Thursday, June 20, 2013

Instagram launches video

Instagram announced the release of Cinema, the new video sharing component of Instagram.

I watched the live webcast announcement today, and the new video feature looks so cool. It seems social networking sites or apps often add features people aren't thrilled about (Facebook hashtags?). But I think Cinema might be an exception.

Instagram builds on the idea of sharing stories through beautiful photographs. Now, Instagrammers can share stories through video. Instagram shares the beauty:

"We're excited to see what the (Instagram) community will bring to video, whether it's your local cafe showing you just how they made your latte art this morning or an Instagrammer on the other side of the world taking you on a tour of their city, or your favorite athlete taking you behind the scenes."

The Cinema app allows a user to alter their videos to 13 filters. When you load your Instagram app, you can tap your movie camera icon and take 15 seconds of video.

The other cool part? Say for instance you want to run while shooting video. Running obviously makes your footage shaky. However, Instagram teamed up with what CEO and Co-founder Kevin Systrom calls "video scientists". They created technology to make your shaky footage appear more still - it's as if you were shooting a video while running on a smooth path with your smartphone on a dolly.

I'm anxiously awaiting the "update app" notification on my smartphone. Can't wait to try Cinema out!

To check out what your Instagram Cinema videos can look like, watch this:


Here's the live webcast announcement with CEO Kevin Systrom from earlier today:


Thursday, June 13, 2013

smartphone blues



Every time I begin a new job, I'm scared to touch my smartphone.

Will the employer think I'm unproductive? Will the employer think I'm playing games all day? Will they think I'm unmotivated?

In reality, neither of these are the case.

I'm educated and work in the communications industry. It's a fast-paced industry that requires you to respond to notifications quickly and accurately whether at work or at home. It's also an industry where PRs need to seem credible - part of which involves maintaining your personal, online brand.

Everyday, I come across a lot of industry information I'd like to share via social media. My fingers begin to twitch as I stare at my smartphone on my desk that I don't dare touch. Although it's not the end of the world, my social media audience has just missed out. On top of that, my feeds are inactive during the eight-hour work day, and I look like a disinterested slacker.

I'm trying to build my social media audience while working full-time in the industry. More importantly, I'm trying to build my rep as a information provider, a person who is sought out on social media for sharing valuable content.

Of course, the easiest way to post is using my smartphone. Even though it takes two seconds to post on social media sites, I fear I will look like a bad employee if I'm "caught" doing this. Oh the crime!

So where do we draw the line? Should you be able to use your smartphone three months after hire? A year? Or should we be able to do this at all?

I'm a hard worker and I always have been. I also love working in this industry. If I were to use my smartphone at work, it would be for productive reasons. (For the record, my employers are great. I'm speaking in regards to a social acceptance of smartphone use.)

I'm curious to know when or if employers in the communications industry will change their views of using smartphones during work hours. After all, isn't the best employee one who can multitask, finish their job on time and well, all while being viewed as a credible professional in the online world?

I'm not sure when or if this smartphone-acceptance culture will change. So for now, I'll ignore that "buzz" my smartphone just made.



Wednesday, June 12, 2013

We want a batter, not a Twitter blabber


Former Cubs infielder Ian Stewart may not be playing in The Show, but he's certainly in the spotlight.

Stewart has spent most of this baseball season playing in the minor leagues due to injuries. A fan tweeted at Stewart asking when the Cubs were going to resign him. Stewart responded "Probably never" and later "They might as well release since I have no shot of a call up...let me sign elsewhere".

Nothing like spilling your secrets to an innocent fan. And the Twitterverse.

Stewart continued his Twitter fury, re-tweeting someone who said the Cubs had "terrible leadership" and said he didn't think the Cubs manager liked him.

It's obvious you shouldn't criticize the organization you work for publicly...especially on a social network such as Twitter where your words can be re-tweeted many times over. The Cubs team President Theo Epstein worked some PR magic by releasing Stewart and wishing him the best.

