Every company or organization has a message they are trying to convey to their audience. At times, the company or organization’s message may be lost or may need to change due to the changing world around them. This means having to formulate a calculated and strategic campaign to convey to the public that the company or organization has something new to say or express. It is vital to any campaign to have a strong media relations presence to magnify the campaign’s exposure to the targeted audience. Let’s go ahead and take a look at how Hallmark, Visit Philadelphia and Netflix effectively used media relations to their advantage in their respective campaigns.
Hallmark noticed a decline in sales in their birthday cards which prompted them to launch a campaign centered around the idea, or hashtag, #birthdayfail. They used media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to get their message out and posted humorous content, videos showcasing celebrity spokespeople as well as hosting online contests. This campaign took place two years ago and was a success due to the fact that they took advantage of social media, knowing that, after doing primary and secondary research, their target audience was a demographic that could be easily accessible through the platforms of Facebook and Twitter. Social media is an excellent media relations tool as the ability to share, “like” and boost posts exists leading to more views and impressions. Another Campaign that used social media in their campaign was Visit Philadelphia. Visit Philadelphia launched a campaign centered on the city’s charming and trendy neighborhoods that surrounded the downtown area. After doing careful research, it was found tourists were interested in more than just downtown Philly. The campaign utilized many media relation tools, one being their Instagram account, @visitphillly. By showcasing the neighborhoods being used in the campaign, the campaign was able to gain more exposure through the views and impressions made on social media. Visit Philadelphia could have also gained more exposure and success if other social media had been used such as Facebook and Twitter, however, Visit Philadelphia used more traditional media relations tools as well, such as its website and designating an arm of the site to showcase the neighborhoods which helped to generate numerous print, blog, TV and radio stories over the campaign.
Another company that utilized traditional media in one of their recent campaigns was Netflix. Netflix needed to create a campaign after noticing that the site was not thought of as having a large library of trendy television shows, but that of movies instead. At the same time the phrase “binge watch” was beginning to trend and Netflix launched a campaign using the phrase in a positive light to let their target audience know that there were television shows on the site that could be binge-watched. Netflix reached out to the Wall Street Journal who then wrote an article that launched the binge watch campaign. Even though Netflix now has a cultural ownership over the act of binge-watching a TV series, I feel as if the use of traditional media for this campaign was not the only route that should have been take. Since people have the ability download Netflix and stream shows on their smart phones, I feel that Netflix should have utilized social media as the catalyst for their campaign by creating a hashtag and running the conversation on the act binge-watching seeing as their target audience takes to social media to talk about what shows they are currently watching or seeking advice on which show to start “binging” on next.
As I said before, media relations is like a magnifying glass for whatever campaign your company or organization is trying to promote and will be one of the most effective means of communication with your audience. Deciding to forgo traditional or newer media outlets is really the only decision that needs to be made, however utilizing both will never hurt and usually can result with maximum exposure. I am partial to social media, as it is not going anywhere and continues to develop everyday with new ways to interact with audiences that make it easier for companies, organizations and public figures to connect with generations of all ages making it a powerhouse tool in your belt for media relations purposes.