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[Audio] So, You’ve Outraged the Internet. Here’s How to Apologize.

Bustle CEO Bryan Goldberg is a man who runs a website aimed at women — and from the get-go that made some people wary. And then Goldberg, feeling the energy of an exciting startup launch, put his foot in his mouth, proclaiming on PandoDaily that “women’s publishers have completely lost sight of which decade their readers are living in.” Oh, boy.

The Holidays ' A Season for Sharing

We've all seen it, a news feed or Twitter stream full of promotional verbiage like: Check out these great deals Click here for this season's best offer Our biggest holiday sale By now, most consumers are numb to this type of marketing speak, which makes cutting through the holiday noise even harder. Yes, we said holiday. Thankfully, the first frost has not made its way to our front yards just yet, but in order to ensure success this holiday season, now is the time to be developing a thoughtful social media strategy and cultivating brand affinity. According to the basic principles of Public Relations, people consume media to fulfill four primary objectives: to be informed, to be entertained, to feel a sense of belonging, and to develop opinions. Social media is no different. Since 1998, research providers, Edison Research and Arbitron have been conducting surveys about how people use the Internet. With the unveiling of their 2012 Social Habit study, 'How Americans Really Use Social Media,'? it seems not much about human nature has changed. The number-one reason Americans polled follow brands online is for sales/discounts/coupons. Other reasons for following include: To stay informed about new products For 'content/ideas" For 'news/information" For  'humorous/entertaining content" While it is no surprise that a consumer's desire to receive discounts and special offers was the top reason for 'liking'? a brand, brands should take notice that users also want to be entertained, and many look to follow brands and share posts that have engaging content. Thus, the secret to standing out on social media this holiday season and beyond is to be entertaining. Get in the holiday spirit by keeping it real. The most successful social brands are those that approach social media like a human interacting with a human; they are transparent, authentic, relevant, and consistent. So how do we roll that into one big ball of entertainment that gets fans, followers, and likers talking? Think outside the box. Here are a few ideas to help you start building your holiday momentum early. Offer advice to common holiday challenges and ask users about their challenges Encourage user-generated content ' what was your best childhood Halloween costume or photo of best Black Friday buy Make use of reality ' encourage users to upload real-time shopping updates, photos of favorite purchases, etc. Encourage new and old customers to review your brand and products ' users rely on other users Social giving ' do it and encourage it ' Share how your brand is giving back to the community and how your brand followers are doing the same Fun contests and giveaways ' everyone loves free stuff, especially when it's a surprise or reward for positive engagement Themed countdowns ' Give users something to look forward to, other than quality time with the family and presents Social media is a channel to help brands pull back the curtain and let customers connect with brands on a more personal level. Holiday social media engagement shouldn't be limited to a few months of flash sales; it should be a year round relationship. Using the holiday season to encourage engagement could also help build bigger engagement overall. It's important to keep in mind that  if you are going to launch something new for holiday that you are able to sustain it throughout the year to yield the greatest benefits. Happy sharing!