Despite some Twitter and rep damage, Stewart can find some comfort with the fact his release earns him an almost $2 million dollar pay off. His actions may set a bad example for his teammates, but Stewart should cross his fingers hoping the PR Department of his next Major League team welcomes him.

But then again, it's likely how he plays that truly matters in the end.




Thursday, May 09, 2013

Hashtags 2.0

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest - all of these are popular social media tools that can make an impact for your brand and business.

What about the tools that aren't so mainstream? I've recently come across a cool one.

Tagboard.com is one of my most favorite new tools right now. If you like using hashtags, this one's for you. The site allows you to search any hashtag into a search bar to see what people are saying about that specific hashtag. The 2.0 part? Tagboard tracks that hashtag across major social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, etc.).

The site works like a giant trend search. This tool is useful for businesses as they can see what people are saying about their brand, what images they're posting, and what platforms they're posting on. And of course, a business can adjust their PR efforts depending on what people are saying about them. Try it out, it's fun!


Here's an example of what you'll find if you search MLB's Mariners team on tagboard.com:

(image taken from prdaily.com)




Sunday, April 21, 2013

Social media personailty


Ok, so I may have mulitple personalities when it comes to social media.

Based on the below image, I'm a Denier, Lurker and Informer (the last one must be the PR in me). Regardless, these 12 social media personality types are funny and accurate.

Which social media personality are you?


This image was found here on prdaily.com






















































































Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pitching in a Crisis




I'm graduating college this June with a Diploma in Creative Communications. I majored in Public Relations. When I reflect on my college education, I realize I've learned a lot.

I've learned what tools PR practitioners use, how to use them strategically and a little of everything in between. I've completed school, internships and work placements, and graduation will give me the chance to really put my skills to the test in a real job. I still have a lot to learn, but that will come with some real job experience.

So here's a bit of what I know about crisis communications:

1. You can't always anticipate a crisis
2. You can't always control the outcome of everything, and
3. No matter how beautifully crafted, your news release will not likely be picked up during a crisis

Crisis communications is on my brain because of the recent Boston marathon bombings. First of all, I want to express my deepest sympathies to everyone affected by the attack; we're praying for you.

So, what are we supposed to do with our news release the moment tragedy strikes?

You probably have an idea, but I read some tips from Nicole Ravlin at PMG Public Relations here on PR Daily about how to handle the situation. I've narrowed it down to this:


1. Review the situation. Do you do business in the area? Do your clients? If yes, try and meet their needs.

2. Stop pitching. You may have created a pitch masterpiece, but no reporter will pick up your story when a national crisis is happening.

3. Re-think social media. People will be on Twitter searching for new information about the crisis. If they see your pitch or advertisement in the clutter, they may think your being insensitive. Instead, offering condolences, well wishes and just being human can be the best strategy.

4. Re-work your crisis plan. This ensures you learn from the past, and implement procedures that will help you in the future.


Whether you're a professional or a soon-to-be graduate, these tips can help point you in the right direction during a crisis.



Pray for Boston   XO



Friday, April 05, 2013

PR sting

I worked as a Media Relations Assistant for the Winnipeg Goldeyes this summer, a baseball team in an independent league. The experience really opened my eyes into the world of professional baseball.

I learned that pro ball is a wishy-washy system, that drops players like it's hot. When I watch MLB games now, I have so much more respect for players. Sure, they're not saving the world, but I know it was long, bumpy, determined ride that got them there.

After working at the Goldeyes, I also learned how much work goes into communications. It's a huge production that involves planning a baseball game almost every night of the summer, sealing sponsor deals, marketing the team and organizing media interviews. After this, I learned to really appreciate communications.

I learned how to craft communications messages and how to plan for a flawless game night. Knowing this, I was disheartened to learn what happened at a recent Tampa Bay Rays game.

At the Rays game this past Wednesday (April 3), a fan made an insensitive sign:


The Ray's mascot, Raymond Ray, proceeded to hold up the sign and pose for pictures, bringing negative attention to the whole franchise.

For those unaware, Steve Irwin, “the Crocodile Hunter,” was pierced in the heart and killed by a sting ray while shooting a new TV show in 2006. 

