by Jordan Rafferty
Over the past few months we have seen it all over our Facebook newsfeeds, the Ice Bucket Challenge. Some of us are annoyed that it has been the only thing we see. Others don’t mind it because they know it is for a good cause. BUT IS IT FOR A GOOD CAUSE? Protestors say people are wasting clean water to avoid having to donate. The numbers speak differently. The Ice Bucket challenge has generated more than $100 million in donations, not to mention how much awareness it has raised. Like many others, I didn’t even know what ALS was until the Ice Bucket Challenge appeared.
Just what does the Ice Bucket Challenge have to do with PR?
If I were the PR person for the ALS Association, I would be rejoicing! Their goal is obviously to raise the awareness of ALS and generate donations and the challenge did EXACTLY that. The only problem is that the PR person did nothing. Their goal was met, but not by them. A group of friends started the challenge, meant to be just between them, and it went viral. Now, according to a Huffington Post article, nonprofit organizations are rethinking how they are spending their money, meaning they want to cut back their public relations budgets.
Are we going to lose job opportunities because of this?
Organizations are now thinking that maybe they don’t need to spend as much money on public relations efforts. They believe they just need to come up with a creative way to generate buzz about their cause. The problem with this is that, yes, it will work sometimes, but this “accept a challenge or donate to charity” is just a fad. Although I agree that it is an awesome thing to raise awareness, I just don’t agree this tactic is right for every organization. There have been attempts to imitate the Ice Bucket Challenge. An example of this is the Rubble Bucket Challenge. This is to raise awareness of the aftermath of the airstrike against Gaza. Instead of using freezing water they are taking buckets of rubble from the streets and dumping it over themselves. While it generated some buzz, it didn’t generate enough. This is just one example of a failed Ice Bucket Challenge imitation.
Because of this I don’t believe that nonprofits are going to be cutting back their public relations dollars like the article said. Instead, I believe they are going to want to spend more. The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS was a coincidence. Those people who started it did not know it was going to be so popular. That isn’t going to happen for everyone. Organizations are going to want to hire creative minds to think of similar ways to generate awareness and donations. Who knows better than public relations folk?
By Elissa Huck
The problem: Social media addiction
In our technology-driven world, we are connected through Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and more on a daily basis. Sharing photos and updates with people at the touch of a button seems convenient, but what happens when we’re more engaged with our cyber connections than our real relationships? Have you ever been caught trying to subtly Snapchat a selfie in public? Are you a chronic “subtweeter?” Do you find yourself obsessing over the best filter for your Instagram post? All evidence considered, you are more than likely addicted to social media.
The solution: The “social media guard”
Fortunately, Coca-Cola has the solution to breaking our social media addiction. It’s a Coke-themed cone that fits around your head and intervenes your 24-hour connection with all social media. The company unveiled its spoof product (ironically) through a YouTube video that went viral. An E Online article summarizes how the short video “mocks people who Instagram photos of their meals instead of talking to their friends over dinner, dads who ignore their kids because they’re on their phone and children who are too busy looking at cat videos to notice their actual pet cat.” The social media guard is applied in each scenario, and the people can miraculously enjoy spending quality time with their friends and family. The faux product promises, “It takes the social out of media and puts it back into your life.”
Enjoy a real moment…and a Coke
In the past week, the video has reached nearly 4 million views. Coca-Cola commented, “We have just started a conversation on a light-hearted look at how social media can dominate our daily lives and how it has changed the way that we ‘share’ moments with each other. This is not to downplay the value that technology brings to our lives, rather an invitation to enjoy every day’s uplifting moments as they happen.” Coke’s witty video encourages us to put down our phones, tablets and laptops in order to fully acknowledge the world around us. Instead of “liking” a post, compliment people for their achievements. Rather than “sharing” a video, get together and have a conversation with friends. It’s important to get back to basics and foster real, meaningful relationships because sometimes being social doesn’t require any media at all.
Photo courtesy of: adweek
by Jonathan HaileAllow me to get a bit nerdy today. One of the things film studios have done brilliantly in recent years is viral marketing. Viral marketing, of course, is about letting fans and customers share your idea over the internet and social media. While your product or company is always in mind, it can be a bit understated. Sharing the idea must also be a simple process.
Most famously, Warner Brothers used a viral marketing campaigns to build speed for their hit films, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight rises. I also remember as a kid, seeing a subtle commercial in the for the NS-5 robot at the movie theatre. It was a viral campaign for the 2004 film, I, Robot, but at the time I had no idea.
So viral marketing campaigning for films are nothing new, but they’re kind of different ways to let the audience spread the work about a film. Today, Fox Studios released this little bit. It makes the new film, X-Men: Days of Future Past, due to be released next summer, feel like it exists in the context of realism. It also functions as a commercial for the film’s antagonists.
An article on Web Marketing Today suggests there are six principles to viral marketing. In this case, four of the principles are being taken advantage of:
- Provides for effortless transfer to others
- Scales easily from small to very large
- Utilizes existing communication networks
- Takes advantage of others’ resources
Judging by the early reaction on Twitter, this video has found its way on to plenty of computer screens. It’s doing exactly what the marketers want; creating a discussion. Who knows how far this little “advertisement” will go? It’s going to be the reason X-Men: Days of Future Past is a box office hit, but it does get the discussion for the movie going early. It also helps that it’s creative.