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The Strategy Room

Pitch Perfect, Brand Reputation, and Pizza Wars

By: Elaine Joseph

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Happy Tuesday, Lunch Breakers! The holidays are right around the corner, as is the inevitable sound of early Christmas music, shopping and the consumption that defines every holiday season.

In this week’s edition, we bring you a look at what’s to come for PR in 2018, successful pitching practices, and pizza wars.

What’s Trending

2017 has been a year of PR scandals, blunders and gaffs. We saw one after another from United Airlines’ aggressive removal of a passenger caught on video to exploding cell phones and the disastrous Fyre Festival. With these humiliating PR moments behind us, it’s time to look at what’s to come for brands in 2018.

Brand reputation will be critical next year. Social media has taken control of the narrative away from the brand and placed it in the hands of the public, and without loyalty, a brand will be torn to pieces. We may also see bands putting out even more feel-good messages. While this can be an effective approach, when the message is not authentic, the public knows. As we saw with Pepsi’s failed Kendall Jenner ad, some products should just sell themselves and leave it at that.

Pitching for Success

As a PR professional, it is inevitable that at some point you will need to craft a perfect pitch to land a story for your clients. With today’s tools and the endless supply of information on the internet, it is inexcusable not to do your homework before sending out a pitch.

Researching a journalist before sending the pitch could determine whether you secure a story. By keeping the pitch short and to the point, it is more likely the person receiving this email will actually read it. Lastly, personalizing a pitch so it doesn’t look copy and pasted will do wonders, and you can start with the subject line.

Pizza Feud

The latest PR blunders come from Papa John’s, who blamed the NFL players for their declining sales. Their competitors contested this theory, and took to Twitter to mock the pizza restaurant. The most vocal of these voices came from DiGiorno Pizza, who went as far as changing their Twitter bio to poke fun at the pizza company.

Other pizza companies joined in on the feud, claiming their sales have not been declining, but the battle has already been won by DiGiorno. The social media attack proved to be a success for their business, resulting in an increase in followers and attention for the frozen pizza company which goes to show that sometimes the risk is worth the reward.

The Next Big Thing

Consumers are relying less and less on a single source for information and people are less likely to pay for publications. Because of this, news organizations are coming up with innovative strategies to deliver content and capture their readers attention.

One example of this is Marie Claire Magazine, who teamed up with Clarins, MasterCard and Nieman Marcus to open a pop-up shop in New York. The Next Big Thing Concept Shop merged the commercial and editorial sides of the publication to bring the brand and content to life. Using smart mirrors and advanced skincare solutions, retailers can use these innovative concepts to combat e-commerce and promote the in-store shopping experience.




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