-provoking and wild marketing campaigns that worked!

Marketing has changed exponentially in the last ten years. It’s not simply focused television advertisements or a snappy radio spot. Facebook currently has 1.19 billion monthly users and continues to grow. That’s 1.19 billion chances of your advertisement to be shared, liked and sent around the globe. No pressure, right?

Today’s featured campaign embraced out of the box thinking through challenging the status quo and having the confidence to be different. It called into question societal norms and biases, and has been effective across social media, print sources and television.

Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty 

Dove

Dove launched their Campaign for Real Beauty in 2004 and since then, the company has worked to redefine the narrow concept of beauty perpetuated by fashion magazines, the runway, Hollywood, liquor companies (the list goes on). They employed various communications techniques to open discussion and challenge stereotypes. But what has really made Dove’s advertisements so poignant is that they are based on research.

Dove discovered that 91% of women ages 50 – 64 believe that it’s time for society to change its views about women and aging. Combine this with the fact that only 2% of women globally would describe themselves as beautiful and it’s clear that we have a serious self-esteem issue.

Dove 2

This revelation led Dove to develop the Movement for Self-Esteem as part of their Campaign for Real Beauty, which provides women the opportunity to mentor the next generation and celebrate realistic beauty in order to develop body confidence and improve self-esteem. The program has reached 17 million young people in 112 countries.  And while Dove may be owned by Unilever, the same company that owns Axe (whose entire campaign is the objectification of women), there’s something to be said about bringing an issue to the forefront and having the ability to point the finger right back at yourself.

Dove has arguably turned the tide towards positive growth and meeting the emotional needs of 98% of women across the world. It brings up a valid concern, convenes discussions around the topic and speaks to an audience’s emotions. Overall, as a marketing campaign, it works!

dove 3

Check us out in a few weeks to see other campaigns that have nailed their message and branding.

How PR is Like a Cross-country Road Trip

Written by Jordan Garegnani, MPR Project Manager and Digital Community Manager

Like I said, I write what I know and right now I’m on a week-long cross-country road trip (mobile hotspots are MAGIC!) and I can’t help but learn a few life lessons that are highly useful in marketing and PR. I can’t express how amazing it is to have an office that lets me get away with working remotely as I traverse across the country and then lets me write about it 🙂

Flexibility

You plan and plan – the best route, but the best tag line, event layout, rest stops or hotels. And sometimes it goes off without a hitch, but more likely than not, something will always go wrong. Your water pump breaks, a vendor doesn’t show up, you get stuck in Colby, Kansas on a night that you were supposed to be in Denver or a Facebook ad isn’t performing the way you’d like. If you’re not a naturally flexible person, you might want to go on a road trip to practice bending with whatever is thrown at you 🙂

Having reasonable expectations will help you be flexible as well – like not getting mad when your friend may or may not get her phone out fast enough to navigate and you miss going to Superman’s birthplace (cough, me, cough). But it’ll also help when only a few tenants participate in a promotion rather than the whole lot.

I always like to say, “Plan for the worst, hope for the best.” If you have a plan A, B and C when something goes wrong, the going wrong feels a little less terrible.

Prioritizing Goals

When things do go wrong, it’s usually not just one thing. For example, your AC might go out and when they’re investigating it, find your water pump also needs to be replaced or else you’ll end up stuck on the side of the road. Then once the pump is fixed, you might still have a rattle in your engine. You can’t necessarily fix everything at once.

So tally up all your options and strategize what’s the highest priority, keeping a deadline, pleasing the client, staying on budget, etc. From there you can take care of immediate needs and follow up with the lower-priority goals.

Ask for Help

We all like to think we can do things on our own as competent adults, but sometimes you have to give up the wheel or ask someone on your team to cover for you when you can’t be in the office. Chances are they really won’t mind as long as you give them a big thanks.

