Three Social Media Tips for a Productive New Year

Each new calendar year brings PR professionals the opportunity to set new goals and get organized. While the majority of pros are researching new media angles, publications and writers, drafting refreshed blog and website content and aligning with their clients’ marketing goals for a successful 2019, social media managers are planning influencer takeovers and social media ad campaigns, while drafting engaging content for various social channels to help support those same marketing and sales goals.

 

You’ve probably already realized social media management is rarely a 9 to 5 job – in fact, it’s nearly the opposite. Depending on your audience and the day of the week, peak times for each social media channel differ. This creates the need for social media managers to need to stay organized and efficient, especially when working on the go.

 

Check out the tips below to help you better manage your time and your social media channels in 2019:

 

Create a Content Calendar

If you’re not already planning ahead for content on social media, you’ve probably found yourself scrambling at the last minute to create sharable content that actually generates engagement with your audience. Instead of reacting in the new year, start by planning the types of content you want to feature on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.

 

Not only will creating this calendar allow you to plan ahead and schedule content in advance, but it will allow you to better plan for new campaigns and company announcements via social, brainstorm and budget effectively, source credible third-party content and more.

 

Also, consider looking into national days that align with your brand, like Treat Yourself Day for Massage Heights Indy or National Hat Day for LIDS, for additional content ideas (just don’t be one of those managers that jumps on every bandwagon for the heck of it, even if it doesn’t align with your brand).

 

Set Reminders for Recurring Tasks

The same way your alarm clock wakes you up in the morning or a calendar event alerts you of an upcoming meeting, using reminders for recurring tasks can be very useful, especially when managing multiple accounts for multiple clients.

 

Not only should you be logging onto your business’ social media accounts on a daily basis to check for notifications, but you should also be creating a daily or weekly list of tasks to execute on behalf of your business on social media. Various tasks include reading and responding to messages and reviews, taking the time to participate in two-way engagement with your followers, and deploying various acquisition tactics to gain new followers.

 

If your business is running paid social ads, you should also be logging on to your ad platform to monitor their performance, adjust budgets, respond to engagements and more.

 

Get Automated Wherever Possible

The use of automation in social media allows social media managers to increase efficiency and encourage growth in the new year. This is by no means an opportunity for social media managers to move into a hands-off role, but rather offers the ability to save time and effort while maximizing results.

 

Social media management platforms like Sprout Social or Hootsuite allow managers to handle multiple accounts in one platform, assign tasks for team members, schedule content, track engagement and other metrics, and provide insight for future strategic planning efforts.

 

IFTTT, or “If This Then That,” is also another great automation tool that allows social media managers to link tasks together based on a trigger. For example, when you publish your next blog post, the IFTTT would then automate and create a Facebook post on your behalf.

 

Think your company could benefit from social media management? Contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com to set up a consultation today!

 

 

Three Most Memorable PR Moments of 2018

Remember that time IHOP, the pancake ruler of the world, caused a nationwide frenzy by announcing it was changing its name to IHOb, International House of Burgers? Yeah, me too. While it may feel like that happened years ago, it actually took place in 2018.

 

Whether you loved the publicity stunt or hated it, you have to admit it caught your attention and made for good conversation.

 

As we gear up to enter a new year, let’s take a look at three of the most noteworthy marketing and PR moments of 2018.

 

IHOP Fakes a Name Change

While some called it stupid, others called it genius. Either way, the world was captivated at the idea that the 60-year old International House of Pancakes would be known for anything but sweet and delicious breakfast food. The stunt did exactly what it was intended to do: get the world talking about the brand and thinking about it as more than just a go-to breakfast joint.

 

IHOP has served burgers since opening its first location in 1958. However, with casual dining and family dining becoming less popular with the proliferation of restaurant delivery services, the restaurant needed to get more diners coming in its doors for lunch.

 

While the marketing stunt certainly created a ton of buzz this year, it did also create some confusion. Many consumers were left wondering if the company was moving to a burgers-only menu and whether the signature pancakes they loved would continue to be served. There are still online news stories about the IHOb name change—but with no mention that it was all a hoax. The stunt even helped brands like Wendy’s and Waffle House draw some extra attention by generating Twitter wars full of witty banter and friendly trolling.

 

But it seems to have worked…at least for now. The stunt generated millions of social media impressions and extensive media coverage in just about every national consumer outlet. In the weeks following the launch, the pancake chain’s parent company said burger sales quadrupled for a short period. More recently, the company says it has doubled comparable burger sales since before the promotion.

 

Starbucks Racial Sensitivity Training

On a Tuesday afternoon in May, 8,000 Starbucks cafes closed for a four-hour anti-bias training seminar. More than 175,000 baristas participated in the training following an incident in Philadelphia that tested the company’s value of standing firmly against discrimination or racial profiling. The company announced the training soon after two black men were arrested at a store in Philadelphia while waiting for a friend.

