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Food companies are constantly trying to appeal to their customers through various PR tactics. You’ve probably seen young individuals wearing all sorts of costumes and uniforms, giving samples, stickers, leaflets, and flyers to people on the streets. It’s definitely a PR strategy, but is it efficient enough?
Do people read these flyers they get from total strangers? There are so many businesses willing to dedicate their time and money to convince consumers that their products are the best. To reap the benefits of these widespread advertising campaigns, companies should focus more on efficient PR.
Good PR leads to worldwide exposure
The PR industry can take advantage of today’s online platforms to deliver messages and help products go viral in a matter of hours. If you provide new, fresh and interesting content, it will surely be re-published by bloggers, and this way you’ll achieve tremendous exposure. All these state-of-the-art technologies permit smart communicators to capture the attention of their audiences and engage them.
Engagement happens when the person who receives a message – no matter if the message is a blog post, a news release, an article or a video – takes action after becoming familiar with the content. This action might involve clicking on a link included in the article or accessing the website of the issuing business. What’s more, the reader can blog about the release, print a copy, or share it with another person. These actions prove that the reader is interested in the content, products or service, and he’s willing to give it a try.
You can’t base a public relations campaign on visual effects only. Food displayed on a massive billboard looks great, but people are not buying that it tastes great too. To convince them that your products are real, you need come up with a more dedicate marketing plan.
McDonald’s Canada and its successful food PR campaign
McDonald’s Canada managed to develop a successful PR program that was highly appreciated by the people. The program was referred to as “Our Food, Your Questions” and its main goal was to enhance public perception regarding the quality of the food provided by the restaurant. The ground-breaking program was launched in 2012 and the company focused its attention on three main types of customers:
- Lovers- McDonald’s enthusiasts
- Fence sitters- impartial people
- Haters- those who made negative comments and kept posting pictures that affected the image of the restaurant
Clients who like your products are always eager to help you improve them. Those who are rather indifferent are also eager to get involved, as long as they see that you listen to them. The company was aware of this aspect, and made the most of it. McDonald’s Canada decided to transform Fence Sitters into Lovers. Hence, they started to talk with their clients, not to them. This way, they managed to build more powerful relationships.
Ask, Answer, Amplify
The company’s first strategy was to set off a transparent and frank conversation with the people. They created a new website where consumers were free to ask questions. How the company responded to these questions was decisive. McDonald’s Canada controlled the content in order to avoid potential problems that could affect their reputation. For instance, they didn’t permit comments to be posted on videos available on YouTube. Besides, they didn’t respond to negative comments written on their Facebook page. Eventually, their tactic turned out to be successful, and a lot of people started to defend the restaurant and its program on Facebook.
A company-wide undertaking
McDonald’s Canada involved nearly all departments in the program, including the communication department, the staff, as well as the supply chain team. The good thing was that everyone was willing to put their time, enthusiasm, knowledge, and energy into the initiative. The company focused on handling the truth with transparency. They saw the whole experience as an essential factor that was decisive for their success. McDonald’s Canada placed its brand in the hands of its customers and it achieved success because it took care of every single detail of the food PR campaign.
The food chain enjoyed an impressive perception change about the quality of their food, and surprisingly, some Haters even became Lovers. Efficient PR campaigns can bring spectacular results providing that they’re well-thought and efficiently strategized.