Roughing It

Not everything can be perfect and your best effort instead of your best work sometimes has to do in a clutch. And sometimes fast food will have to suffice for a meal instead of sitting down for dinner.

No Looking Back

Second-guessing your already-made decisions only causes more stress and anxiety. You’ve thoughtfully sorted through your choices and made the best decision with the information you had. What’s done is done and you can only drive forward so there’s no point in saying “we should have…”

Bonus: Are We There Yet?
No.  You’re never “there.” There’s always ways to be better, grow and expand, so stop asking if we’re there yet. A life, work, road trip lesson all in one.

An Intern’s Take on Myers Public Relations

We hate goodbyes at MPR, but when they do happen, we write about it!

Guest Blog by Melanie Ford, Myers PR Intern 2012-14

It’s hard to believe that my third summer at Myers has already come and gone. When I first applied for the position fresh out of high school, I truly had no idea what to expect. I remember going home after my interview and thinking, “I really connected [with Billie and Kate], but I doubt I actually got the job.” Imagine my shock when I got an offer a few days later!

My seasonal work after that phone call has truly launched my career and proved to me that office work doesn’t have to be the stereotypical “daily grind” – unless that grind is coffee-related! The staff at Myers has invested in, encouraged and mentored me immensely with a friendly professionalism that pervades their positive work culture.

1664During my first summer at MPR before college, I expressed that I was most interested in graphic design work…and give me graphic design work, they did! Here is one of my first projects at Myers which involved creating advertisement material for a client’s fall festival.


Although I was an intern, I was treated as an equal and encouraged to ask questions, request projects, and participate in staff meetings and professional development events, such as the
Reston Chamber of Commerce’s ACE Awards Luncheon.

IMG_7710By the time I came back for my second summer at MPR, I had decided to declare public relations as my major at school. The project managers at MPR sought to give me an overview of client properties and projects. I independently travelled to, oversaw, and photographed on-site events.

I also helped with social media analytics and event planning research. My best memory from this summer was hands-down calling reindeer farmers across the nation regarding reindeer rentals for holiday events! Unfortunately, reindeer are restricted from many states for health reasons, but this was still a fun, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

reindeer

During my third summer I did extensive research reports to aid in marketing proposals, media relations, and client relations. Most of my work was independent; I was given projects and trusted to take initiative to complete them.

I remember my first day at MPR and Kate asked me to research each of our clients to familiarize myself with the type of work that we do—note: this was also the same day that one of the offices in our building gave free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to everyone in the building (best first day ever!).

(Taken by Melanie Ford)

(Taken by Melanie Ford)

The type of work that MPR does became abundantly clear as I overheard phone calls (we work in an open floor plan for optimal collaboration), sat in on conference room meetings, and engaged in office culture; the team goes above and beyond to ensure clients’ satisfaction and success.

 

There’s no way to say it other than this: interning at Myers PR is FUN! To recognize special occasions or completion of extensive projects, the office celebrates with lunches, toasts in the conference room, ringing an “accomplishment bell,” or on occasion, a visit to the Reston Town Center Bow Tie Cinema.

IMG_1137Don’t get me wrong, there were definitely some weeks where I had painstaking research projects for which I popped my headphones in and cranked out 40+ hours of work on that project alone. When the work was done though, I was thanked and encouraged profusely, which made it all worth it.

 

The work culture here is one of respect that is unparalleled by anywhere else that I have worked. The unique work ethic of our team is modeled by our founder and fearless leader, Marion Myers. According to this Game of Thrones character quiz which I posted on my Facebook profile a while ago (and the whole office ended up taking), her character is, very appropriately, Daenerys Targaryen the Mother of Dragons – nurturing, but tough as nails.

I sure am going to miss everyone, but we will see each other again!

Business Etiquette Around the World: North America

Guest Blog & Infographic by Sloan McKinney

The internet may have made doing business internationally easier than ever, but there is still a human element to it – especially when it comes to PR and marketing. Whether you’re creating an international partnership or trying to attract a vendor, knowing how to handle yourself and what to expect from potential clients is key to make sure that you remain in your element without offending your colleague’s sensibilities throughout negotiation.