 

In a situation where a lot of things went wrong, Starbucks (and its PR team) did a lot of things right. When it comes to preparing our own clients for crisis communications management, the steps that were taken by Starbucks are something that Dittoe PR prides itself on doing as well.

 

The company issued a public apology on Twitter two days following the incident, giving the organization enough time to gather the basic facts. Kevin Johnson, chief executive of Starbucks, then went on to issue a statement in which he articulated empathy and regret to the two men who were innocently at the heart of the controversy. From there, Johnson vowed to fully investigate the facts of the matter and make changes at Starbucks to prevent a similar incident from ever occurring again.

 

While some criticized the lapse in time between Johnson’s public statement and the disheartening incident in Philadelphia, many others praised him for accepting accountability and injecting himself into the conversation.

 

Johnson reiterated that “Starbucks stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling,” and offered a face-to-face apology to the two men. He promised that company-wide meetings and trainings would take place to underscore Starbucks’ commitment to treating one another with respect and dignity.

 

Starbucks’ executive chairman Howard Schultz went on CBS This Morning to discuss how the company intended to handle the incident by closing 8,000 stores for racial sensitivity training:

“It will cost millions of dollars, but I’ve always viewed this and things like this as not an expense, but an investment in our people and our company. And we’re better than this.”

 

While there’s rarely a “perfect” way to handle crisis communications in an incident of this severity, Starbucks deserves a lot of credit for a great job in crisis management. The company acknowledged the problem, apologized, addressed the intended solution, and most importantly, followed up on the promise they made.

 

Payless’s Unexpected Influencer Campaign

More recently, Payless pulled a PR stunt with a brilliant influencer campaign by opening their high-end alter ego: a luxury shoe store called Palessi. The low-price shoe store sold the same shoes found in Payless shoe stores—but with a major price hike.

 

Social influencers visited the store and spent up to $400 on a pair of shoes in Palessi, which sell for less than $40 at Payless. The influencers, who didn’t have a clue of the stunt, and even commented things like, “Palessi is just such high-quality, high-fashion brand” and “I could definitely wear this shoe to the Met Gala dinner.”

 

Following the campaign and stunt reveal, Payless CMO Sara Couch told Adweek, “The campaign plays off of the enormous discrepancy [in the fashion industry] and aims to remind consumers Payless is still a relevant place to shop for affordable fashion.”

 

Payless’ clever campaign proves PR has power. After this story grabbed headlines and gained millions of social media impressions, everyone was talking about Payless. It’s certainly not every day a low-price shoe store gets national attention.

 

Does your company want to make a big splash in the media in 2019? Contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com to set up a consultation and learn more about our services.

Now Accepting Applications for 2019 Public Relations Summer Internship

If you’re interested in experiencing PR agency life and gaining real-world knowledge and experience, then Dittoe Public Relations may be the place for you! We’re hiring public relations interns for summer 2019, and we want you to apply! This internship is paid, with part-time or full-time options available.

 

Here’s what you need to know:

Dittoe PR interns are responsible for assisting with the execution of strategic public relations and social media initiatives and contributing to the success of the firm’s clients. Interns will be mentored by intern directors and work closely with the firm’s entire staff, from account coordinators to the company’s partners.

 

This internship is for detail-oriented, self-starters looking to develop a well-rounded public relations skill set in an energetic and challenging environment. The ideal candidate should have strong communication skills (both verbal and written), initiative, and creativity, as well as feel comfortable juggling multiple projects and deadlines. Key tasks will focus on media relations, research and analysis, reporting, content creation and more.

 

Sampling of responsibilities:

  • Drafting compelling content such as press releases, media pitches, social media posts and more
  • Carrying out special event planning tasks
  • Participating in agency meetings, training sessions and brainstorming sessions
  • Handling research and analysis projects in support of client objectives as needed
  • Researching comprehensive press lists for local, national and trade media
  • Contributing to the execution of media relations campaigns
  • Assisting with client and business projects as needed
  • Assisting with administrative duties as assigned by staff

 

Key qualifications:

  • Actively enrolled in or a recent graduate of a university journalism, public relations, strategic communications, marketing, advertising or other related program
  • Previous professional or relevant internship experience (public relations experience is a plus)
  • An understanding of basic journalism and media relations skills
  • Solid, versatile writing skills in both creative and technical fields
  • An ability to be professional and personable in written and verbal communication
  • Demonstrates attention to detail and good judgment
  • Smart, creative, assertive, and innovative individual who thrives in a fast-paced environment
  • Flexible and willing to collaborate with teams
  • Proven ability to effectively prioritize and manage multiple tasks and competing deadlines
  • Additional knowledge in social media, design, photography/videography are a plus

 

To apply, send a cover letter, resume with references, and three diverse writing samples to Vanessa Staublin at vanessa [at] dittoepr.com. No phone calls please. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 P.M. EST on Friday, Feb. 15.