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The Secrets to Oreo’s Real-Time Success Revealed

Oreo was the belle of the 2013 Super Bowl when its “Dunk in the Dark” tweet riffed off the mid-game blackout, earning thousands of retweets and hundreds of media mentions.

But how exactly have Oreo and a handful of other brands since this epic tweet made such a splash with real-time tactics?

MWW’s Alissa Blate shed some light on how to effectively do real-time PR and marketing in a recent webinar. Here are some of the top takeaways from her presentation.

Missed her presentation? Register for the free, on-demand version now!

Does Real-Time Work?

Real-Time PR - Clocks

Anyone who has stepped foot into the real-time game will tell you that producing great results is not as easy as Oreo made it look. In fact, it may be easier to put up negative results than positive ones.

During the 2014 World Cup, MWW looked at a group of 14 brands doing real-time PR and marketing. They found that only eight of the 18 brands experienced a positive lift in engagement levels.

Castrol and Budweiser were the top two performers, seeing engagement increase 21,960 percent and 377 percent, respectively. The average increase in engagement for the eight successful brands was 279 percent.

The remaining 10 brands actually saw Twitter engagement decrease 47 percent.

What separated the brands? The top performers planned, produced insightful content, had impeccable timing and stayed brand relevant. The low performers hadn’t planned well, delivered self-serving communications and ignored what the fans wanted, which was soccer.

Adopt a Real-Time Mindset 

Real-Time PR Mindset

When delving into real-time, PR pros and marketers have two types of events to consider: planned and unplanned.

Planned events include product launches, brand events or something that appears on your editorial calendar. An unplanned event includes breaking news, customer interactions and trending topics.

To leverage either type of event, you need to adopt a unique mindset.

Before you engage in real-time activities, determine what objectives you hope to achieve, develop a flexible plan so you can react quickly, and create a way to weigh the pros and cons of inserting your brand into particular conversations.

Your work flow might look like this:

Real-Time PR Flow Chart

Build the right team

Having a plan is only part of the battle. You need the right talent.

Alissa encourages people to think about your team as mission control. Whether it has two, five or more members depends on you, their skills and the resources of your organization.

Teamwork - Real-Time PR

Many big brands will have a wide-range of talent ready to respond, including social engagement experts, media relations personnel and creative thinkers.

Whoever comprises the team, they should work in one room in an environment that encourages collaboration.

This won’t necessarily come easy. Practicing for every type of scenario will help your real-time team perform better when it’s time to respond. 

Identify the right opportunities

Opportunity - Real-Time PR

Alissa warns that real-time is not about tapping into anything and everything simply because it’s trending.

Even if you see positive results from an unrelated real-time campaign, they may be empty likes and retweets that don’t benefit your brand.

She listed four types of opportunities to look for where you could inject your brand into a real-time conversation:

  1. Opportunistic driven – Examples include the iPhone launch, last winter’s Polar Vortex and outcomes from anticipated events
  2. Breaking/Trending news – Examples include Bendgate with the iPhone 6 and Oreo’s Dunk in the Dark tweet
  3. Brand events – Examples include product launches and disruptive owned content
  4. Planned calendar events – Examples include the Super Bowl, World Cup and the Olympics

Tools, such as Google Trends and social media monitoring software, can help you identify many of these types of opportunities in advance or as they’re happening.

Brands Who Did It Right

Girl Scouts of the USA – During the 2014 World Cup, the Girl Scouts released a 13-second video shortly after soccer player Luis Suarez bit an opponent.

The video received a modest 9,500 views on YouTube but resulted in 1 million media impressions, including appearances on ABC and ESPN, because their social media specialist pitched it for placement.

The Girl Scouts’ team had no idea that the bite would occur, but they were set up to leverage anything that happened at that planned event. They achieved their results with a small nimble team that had a good plan in place.

MWW – The 2014 State of the Union kept many glued to their TV sets and social networks.

MWW tracked the social media conversation and created an infographic that showed what mattered to Americans during the State of the Union.

Real-Time PR - MWW Infographic

Click the image to see the entire infographic.

MWW had the right mindset, the right tools and a team with expertise in graphics, social media, corporate communications, traditional media and research experts. Their preparation, talent and planning made it so that they were able to pitch the media as they created their recaps.

Kit Kat – Shortly after the iPhone 6 reached consumers, people vented and worried about how flexible it proved to be.

Kit Kat monitored the trend on social and whipped up copy and an image within 30 minutes of the trend started.

We don’t bend, we #break. #bendgate #iPhone6plus

— KITKAT (@KITKAT) September 24, 2014

In less than an hour they had 1,000 retweets, so they paid to promote the tweet, earning them 23,000 retweets, 10,000 favorites and several thousand new followers. AdWeek said that the Bendgate tweet surpassed Oreo’s “Dunk in the Dark.”

Huggies – New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy received criticism for taking paternity leave and missing Opening Day.

Huggies took notice and launched #HuggiesSupportsDaniel on Facebook and Twitter. The campaign donated diapers to the Diaper Network for mentions of the hashtag.

Congrats @Mets Daniel Murphy on Noah’s birth! Honoring all dads, for each #HuggiesSupportsDaniel use we’ll donate diapers to @diapernetwork

— Huggies® (@Huggies) April 4, 2014

Huggies received 492 retweets and 738 favorites on Twitter and 87,000 likes and 10,900 shares on Facebook.

Even though department and grocery stores are still pushing Halloween, the biggest sales season of the year starts in a month. To raise awareness for your brand during this most profitable time of yea using real-time, you need to start planning now.

Don’t let real-time pass you by. Your Oreo moment could be just around the corner.

Want to see Alissa’s presentation for yourself? Watch it now!

About Brian Conlin

Brian Conlin is a content marketing manager for Cision. A former journalist, he enjoys researching and developing accessible content. When not writing, you will find him watching baseball and college basketball, sampling craft beer and enjoying Baltimore. Find him on Twitter @BrianConlin13.

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