Posts Tagged ‘brand’


Transformation Influencers: Rust-Oleum’s 1,000 Projects Campaign

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

There are more than 100 million searches each month on “how to” do something. Rust-Oleum, a nearly 100 year-old company, came to the realization that people aren’t really passionate about products as much as they want to change and improve their living spaces, creating something beautiful that they can enjoy.

Photo: Pinterest Screenshot

Photo: Pinterest Screenshot

With the insight that people want to improve and/or change what they love, Rust-Oleum (along with its agencies) set out to create 1,000 compelling projects to serve as inspiration and demonstration to consumers. Leveraging paid media and using data driven marketing to share a transformation story through images and video, they empowered bloggers and every day influencers to share their own inspiration stories, in turn driving awareness and a new excitement—a re-introduction of sorts.

Lisa Bialecki, Senior Director, Integrated Communications at Rust-Oleum, shared their journey with attendees of PRSA St. Louis’ recent Digital Communications Summit.

They conducted fast data analysis to identify exactly what people are searching for and where they’re looking to find this information. Using this research data, they created a blueprint of projects that they needed to create and feature—for example, 14% of the project would be devoted to the garden tackling things like planters, fences and stones, while 5% would be devoted to garage revamping items such as cabinets, hardware, organizers and the garage floor.

Their strategy included media partners, consumers, professionals and brand projects. Rust-Oleum created “an army of project enthusiasts,” Bialecki said, leveraging volumes of content–using print, blogs, web, video, Facebook and Pinterest. They also hyper-targeted banner ads to their audiences and created a new website for project inspirations with a user forum section—creating a community.

But it wasn’t just all traditional print, social media and digital. Rust-Oleum hosted DIY conferences. They held multiple blogger innovation summits in an effort to generate excitement for these bloggers to write about new products. One such summit included 18 highly influential DIY bloggers (from 15 key blogs) over a three-day period. During the summit, they took them on a manufacturing plant tour, a corporate headquarters breakfast and tour which included a marketing studio “hands-on” session. Through these “in real life” events, they were able to build a stronger awareness of new products, strengthen existing and build new blogger relationships.

This integrated PR campaign not only supported Rust-Oleum’s retail marketing but has resulted in 250 million project impressions to date and 3 million project engagements. Pinterest has become their number two driver to the website. Most importantly, unit sales are up 40% year-over-year. This is a great example of PR, marketing, advertising, digital and social successfully working together!

How PR Pros Can Define the Future of Public Relations

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Brian Solis BurrellesLuce What is the Future of PR Business What’s the future of PR? What’s the future of business? Is it a bit too early in the morning to consider those questions? It’s a big topic without a clear answer, but at this year’s PRSA International Conference, which ran October 26-29 in Philadelphia, Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter and forward-thinking PR guru, gave a rousing keynote speech to open this year’s conference, which I attended.

Solis’ topic: What is the Future of Business? Or, as he calls it, WTF. The important thread throughout his address was that to evolve the PR profession to suit the ever-changing topography of business and media, it’s up to PR practitioners to put the “relations” back into “public relations.” “This is a time to lean forward, to try something new, to try something different in your approach. In order to do that, we have to first see what it is we don’t do right in order to change and innovate,” Solis advises.

Solis thinks PR pros can rethink their approach to writing and marketing. “We’re still broadcasting at people, marketing at people, and in an era of social media, we’re actually kind of antisocial,” he points out at the beginning of his speech. “Without understanding social science, without aligning with a bigger mission or vision with what we are trying to do, we are just managing [our] businesses the way we always have. We aren’t moving in any new direction.”

Solis asserts that it’s time to challenge our organizational ecosystems and use social media to reinvent PR by making relationships matter again. Approach your social media and marketing strategy from the perspective of your audience. As Solis points out, “they have to go through a journey with your organization, and PR should redefine the whole journey and experience.”

He asks us to consider the ART – the Actions, Reactions, and Transactions – of social media. If a member of your audience is going to give you their attention for a moment, what do you want to do with it? Solis uses the example of Old Spice, a brand he associated with his grandfather, and a brand he never considered using – until Old Spice’s funny viral video campaigns. “Old Spice made the brand relevant for a consumer who would have never thought to use their products. Think about where you can introduce emotional value,” says Solis.

Solis presents his Hybrid Theory, which puts PR at the center of influence, engagement, content marketing, and consumer experience. Through all of these, PR pros can directly engage. In what Solis calls an “ecosystem of accidental narcissists,” your audience has an audience, with whom they only share things relevant to their audience, and that audience will do the same, so it’s important to understand not only your audience, but what will make your audience share with theirs.

Solis asserts that marketing doesn’t come down to the Millennial generation versus the non-Millennial generation; a Boomer with a tablet and a smartphone will exhibit the same behaviors as a Millennial, so it’s time to approach these behaviors as a widespread lifestyle. To thrive in future business, PR pros must figure out how to be part of that lifestyle of connectedness and engagement.