The Rays organization released an apology statement the following day:

"Last night Rays mascot Raymond was handed an inappropriate sign brought to the game by a fan. Fans are welcome to bring signs into Tropicana Field provided they are not offensive. The Tampa Bay Rays regret that this particular sign was displayed in the ballpark, and we apologize for the lapse in judgment."

An apology from the Rays organization was definitely necessary. I think the statement works well, but it also shys away from the fact no one forced the mascot to hold the sign up. The statement placed blame on the fan who made the sign.

As an organization, it's essential to communicate what is/isn't acceptable behavior of your employees. Sure, the highest-level of employees are more important on the grand-scale. However, a mascot is who the fans are going to see, so the mascot represents the organization just as much.

Never underestimate the message a mascot can communicate.

What do you think of this whole ordeal? 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Tiger's slate wiped clean

Nike has expressed it doesn't take the controversial choices of it's endorsed athletes lightly (remember when they dumped Lance Armstrong?).

But, Nike seems to think Tiger Wood's cheating scandal isn't as big of a deal...at least that's what their latest advertisement (above) suggests.

Of course Woods' cheating is a different kind than Armstrong's, but I think the Nike ad is a little risky.

The advertisement was created the day Woods took the title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which officially makes him the top ranked golfer in the world. The copy "winning takes care of everything" suggests Woods' cheating scandals (all 17 of them) are wiped clean, and don't matter anymore.

Some of us may get a light chuckle out of the ad, and even ask "who cares anymore?". Tiger Woods could probably care less; he gets to keep Nike money flowing into his pocket, and a huge athletic endorser is making him look like the good guy without any of his effort or asking.

But what does the ad say about Nike?

It suggests no matter the scandal, Nike will have their endorsed athletes backs as long as they're winning. The cheeky copy also suggests people need to forget about Woods scandal, and just focus on his abilities as a high-ranked golf player.

If anything, the ad hurts Nike's image, not Woods. What do you think?



Friday, March 22, 2013

Bye bye radio

I'm graduating in two weeks, which means I'll have to say goodbye to radio hosting indefinitely.

I study Creative Communications at Red River College and learn about Public Relations, Journalism, Advertising, and Radio and TV production. I'm a Public Relations Major who never thought radio would be exciting. I was wrong.

My PR class has been working on a campaign for our college's radio station, Red River Radio, all semester. My friend Sydnie and I were part of the Live Remote team, and hosted at two of our college's three campuses.

I discovered that radio was exhilarating, stressful, face-paced and a whole lot of fun. It was nice to put PR strategy into our live remotes, and also cool to think we were having conversations with listeners even if we couldn't see them.

I've hosted on Red River Radio for various assignments, and I don't think the live remotes will be my last stint with radio. I've discovered a passion a little late in my education, but at least I've discovered it. Until we meet again, radio...

You can stream Red River Radio live at radio.rrc.ca. Here are some pics from the live remotes:


 
We're the faces of Red River Radio on Red River College's website now :)

Friday, March 08, 2013

When I grow up, I wanna be...

"Every child is an artist. The trouble is staying an artist when you grow up."

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? An astronaut, businessman, actress? Did you stick to that dream? I want to know.

Stream Red River Radio live at radio.rrc.ca today from 11:30pm-3:30pm for some career talk, advice and inspiration! My friend Sydnie and I will be your hosts; we have lots to share with you and want to hear your stories!


Dayna and Sydnie


Red River Radio can be streamed using:

1. Your computer (requires Adobe Flash Player)
2. Android Devices
3. iPods, iPads, etc. (iPhones don't have Adobe Flash Player which live streaming requires) 

Catch you on the air waves!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Seth MacFarlane throws a punch

Seth MacFarlane wasn't afraid to push some boundaries at this year's Oscars.

In an environment where the majority of the audience are used to their closet skeletons being splashed all over the tabloids, MacFarlance decided to call them out anyway. 

Speaking about the multiple-nominated film Django Unchained, MacFarlane described the story as "a man fighting to get back his woman, who's been subjected to unthinkable violence. Or as Chris Brown and Rihanna call it, a date movie."

