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Win the Holidays with Real-Time PR: Download Our White Paper!

blog-Real-TimePRReal-time marketing went mainstream when Oreo’s tweet went viral during the 2013 Super Bowl. You know the one. Despite the cookie company’s success, PR has largely stayed away from real-time tactics besides newsjacking, leaving its full PR potential untapped.

But it’s not too late to make a real-time splash during this year’s holiday shopping season. PR pros already have many of the skills they need to succeed in real-time. Just as Oreo stood out from hundreds of brands vying for attention during The Big Game, you can drive awareness and bottom-line results during The Big Buying Season.

Our Real-Time PR for the Holidays white paper breaks down everything you need to know about setting up and executing real-time PR and includes analysis of eight real-time holiday PR campaigns.

As a preview of our free white paper, see the real-time PR secrets of Butterball Turkey, Target, Fed-Ex and eBags.

1. Turn customer service into PR.

The campaign: Annual Turkey Talk Line
Why it worked: Butterball won’t wow with its digital savvy this holiday, but its strategy doesn’t require it. The brand delivers information that helps amateur chefs prepare a Thanksgiving feast. Promoting its customer service line and supplementing it with a celebrity endorsement gives the brand a top PR holiday campaign.butterball

Pro tip: You don’t need the power of a celebrity endorsement–third-party reviews and earned media can be more effective. Research your audience to see who influences them. If you already work with the influencer or she is in your organization, you can use that relationship to build trust and loyalty in your brand. If the influencer is a relative stranger, you may need to consider some sort of incentive.

2. Discuss a pain point in a clever way.

The campaign: Annual Holiday Campaign
Why it worked: FedEx has generated awareness with holiday ads the past two years, but its 2012 campaign that poked fun at Black Friday and last minute shopping is especially noteworthy. FedEx’s director of advertising, Steve Pacheco, said the company’s ads resonated because “the holidays bring out the best, and the worst, in people. We’re saying: ‘You need help. We have help. Come see us.’”

Pro tip: If you can address customer interests and concerns and fulfill your promise, you’ll increase awareness and engagement for the holidays and beyond.

3. Enable audiences to share their stories.

The campaign: #MyKindOfHoliday
Why it worked: Target capitalized on “social TV” and user-generated content to promote its #MyKindOfHoliday campaign and build buzz and engagement. Target supplemented user-generated content with holiday specials and challenges on social media, staying true to its goal of championing the holiday spirit. The brand consistently solicited people’s holiday traditions and helped them find gifts.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to nurture sales even if you design a campaign to build awareness and engagement. For example, if you see that your target audience has shopping anxiety, provide them with ways to receive exclusive deals.

4. Increase reach and sales with personalized emails.

The campaign: Steals of the Season
Why it worked: eBags blended PR and marketing with Steals of the Season, a mobile-focused email campaign that gave the brand opportunities to engage customers and generate leads. Each email they sent contained a call to action that asked recipients to sign up for text alerts that delivered exclusive offers. That extra contact information enabled them to engage interested prospects during the holidays and for the rest of the year.

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Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to mix PR and marketing. Doing so often helps build your brand and increase engagement. Don’t overwhelm subscribers with an email blitz, though. Look to see where replacing standard automated messages with holiday promotions makes sense.

Want to win the holidays with real-time PR? Get your free white paper 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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