We must also understand how people make decisions. Connected customers don’t go to Google to make their decisions – they go to their network for trusted recommendations. People share their experiences and in the end, it doesn’t matter what your brand promise is – it matters what your brand experience is, and how clients share that experience. “Brands are dying because they fail to realize that customer experiences or opportunities to improve experiences are the future” of successful campaigns, warns Solis.

“The future of PR lies in creating shareable experiences; it starts with a vision, a mission, and a purpose,” he continues. “You have a role in changing how businesses, organizations and governments talk, relate, and influence.” And this change isn’t about tools, technology, blogging, or influencers, it’s about behavior, “What people feel, do, share, like and don’t like. It’s about you and me. And that’s why PR has to change,” says Solis.

Solis suggests defining your purpose and vision to start. Think about your customers, how you communicate with them and how they communicate with each other, and consider what’s important to them. Then, think about how to earn relevance and keep earning relevance.

Solis ended his insights with thoughts on change: “We all talk about change but we never talk about how to change ourselves. It starts with us and how we value the work we do and the impact our work has. There will always be a new platform or device; how do you make those things better? Use technology to bring your vision to life rather than using new technology to do what you’ve done –talk at people.”

As a former journalist who joined the BurrellesLuce team just two months ago, I found Solis’ heavy use of jargon left me feeling a bit talked at. He raised a few points that gave me some new perspectives to consider as I make my way in a new industry, but I also wondered whether relevance is a commodity that can be earned or an ever-changing state of interaction with clients and audience. In looking at our team at BurrellesLuce, I find that we achieve relevance through constant interaction, and dare I say engagement, to stay relevant in their space and in ours.

The Outlander Guide to a Viral Social Media PR Campaign

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Tips for a viral social media campaign from Starz series OutlanderWith a saturated social media landscape and the constant pressure to keep things “new,” instigating a buzz-worthy PR campaign and keeping the flames alive is an active challenge.

One current campaign is making a social media splash: Outlander. Starz network is adapting the first in a series of seven (soon to be eight) books into a television show, and their social media campaign has grown every week since its inception in June.

Here’s how you can take a page from the Outlander book to maximize your social media PR campaign.

Engage with your base

The Outlander book series has an existing zealous fan base. Starz network is leveraging that base – which is devoted to the books and their author, Diana Gabaldon – to help the campaign become more widespread. By bringing existing brand evangelists into the fold, they’re not only keeping conversations about the show almost wholly positive, they’re spurring those evangelists to spread the word. The lesson: leverage your fan base to broaden your message.

Share new developments…

The Starz team shared casting information as they confirmed individual cast members. They’ve also shared progress on production and tidbits from locations and the set. Updating followers on exciting developments is crucial to maintaining engagement, so instead of insisting on total secrecy regarding updates on projects, new products, or campaigns, release salient tidbits at a slower but consistent pace. This keeps users anticipating the next announcement, but gives them enough time to discuss, process, and publicize the latest developments.

… But don’t share too much

Much as Starz keeps its fans in the know, there’s a lot they’re keeping under wraps. They haven’t released any photos from the set that show actors, costumes, or locations (though bystanders have shared many unauthorized on-set photos).

Though fans are clamoring to see photos of the two stars (and on-screen love interests) together in costume, the studio hasn’t released any. They also delayed announcing cast members for significant supporting roles, causing fans to generate plenty of social media threads speculating.

Allowing the base to know just enough but not too much keeps the hype and energy going. If you’re running a campaign for the launch of a new product or service, start the PR campaign as the project is being developed, sending out bits of information that will create interest without giving it all away. Think of it as building to the climax of a story, not just dumping information. Allowing room for speculation creates extra press and anticipation.

Pursue author engagement

Another thing in the TV show’s favor is that the books’ author, Diana Gabaldon, has a significant presence on Facebook and Twitter, and already engages in prolific brand evangelist interaction. Knowing how devoted the fans are to the books, Starz consulted with Gabaldon when casting, which helped assure fans that the brand was author-approved, regardless of how much say Gabaldon ultimately had in the casting.

Similar tactics can pay off for your PR campaign. If the subject of your campaign has dedicated, involved authors or creators, integrate that person into the campaign, especially if that person is known in his or her field as credible, a thought leader, or an influencer. Even if they’re not, the campaign can help establish them as such, at much benefit to your organization.

Get key players to engage

Starz uses its official account to disseminate information, but the show’s director, writers, and lead actors are all on Twitter. They all interact with fans and help spread announcements. In fact, one of the show’s leads, Sam Heughan, went from around 1,000 followers before the casting announcement to over 15,000.

Getting your key players to participate in social media campaigns can have a huge positive effect. Make sure to establish ground rules from the beginning – what’s permissible for sharing, how to interact with fans, how to deal with any negativity – and set a baseline for daily or weekly interactions. This will have the two-fold effect of diversifying users who see your social media efforts, but will also help turn your members in authorities, in turn bolstering your organization’s profile.