I get a guilty kick out of hosts bringing up celebrity dirty laundry at the Oscars, and I was able to receive MacFarlanes comments throughout the night as "roasts with an edge".


However, MacFarlane's Chris Brown/ Rihanna comment was generally not well-received. Perhaps a bad move for MacFarlane, the comment reminded me of an incident related to something PRs spend a lot of focus on, audiences.

In November of last year, I learned Chris Brown cancelled a concert in Guyana after a women's rights group protested his appearance. Guyana is a close distance to Rihanna's home country of Barbados, and Brown apparently backed out because the protest made him feel uncomfortable.

This abuse scandal angered many people - especially women (arguably). Therefore, women are an audience. However, sub audiences within this category include (but are not limited to):

  • women in abusive relationships
  • women in healthy relationships
  • single women
  • women's right groups 

The fact Brown is still praised and welcomed at major events (this year's Grammys, for example) is hard to understand. Brown's publicist had a difficult task to do after Brown's assault on Rihanna, which basically involved cleaning his image. Brown's target audiences would've been addressed at the time, but it's also important to consider other audience-related threats.

Women's rights groups decided to get involved in preparation for Brown's Guyana concert, in addition to women speaking out who are removed from this group. My PR class discussed issues management today and the considerations (i.e. potential threats to clearly communicating your messages) to make note of when writing communications briefing notes.

PRs have a big job to do when it comes to issues management. We have to make sure we've correctly identified the issue, the target audiences and the considerations before we begin to think about the communications strategy that follows.

The women's rights group's protests were a perfect example of briefing note "considerations" coming to life. If done correctly, Brown's PR person would have crafted key messages to ease their dislike of Brown, perhaps persuading how Brown would only be in Guyana to give a musical performance.

Seth MacFarlane's comment was proof Brown's scandal has not lost steam. The ongoing criticism is either an indication that PR efforts to help Brown are poor, or that society still recognizes what he did was wrong despite high-profile appearances like the Grammys.
 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Be my social media Valentine?


Valentine's Day is just around the corner!

How does this relate to PR/ communications? Simple. We communicate love.

We communicate love in various ways...by a kiss, a hug, a love letter, or by saying it out loud. Regardless of how you choose to express it, love is a form of communication.

So how has love communication changed in this digital era? Are love letters still alive; are they dead? Do we get a rush out of a sweet smile, or out of a sweet text?

I read this post on prdaily.com about how lovers communicate in this digital age. I was a little disheartened (but not suprised) at what I found out.

Here's some info I learned:

Although the majority of people still prefer a love exchange over phone call or text, social media is sneaking it's way in to people's minds (and hearts) as an acceptable channel of love communication. Sendmail sent out some questions to find out how lovers connect. One question was "What best ignites the passion?" Here's what was discovered:

Phone call: 25%
Instant Message: 21%
Email: 17%
Facebook: 15%

Really?? It's surprising that people are using Facebook to fuel passion; are we really that immersed and busy in our social media pages that we find it easier to just send someone a cute wall post or message? Sure, little love posts on social media pages here and there can add a pick-me-up to your day, but I think real love communication should occur face-to-face (or Skype-to-Skype? Uh oh, what have I started?).

Although we're free to choose our means of communication, it's also important to be mindful of what we send electronically. In the same survey, 16% of people have accidentally sent an intimate message to the wrong person; 68% have sent to the wrong message over text, and 15% over email. Oops!

We've all heard of Twitter firestorms where social media managers have accidentally sent a tweet off their company's Twitter and gotten fired for it. Sure, digital media allows us to connect with people (such as our lovers) in a quick and timely manner, but it only takes the click of a button to make a big whoopsie.

I encourage everyone to take a break from social media to connect with their lover this Valentine's Day. Show them the love of human interaction, and you'll likely have the most romantic Valentine's Day ever!




Monday, February 04, 2013

Football frantics - power goes out at Super Bowl


The Ravens had so much energy, the power went out.

