Tag Archives: lunch

Taco Bell calls on fans for mystery competition

21 Mar

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Does anyone else think brand promotions have become a bit stale? I don’t need another pen, loyalty cards get lost and I delete discount emails without a second thought. But, I wouldn’t turn my back on a free phone. Thanks Taco Bell.

To celebrate the restaurant chain’s move into the breakfast market next week, Taco Bell has sent fans free phones (Samsung to be precise.It gets around doesn’t it?) that include instructions for consumers to take part in missions to win prizes. In fact, the missions are so secretive there’s little information on how it works.

What I do know is that social media is a key trigger for the campaign. Upon accepting the mission – by turning the device on – they’re asked to submit their Twitter and Instagram handles and post images for the chance to win anything from a branded air freshener and pajamas to gift cards and a trip to the Pacific. But I’d be no good at this competition. My phone is always on silent – but Taco Bell’s phones were sent to fans with a note stating that it could ring at any time – so it should be kept with them at all times, even while they sleep.

Fans should be made aware that it pays to think outside of the box. Points are awarded based on each photo’s creativity, originality, whether it links with the promotion theme and the Taco Bell brand.

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This is a brilliant campaign because it transforms fans into ambassadors, driving them to promote the breakfast offering in a fresh way, generating content while reaching millions of potential customers. It’s so good it should be its PR mission statement.

The phones went live yesterday so the fun has only just begun. We’re bound to see lots of photos stamped with the #breakfastphone hashtag over the next week when the breakfast offer launches next Thursday in the US.

What do you think? Is Taco Bell too
hungry to make its morning menu work?

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PR: a step in the right direction

27 Aug

It’s amazing how many ideas you can come up with for brands that you don’t work for and today was no exception. In fact I was most productive during my lunch break, dividing a mini comms plan for new footwear company She’s So Shoes.

I was asked to pull together a quick press release to promote the new online retailer, which specialises in petite feet (that’s a UK size 4 and under if you’re wondering), to sell-in to the consumer and local press. But my mind is trained to think big. Or, in other words, think fee. And in this case: shoes.

Here are my three top-line ideas for this SME to walk towards an award-winning campaign:

1. Make the story personal
Research shows that more than a quarter of females in the UK have small feet (me included) – so I’d make the story personal by commissioning research to find the top 10 regions with the smallest feet, with a sample size of 2,000 for credibility. I’d then transform this data into an infographic to bring the topic to life before selling-in to fashion, lifestyle magazines and bloggers and national papers. The content can also be regionalised to the towns referenced in the study for extra impact and packaged as part of a radio day.

To go the extra mile, costs permitting, this PR story could also grab people’s attention by sending shoe samples to journalists and other fashion influencers – ideally those with small feet so they make use of the product. A single celebrity tweet can generate hundreds of re-tweets from fans who’ll drive traffic back to the brand’s website.

2. A picture’s worth a 1,000 words
It’s similar to what Carnaby Street did recently, but I’ve never been a fan of reinventing the wheel. So I’d compile a feature, working with the British Footwear Association, to put together a ‘who’s who’ of small feet. A blend of people from the past and present, famous and the unknown to place in the women’s national lifestyle supplements. Accompany with a photocall to bring the feature to life.

3. Pop up catwalk
PRs will want to position this company against other leading brands and what better way to show that these shoes can trample the rest by hosting a pop up catwalk in the capital?

With promotional models and members of the public, who can pick a pair of shoes to model, they can strut their stuff in an area that’s bound to attract attention. Think Millennium Bridge for photo purposes.

I’d recommend that a prize draw runs alongside the event and everyone that registers receives e-updates to get exclusive access to discounts to sustain campaign momentum.

These are three quick ideas that can help a brand to make an impact and get its ‘story’ started. A full campaign will require solid tactics to develop She’s So Shoes’ community and keep customers engaged with questions, offers and fashion ideas – driven by social media.

What would you do differently? Are you in need of some Prime Time PR ideas to get your brainstorm started?

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Are you ready at the drop of a hat?

4 Feb

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For a Monday morning, I was more prepared than a boy scout. How? I wore my emergency client dress for a potential awards lunch – Sustainable Restaurant Association Awards at the OXO 2 restaurant.

I thought I was going to be filling in for my most senior client, the managing director, but I should have known she’s made of stronger stuff. However, within your events party, you can always expect up to 10% of guests to drop out. So, when you’re thrown into a situation at the last minute that you’re not prepared for, here’s how to make the most of it and shine:

1. Ice, ice baby
Have an icebreaker under your belt and bring it out to everyone you meet.

As I’d only met my client’s leadership team a handful of times (and they won’t remember me even though I email them good news most days i.e. coverage), I used:

“Looks like my boss has finally let me out of the office!”

Corny I know. But I can laugh about it and so can they. It opens up about what I actually do and puts the attention on me for as long as I want it – until I turn the tables back on them.

2. Be honest
I was fortunate enough to be meeting my CEO at the event. I found her amongst the crowds and asked her to introduce me to some key influencers. I could have saved face and attempted to network on my own, but this method was quicker and she really appreciated my honesty and the challenges I was up against.

If this isn’t convincing enough – she set me up to shake celebrity chef Raymond Blanc’s hand. Enough said.

3. Check in
If you’ve been involved in the logistics of the event at any stage, check with your client and the organisers that everything is on track. It’ll show you’re in control and see tasks from beginning to end. It takes just one question and once you’ve been given the green light you can operate for the rest of the day on cruise control.

It goes without saying to make an effort with everyone – especially those on your table. Think of the five golden rules of journalism: who, what, why, when and how? Find out the answers from those closest to you and take the conversation from there.

4. Mission statement
As I was ‘invading’ a sustainability event for food and drink operators, I was understandably the odd one out. If you think your PR aura is sticking out like a sore thumb too, be prepared to summarise what you and your company does in one to two sentences. It succinctly helps the guests understand your role. Who knows – it might lead to a new business opportunity?

5. Find your niche
I was introduced to most people I met as my company’s social media guru. This gave me the flexibility to get my phone out without feeling rude and also handed me a free pass to doodle on my phone when conversations had come to a natural end.

6. Be aware
You can lose all sense of time at events. Don’t be caught out and over do it on the champagne at 11.30am! You do need to have some wits about you in front of your peers and clients.

What are your top tips on surviving
industry events win your clients?

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