Build a presence around industry attendance

Last weekend, Gabaldon and the show’s writer and producer, Ronald D. Moore, made a joint panel appearance at New York Comic-Con. Not only did this stir up a lot of excitement on social media as they shared new insights, it also raised the profile of the show and made them visible to a larger audience.

If you’re attending industry events and conferences, incorporate that into your social media campaign. Create your own hashtag around the campaign and your presence, and before you get there, engage with people who will be going. Then, engage with them in person and on social media during the actual event. Post pictures, provide updates, and maintain an active presence throughout the event.

Stay true to the brand

Throughout everything, it’s essential to stay true to your brand’s values and vision. If the campaign deviates too sharply from what fans know, it could create a lot of confusion and animosity. It comes back to knowing your audience, harnessing your existing fan base, and building off of past success.

BurrellesLuce Complimentary Webinar: Leveraging Breaking News to Boost Your Brand

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

BurrellesLuce Complimentary Webinar w/ Todd Hartley - Leveraging Breaking News to Boost Your BrandBurrellesLuce Complimentary Webinar: Leveraging Breaking News to Boost Your Brand

Register Now!

When: Monday, September 24, 2012

Time: Noon EDT

When news breaks in your industry, what should you do? How do you own the conversation, promote your expert, and develop business relationships that convert to revenue?

Join BurrellesLuce and Todd Hartley, CEO of WireBuzz for this informative 60-minute webcast, “Leveraging Breaking News to Boost Your Brand.”

During the webcast you will:

  • Learn tricks to maximize breaking news opportunities by combining a press release with a rapid-response video.
  • Learn how to optimize social media engagement and search results for breaking news.
  • See case studies implementing this strategy.

And much more…

Register Now!

Moderator: Johna Burke, senior vice president, marketing, BurrellesLuce

Space is limited. Sign up now for this free webinar, “Leveraging Breaking News to Boost Your Brand.” If we are unable to accept your registration, an on-demand presentation will be available for review after the event at www.burrellesluce.com.

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Todd Hartley (@TheToddHartley), CEO of WireBuzz, has spearheaded digital marketing campaigns for seven of the largest national talk shows and created the first video medical encylopedia on the internet. His agency, WireBuzz, specializes in developing fast video content production for press releases, search engine optimization, and customer lead generation.

2012 Counselors Academy Conference Keynote – Groovin’ to Your Own Beat: How to Build Your Business by Merging Your Personal and Professional Selves

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Colleen Flood*

The 2012 Counselors Academy kicked off on Sunday, May 6, 2012. The evening’s keynote session featured Jay Baer, president of Convince and Convert, and Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich. The duo asserted that “it’s difficult to tell a client they need to be using the Web if an agency principal doesn’t believe it themselves.”

How to Build Your Personal Brand into Your Professional Brand
During the session, Baer and Dietrich discussed “how revenue follows capabilities and capabilities follow beliefs” and presented agency leaders with best practices to “finally ‘get off their duffs and start becoming social’ in order to build their businesses.”

Here are some key takeaways from the presentation:

  • If an agency has several employees, why not tweet under the agency name?
  • Videos create a human being behind the brand. We remember personal stories and want to do business with the people we know.
  • Network – social media connects you with people you cannot connect with in 3D and helps with national recognition.
  • Agencies need to spend time on leadership campaigns (e.g., blog posts). Tech has made us all self-servers of information and we want to find the answers ourselves when it’s time.
  • Can a junior staffer handle social media? Social media is not something you should delegate and you can’t outsource your voice.
  • People will remember your “branding.” So, give away what you know. Remember, “giving away a list of ingredients doesn’t make you a chef.”
  • Figure out your circles. Listen and find opportunities to be helpful. The best way to be helpful is to setup searches. People buy from people they like and trust. Your client wants to work with you!
  • Commit to social media regularly – say, 20 minutes a day – and fill in the “tiny gaps in your day.”
  • How do you measure social media success? Understand how it pays off in terms of leads, new business, and client retention. Listen. Assess the conversation. Engage. Measure and then improve.

The audience also had the opportunity to ask a few questions. One question focused on “what PR firms should stop doing and start implementing instead.” The answer? Stop chasing the hot new thing and start having policies in place for brand ambassadors.

How are you “groovin’ to your own beat” and “merging your personal and professionals selves to build your business?”

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*Bio: Colleen Flood has been a sales consultant with BurrellesLuce for over 12 years and is eager to become a more integrated part of the social-public relations community. She primarily handles agency relations in the New York and New Jersey metro-area. She is not only passionate about work, but also about family, friends, and the Jersey Shore. Twitter: @cgflood LinkedIn: Colleen Flood Facebook: BurrellesLuce