Tide Loads of Hope- Good PR

After seeing a commercial about Loads of Hope by Tide, I decided to research a little further.  I quickly found out that Tide trucks with built-in washers and dryers drive to places that have recently been hit with a disaster.   The trucks let disaster victims do loads of laundry for free.  These energy-efficient machines can clean 300 loads of laundry every day.  Tide promotes Loads of Hope through its Web site, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and has multiple videos on YouTube. 

The videos are positive testimonials of people who have used Tide’s services and machines.  They list places the Tide trucks have visited as well as how many loads were completed and how many families were helped.  Below is an example of one of the YouTube video testimonials:

The Tide brand is looking like saints to the disaster victims.  When disasters occur, I usually hear about organizations donating money to help out the victims.  By helping with a task that seems so trivial, Tide is helping victims as well as helping themselves gain great publicity.

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Employee Engagement and Social Media- Best Buy

After watching a YouTube video (below) about Best Buy and employee engagement with Jennifer Rock, director of employee communications for Best Buy, I realized the importance of employee engagement.  Jennifer explained that instead of just communicating AT your employees, now organizations are communicating WITH their employees.  With two-way communication, employees become more involved with the company because they can share their ideas, information, and problems.  Jennifer explained that Best Buy engages employees in many different ways.  Employees are engaging on discussion boards, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and are ranking and commenting on stories that Best Buy submits to the public.

To me, the most interesting part of Jennifer’s video interview was when she was asked how Best Buy deals with negativity from employees.  Jennifer said that when communicating with employees, the first things that usually come out of employees mouths (or fingers via the web) are complaints.  After working out the kinks and communicating on a regular basis, employees start contributing more constructive ideas.         

“‘One Store, One Team’ at Best Buy” shows how engaging employees and taking their feedback into consideration helped unite a Best Buy in Manchester Connecticut.

Social Media Ethic Guidelines

 David Meerman Scott, an online leader, strategist, and author of five marketing books formulated a list of 5 different guidelines for ethical Social Media Marketing.  The list below was gathered from this post from Marcom Professional.

 1. Transparency– If you aren’t open with your consumer on exactly who you are, it can come back to bite you.  Consumer’s don’t like to be lied to and with social media, it could be easy to hide your identity.  Showing the real person behind the ideas coming from the computer screen is key.

2. Privacy– If you’re given inside information, don’t let the whole world know through social media.  Once a secret’s let out… a whole campaign could be ruined!

3. Disclosure– Let people know truthful information that they may find trouble with in the future.

4. Truthfulness– Always, always, always tell the truth.  Don’t fabricate or elaborate anything.

5. Credit– Give recognition to those who help out or contribute to your ideas.  Giving others credit makes your ideas seem more like a team rather than a single opinion.  Teamwork makes the dream work.   

To give you more insight on David Meerman Scott, I’ve posted a video where he explains his path into social media.

Public Relations and Viral Videos

Communicating with an organization’s publics has grown from the traditional way of shaking hands with a smile to a more savvy way with cyber-relations.  While shaking hands and meeting people is still a great way to make connections, it has become easier to make connections over the Internet.  Chapter 11 of our book mentions viral videos and how they are quickly becoming part of public relations.  A specific viral video creator, Jessica Rose, was featured in our book as someone who filled others in on her life via YouTube.  Here is an example of one of her videos which reached over 6 million views!  Jessica (Bree) talks about her 1st kiss.  This video is informative, funny, and cute because it shows the inside scoop of a young girl.  It’s amazing to me how a 16-year-old girl interested and drew so many people into her life by simply talking about everyday issues. 

Viral videos can also be used to help in an organization’s public relations efforts.  For example, last year in Stakeholder Communication, we studied the YouTube video below from Verizon Wireless.  While most everyone knows that Verizon Wireless’ main theme is that the network is with you wherever you go, I doubt anyone took that meaning literally.  This video took the meaning of the “most reliable network” to another level.  Although it does not have as many views as Jessica Rose’s, this video has been viewed by over 150,000 YouTubers.  This video could have made an impression on those viewers to switch to the Verizon Wireless network.  And the best part about this viral video… it was FREE to publish.  Take a look:

My Defintion of Public Relations

In my last public relations class, I learned that public relations is the management of complex interactions between an organization and it’s publics.  To me, this definition encompasses many different things.  Through my personal experiences with working in three different areas (corporate PR- Verizon Wireless, small firm- JDPR, and law firm- Toussaint Law Firm) I’ve learned that a public realtions practioner wears mutliple hats.   Writing press releases, constantly keeping in contact with the media, developing new ways to pitch ideas, working with a company’s philanthropy, making flyers and brochures to distribute, and tracking media clips are only a few of the many things that I witnessed my fellow co-workers continuously do at my internships.

Now, as times are changing and more news is becoming “citizen news” through social media, PRos must keep up with the new technology that is being invented.  Through Twitter, blogs ,and Facebook, YouTube and other forms of social media, a company can be praised or totally ripped apart within moments.  It’s scary to think that people who may not have any expertise on a part an organization that you represent can easily bad mouth it and cause permanent damage.