Today’s Round Up on heartwarming stories in the world of public relations, marketing and journalism.
I’ve seen a couple of really good PR stories this week, but the one that tugged on my heartstrings was from the Chicago Blackhawks.
I’m from NYS, so it’s probably blasphemous to admit that my favorite hockey team is the Blackhawks. I’ll take that risk. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved them. As an adult, I’ve grown to love their public relations skills. I know I’ve written about the Blackhawks before, but I can’t help myself this morning.
Facebook greeted me today with a video called “Our Rinks”. The video is also on Twitter:
The video features Blackhawks players and longtime friends Ryan Hartman and Scott Darling going into the neighborhoods of Chicago in search of kids playing hockey, playing a bit of hockey with the kids and declaring their makeshift “rinks” “Official Blackhawks Practice Rinks”.
I admit that the video seems a little staged, but it still tugs at the heartstrings.
But, there are other reasons that I love this PR campaign.
The hashtags are simple, but communicated more than one message to the fans. By combining the two hashtags in the order that they did, it says that the Blackhawks team isn’t just about what’s happening inside their home ice. They’re interested in what’s going on with the fans. Their one goal isn’t just getting goals or making it to the playoffs for another run at the Stanley Cup. Rather, their one goal is to connect with the fans and growing a relationship with them that will last through generations.
The Blackhawks’ PR team scored a hat trick with this one for emotional content, utilizing the asset of Hartman’s and Darling’s childhood friendship and the perfect order of hashtags.
I have to admit that I’m a little disappointed about not being able to share my first choice for a combined marketing and public relations story. I was so excited when the General Mills cereal Cherios brand launched a social media marketing campaign with Veseys seed company to offer free wildflower seeds to anyone asking in an effort to reestablish a thriving bee population in the United States. I immediately signed up to receive the seeds.
But, shortly after launching this campaign, three news stories came out that defeat General Mills’ efforts. First, social media users resurrected a story from back in November that the Cherios brand is just one brand linked to Monsanto‘s use of a pesticide on the grains used for the cereal. Second, social media users circulated a rumor that Veseys seed with Monsanto, and the seeds that everyone is signing up for might actually kill off the bee population even more. I can’t confirm nor deny that rumor, but it’s out there contributing to the Cherios PR/Marketing crisis. And third, many online news sources are critical of the campaign as nothing more than a stunt to increase sales.
So, I’m sad that something I thought was a brilliant campaign is now tainted with this knowledge, and I’m sad for the General Mills PR/Marketing teams who thought that they were going to connect with their target audiences and it seems to be failing.
However, since I want to bring you good news about marketing, I would like to congratulate the 18 students of a 44 student team at Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, Michigan who won big honors at the DECA competition in Detroit, and who will be going on to the international competition.
In a way, I’m a little glad I couldn’t use the Cherios story because I wouldn’t have come across this wonderful marketing story.
DECA is an international organization that prepares students in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.
Great job, Roosevelt High Students!
If you’d like to help fund the marketing students’ trip to the April competition, they have a GoFundMe page. So far, they’ve only raised $200 of the $10K needed.
The Age is Melbourne’s premier newspaper and has been in publication since the mid-1800’s.
Congratulations to The Age journalists for their commitment to bringing the people excellent journalism.