This graphic is a small series of primers in conducting international business. Covering the major three players in North America (Canada, United States, and Mexico), this graphic will give you a better idea of how people in these businesses approach business meetings.

From what time to arrive and how to dress, to how to best negotiate and even how close to stand, being aware of cultural business norms will make your dealings go much more smoothly. Knowing how other countries do business gives you a better shot at leaving the bargaining table with both parties achieving their goals.

TFF-M4-BizEtiquetteNorthAmerica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sloan

Sloan McKinney is a business enthusiast and online journalist who enjoys sharing her knowledge about the impact of globalization. She also covers the areas of business communications, technology, and marketing.

Increased Sales: How Public Relations Can Help Retailers

Guest Blog by Camille McClane

Public relations is a branch of marketing that too many small businesses overlook, and if your business is not focused on the way it is perceived by the public, then it is a sinking ship. Every business has a public image, be it the local lemonade stand helmed by the ambitious 8-year-olds or the mighty retail chain with a 1,000 stores nationwide. Both of those ideas carry an identity with it, even if it is somewhat generic and nebulous. Why leave your retail business’ identity to chance when there are several reasons why good PR can help you along the path to success?

KFCImage Courtesy of BrandFreak.com

PR Can Make You Bigger Than Your Brand
People love to feel like a part of something good, especially when it’s for a cause they believe in. When people associate these positive feelings with your brand, they’re not only likely to buy from you, they’re likely to spread the good news to others. Back in 2011, KFC decided to do away with the tired old essay for giving out their $20,000 college scholarship, and put it all down on a single tweet.

Entrants were limited to the standard 140 characters, minus the required hashtag, and were asked to convince KFC why they deserved the scholarship. In just two weeks, over 2800 tweets were submitted and their twitter following jumped 20%, garnering them positive favor and increasing their social media reach.

PR Can Make People Feel At Home
Studies have shown that people are much more likely to shop with a retail brand they are familiar with, as familiarity breeds trust and trust is any business’ key quality for customer satisfaction.

In 2010, the BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel in New Hampshire decided to offer an online promotion to select a “resorter” — someone who would live in the hotel for two months — while posting updates about all the experiences they were having. They selected the winner via social media and online voting out of entries from around the world.

The campaign was so successful that it increased bookings for the following month by 20%. They repeated a version of the campaign the following winter and by January they were completely booked, making it their busiest season ever.

People didn’t need to win to feel like they were there, and as a result when they planned their own trip, many chose the hotel they had already seen in all it’s exciting intimacy. Transparency, in the eyes of the public, can remove some of the stiffness from your public image. A customer who is familiar with your company is a customer likely to trust you with their business.

word pile

PR Firms Can Build Your Image For You
In retail, you have enough trouble worrying about how to stay connected to the customers you have and how to simplify the shopping process while managing conversion rates and inventory numbers. You may not have the time or resources to give your public relations the attention it deserves, at least not on your own.

Both of the previous examples, and a host of others, were not built solely on the creative in-house ideas of genius CEOs or innovative board members, but were created in collaboration with PR Firms. These firms exist solely to weave the public’s perception of brands, and you might find them a good fit for you too.

At this point, it ought to be apparent that PR Firms can do a lot for you in the right situations, but it would be worthwhile to take some time and determine if it’s the right choice for your business.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you know what your specific PR needs are? You should, otherwise you might not need a firm yet.
  • Can you afford to spend money that doesn’t make you money if a campaign is unsuccessful?
  • If you’ve taken some meetings, are the ideas original enough or do they feel boring to you?
  • Do you have the time to commit to a PR campaign?

camilleCamille McClane is a writer, researcher and editor, who frequently blogs about about web hosting and social media. Her favorite subject to focus on is emerging technology trends and its overall effect within business expansion and relations. She hopes the readers of Myerspr.com enjoy this article as much as she enjoyed writing it.