Three Lessons From McDonald's: #Winner in the Face of Adversity

When McDonald's is faced with adversity, it fights back. Hard. Take a glimpse at its history and you'll find key learnings that we can apply to our clients and brands. McDonald's struggles date back to the 1970s when it began to endure criticism for its environmental policies. Seeing the need to keep a favorable public opinion, the golden-arched giant began to implement packaging reduction efforts. Today, it uses 25 grams of packaging for a Big Mac, fries and drink; in the 1970s, it was 46 grams. Do the math and that's a 46 percent reduction. Lesson #1: Listen To and Evolve with Customers ' Over the years, McDonald's has listened and adapted to its customers' demands. We need to do the same on behalf of our clients and brands. With social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter, it's easier than ever to listen and engage our customers. By closely monitoring customer, industry and environmental trends, we'll stay ahead of the curve and enable ourselves to become early adapters. When movies Super Size Me (2004) and Fast Food Nation (2006) slammed McDonald's ' and fast-food restaurants across the nation faced mounting pressure from the FDA to clean up their menus ' McDonald's revitalized its menu. It faded out Super Sized french fries and soft drinks, and began to offer healthier food options. McDonald's then embarked on a full-scale advertising campaign to tout its healthier menu ' reaching mainstream consumers via TV and billboards. In 2010, McDonald's launched an extensive Global Best of Green marketing campaign to emphasize its green-friendly procedures, creating a website and consumer and media-facing full report about its efforts ' which includes an Energy All-Stars program that rewards McDonald's managers in US locations for finding ways to conserve energy, to its implementation of new recycling methods for cooking oil, among other tactics. Lesson #2: Don't Be Afraid To Publicize Good Work ' Clearly, McDonald's is not afraid to show off its corporate responsibility (CR) initiatives throughout the years ' whether through reports, media outreach or full-scale advertising campaigns. If your client or brand is undertaking CR initiatives or supporting a special cause, make sure you tell it to the world through effective communications. Otherwise, no one will know. Today, McDonald's is continuing to battle issues, such as public disdain for its direct advertising to children via Happy Meal toys and its reincarnation of Ronald the clown. Luckily for McDonald's, it has a blog entitled 'Values in Practice'? that features information about its corporate responsibility initiatives, including its Global Marketing Guidelines for communicating responsibly to children. Lesson #3: Tell Your Story or Someone Else Will ' When facing communications crises you have two choices: 1) you can ignore the conversations and hope they go away or 2) you can tell your side of the story. McDonald's chose the latter through its blog. After all, if it doesn't tell its story, someone else will. Blogs are a useful tool for your client or brand to speak to the world with a megaphone and provide real-time responses to criticism, as well as promote corporate responsibility initiatives. Why not take advantage of such a great tool? As you can see from this brief glimpse into McDonald's history, ongoing attacks have plagued the fast-food giant, but so have smart communications and business decisions. We can learn from McDonald's and take these lessons back Pharmacy cialis to our everyday work with our clients and brands. #Win

  • 3 min read
  • April 26, 2011

Three Lessons From McDonald's: #Winner in the Face of Adversity

When McDonald's is faced with adversity, it fights back. Hard. Take a glimpse at its history and you'll find key learnings that we can apply to our clients and brands. McDonald's struggles date back to the 1970s when it began to endure criticism for its environmental policies. Seeing the need to keep a favorable public opinion, the golden-arched giant began to implement packaging reduction efforts. Today, it uses 25 grams of packaging for a Big Mac, fries and drink; in the 1970s, it was 46 grams. Do the math and that's a 46 percent reduction. Lesson #1: Listen To and Evolve with Customers ' Over the years, McDonald's has listened and adapted to its customers' demands. We need to do the same on behalf of our clients and brands. With social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter, it's easier than ever to listen and engage our customers. By closely monitoring customer, industry and environmental trends, we'll stay ahead of the curve and enable ourselves to become early adapters. When movies Super Size Me (2004) and Fast Food Nation (2006) slammed McDonald's ' and fast-food restaurants across the nation faced mounting pressure from the FDA to clean up their menus ' McDonald's revitalized its menu. It faded out Super Sized french fries and soft drinks, and began to offer healthier food options. McDonald's then embarked on a full-scale advertising campaign to tout its healthier menu ' reaching mainstream consumers via TV and billboards. In 2010, McDonald's launched an extensive Global Best of Green marketing campaign to emphasize its green-friendly procedures, creating a website and consumer and media-facing full report about its efforts ' which includes an Energy All-Stars program that rewards McDonald's managers in US locations for finding ways to conserve energy, to its implementation of new recycling methods for cooking oil, among other tactics. Lesson #2: Don't Be Afraid To Publicize Good Work ' Clearly, McDonald's is not afraid to show off its corporate responsibility (CR) initiatives throughout the years ' whether through reports, media outreach or full-scale advertising campaigns. If your client or brand is undertaking CR initiatives or supporting a special cause, make sure you tell it to the world through effective communications. Otherwise, no one will know. Today, McDonald's is continuing to battle issues, such as public disdain for its direct advertising to children via Happy Meal toys and its reincarnation of Ronald the clown. Luckily for McDonald's, it has a blog entitled 'Values in Practice'? that features information about its corporate responsibility initiatives, including its Global Marketing Guidelines for communicating responsibly to children. Lesson #3: Tell Your Story or Someone Else Will ' When facing communications crises you have two choices: 1) you can ignore the conversations and hope they go away or 2) you can tell your side of the story. McDonald's chose the latter through its blog. After all, if it doesn't tell its story, someone else will. Blogs are a useful tool for your client or brand to speak to the world with a megaphone and provide real-time responses to criticism, as well as promote corporate responsibility initiatives. Why not take advantage of such a great tool? As you can see from this brief glimpse into McDonald's history, ongoing attacks have plagued the fast-food giant, but so have smart communications and business decisions. We can learn from McDonald's and take these lessons back Pharmacy cialis to our everyday work with our clients and brands. #Win

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