Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Potato Comeback

We came. We fought. We conquered.  We've gained so much knowledge in the past couple of months that has led to this:  the final PR plan.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Target: Coming to Winnipeg in 2013

Target is coming to Canada.  Who doesn’t know Target?!  Like the Nike swoosh and the McDonald’s M, the Target logo is very recognizable.  Having billboards throughout the city with just the logo and the words “Coming in Winter 2013” would be a good way to start the buzz.  That’s when the first location is expected to open at Grant Park Mall with others to follow in Spring 2013.  The Winter 2013 could be replaced by a specific date, once it is known, to create further anticipation. 

IKEA distributed a compelling booklet to all Winnipeg households outlining their values, what they have to offer and how they will benefit the community.  To quell any fears of a USA invasion, Target could borrow this strategy.   Points they can tout are job creation, gas savings from the eliminated need for cross-border shopping and how they contribute to communities through volunteerism, education grants, charitable contributions, etc.

Winnipegers have a reputation for loving a deal.  The best way to engage them is through some significant grand opening specials.  Having daily specials throughout the grand opening week will bring some shoppers out several times.  Shoppers should be invited to bring a non-perishable food item for a local food bank in exchange for a reusable shopping bag.  This will not only be a show of support for a local charity but also provide traveling advertising as people use their bags for things other than shopping. (gym bag, lunch bag, shoe bag, etc.)

It’s human nature to react more strongly to negative things than positive things.  Target should endeavour to avoid negative publicity, both formal publicity and through word of mouth, by striving to have the grand opening go smoothly.  This would include having a sufficient team to manage greeting the press at the ribbon cutting, having ample staff to serve customers and restock shelves during the initial buzz and having an abundant supply of sale items.  Making the initial Canadian Target shopping experience as pleasant as possible for people will go a long way to cementing their arrival on Canadian soil as a positive thing in peoples’ minds.

Monday, November 5, 2012

It starts with research

Research and analysis are essential in the setting of effectual PR campaign objectives.  Through primary and secondary research, it is imperative to understand your target audience so you craft achievable goals that will meet your needs and cater to your publics properly.  Comprehensive research will undoubtedly reveal your main challenges and lead you to generate a thorough task list to meet your objectives.  It’s advantageous to know your strengths in order to capitalize on them.  You need to know your weaknesses equally well not only to address them or prevent problems but to also be prepared if you’re confronted about them.  The research phase is also the time to analyze external opportunities in order to capitalize on them.  It’s also the opportune stage to become aware of pending threats in order to be proactive.

Coca Cola missed the mark on their research for the launching on the New Coke.  When they were strategizing how to revitalize their brand, they failed to see that changing the formulation could alienate their current following.  Lucky for them, they were able to recover by introducing Coke Classic to appease their original devotees.  Who knows, maybe creating this uproar was part of the overall scheme to really get people talking.  It’s unlikely though because it’s a really risky approach.  Coca Cola’s experience is a prime example of where catering to one audience you can alienate another.  Tailoring goals for each audience (loyal following vs. prospective consumers) would have been more beneficial.

                                                                              CREDIT: FUNKYAH

If you don’t do the back work in a PR campaign before choosing tactics, the risk of taking the wrong path is that much greater. The effort will be paid back by way of clear objectives to meet the needs of your publics.  To jump right in can not only be ineffective but also detrimental and costly. Just like in baking, in order for a recipe to turn out well, you need to follow all the steps.