Get to Know Today’s Multi-Generational Audiences: Part 2

Continuing from last week’s post, we’re discussing the importance of understanding your audience. And, it may be more than one audience. Determining the gender, age, and other key characteristics of your core audience is the first step in building an effective campaign.

genyGen-X (born 1965 through 1980), age 30-44 (48M):

This group doesn’t always buy into the mindset of their parents’ counter-culture revolution of the 1960s. This is the original latchkey generation. They’re motivated by their ability to take care of themselves and their families. Many X’ers are starting their own families (many are products of divorces) so FAMILY is important to them. Sometimes called “The Connected Generation, ” X’ers are techno-literate and demand info-rich platforms. They have embraced smart phones, e-mail and text messaging and like to research while shopping online.

Gen-Y, or Millennials (born 1981 through 1993), age 20-29 (73M):genY (1)

Since their parents are either Baby Boomers or Generation Xers, they grew up hearing either “change the world “or “take care of your own.” These seemingly contradictory messages have prompted this generation to value being part of a group and staying close to their friends. They are collaborative and motivated by fun, flexibility and security. They are techno-fused and are drawn to the game-ification of geo-location sites such as Foursquare. Without internet marketing – Social Media, Craigslist, YouYube, LinkedIn, Twitter… you will not be successful capturing the Gen-Y consumer.

Get to Know Today’s Multi-Generational Audiences: Part 1

It is important to understand your audience. And, it may be more than one audience. Determining the gender, age, and other key characteristics of your core audience is the first step in building an effective campaign.

Consider audience traits in shaping messages. How your grandmother thinks will be very different from how your nieces or nephews think.

Communications professionals who know their audience and view them as individuals with specific needs and preferences foster engagement with important communities across multi-generations. So, who are these communities?

The Silent Generation or Traditionalists (born late-1920s through 1945), age 65 and older (59 M):

tumblr_m5v17cMRIH1rsghzdo1_1280This generation grew up during the Great Depression (1929-1939) and World War II (1939-1945). These historical times strongly shaped their values, belief systems and preferences. They have endured hard times and pride themselves in not complaining about it. They are motivated by delayed gratification. They want to be told that they have earned what you are offering. “This is your time!” “Reward yourself!” More than 50% of the Silent Generation is online and available for online marketing, but it is NOT their preferred means of learning about your products and services.

Baby Boomers (born 1946 through 1964), age 45-64 (78M):baby-boomer-800x800

They tend to consider themselves catalysts for positive change, as well as rebels who question authority. AKA the “Me” generation, they demand individualized service, keeping the focus on them. This is the original “involved’ generation – protesters, environmentalists, etc. They want to be involved and part of a community. (Your community!) This demographic is flush with spending power. They should definitely be a part of your Marketing strategy.

Next up: Part 2 – stay tuned!

Where PR and Technology Meet

picture-9There is no question that technology has changed the PR and marketing industry. Over the past twenty or so years, we’ve seen the emergence of email (does anyone remember snail mailing photos and slides with your press releases?), websites, social media, smart phones and mobile apps. We are dispersing and receiving information on multiple platforms like layers of an onion.

Many firms are diverting more of their budgets to content marketing, and the PR industry is perfectly poised for this method. The bread and butter of public relations is earned media. Earned media is content driven and traditional marketing activities do still work – in newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, direct mail and networking – for the widest possible reach to all demographics.

Social media is not a replacement for traditional marketing tactics, however it is a critical component of an effective marketing strategy. In fact, social media works best when combined with other marketing activities. Using your traditional media to direct listeners, readers and viewers to digital marketing platforms like a blog or a Facebook page is an effective way to deliver content. You then have the challenge of engaging that audience and developing your online community.

Next up: Know your online community. Where are they? How do they want to be reached? – stay tuned!