The Baltimore Ravens had a 28-6 lead over the San Francisco 49ers early in the third quarter of yesterday's Super Bowl, when the stadium went completely black. Spectators and viewers were left staring into darkness and anxiously awaiting an explanation. The press box was affected by the outage, taking away the only medium for viewers at home to get any info.

Talk about a crisis.

The outage occurred shortly after Beyonce's half-time show of extreme lighting and video effects. Entergy New Orleans provides power to the New Orleans Superdome. The company said the outage occurred after a piece of equipment that is designed to monitor electrical load didn't work. The FBI quickly ruled out terrorism, and the New Orleans Fire Department dismissed the possibility of a fire.

It's unfortunate for the PR person of the Superdome that the power outage occurred during the biggest NFL game of the year. The timing of events is interesting considering my PR class had a huge discussion on crisis communications and issues management today.

As I watched the power at the stadium go out - and stay out - my PR instincts kicked in. I immediately turned to my boyfriend and said: "You can bet that PR person is freaking out right now."

Thinking about it more, perhaps the PR person was freaking out, but maybe the freakout was a relatively controlled freakout. It's obvious to assume the PR person of the Superdome had a crisis communications plan in place (i.e. a document that states what to do in a particular crisis, such as the stadium power going out). It's also safe to assume they had an issues management plan (i.e. a document made to address concerns before something turns into a crisis).

Crisis communications plans and issues management plans can fall on the backburner when PRs are already overloaded with other work during the day. But, if a PR person takes the time to prepare such documents, you can bet they'll be glad they did when a crisis like the Super Bowl power outage happens.

After the power outage was fixed, however, the crisis is not necessarily over. Here are a couple other things to consider:

- Will companies who paid for 30-second advertising spots be reimbursed for the duration of the outage? (this year, commercials cost advertisers a record $4 million for a 30-second block of time)

- Ravens had such momentum before the power outage; can you imagine the controversy that would have followed had the Ravens ended up losing? 

Crises happen. They can come out of nowhere, but as a PR person, you have to be ready when they do. It can be difficult for a PR person to come out on top on a crisis, simply because they're not in total control. Key messages and other information can become skewed when panic sets in. In any case, the Super Bowl outage demonstrates the importance of having crisis communication and issues management plans ready to go.

P.S. Go Ravens!



Friday, February 01, 2013

Twitterpated



Everyone's experienced the annoying social media user...the new posts every five seconds, the inside jokes you don't understand, and the @mentions in their posts that make your eyes glaze over. Sound familiar? 

Sure, you might be able to think of a few people who do this off the top of your head...but are you sure you're not one of them?

Mark Ragan, CEO of Ragan Communications, tweeted this post today and it showed up on my Twitter feed. Since the title "10 annoying social media behaviors" struck a cord, I decided to read it.

I agree with most, if not all, of the points made in the post. People abuse social meda because they're too lazy to figure it out, or they just have no clude there's a specific way they should be using it. 

My three favorite points were the following (as quoted from the post):

Follow just to be followed:

Follow me if you want to, but don't follow me just so I follow you. Think I can't tell you're doing it? When I receive repeated notifications that you're following me, I get the message—you're using one of those tools that auto-follows users until they follow back. Well, I've got news for you: Now I'm never following you! A wiser move would have been to look for ways to genuinely engage the people you want to notice you—retweet them, respond to them, comment on their content.


Talk, talk, talk—but never listen:

I don't have to follow you long to realize you're only interested in yourself. Your updates are about only your products, you ignore those who @reply you, and you ask for retweets but never retweet anyone else. This doesn't build connections; it ostracizes you from your followers.


Show no personality:

Social media is about connection. Don't use a bland logo or ugly gravatar to identify your brand online. Don't write about the same topic in a detached, impersonal way. Instead, inject some life into your online image—let us see some personality!


This post on ragan.com gives 10 annoying social media behaviours I think most would agree with. It’s important to know that bad social media use can alienate your audiences, and that quality posts can serve your business well.

I’ve attached the post above, but you can also read it here.











Sunday, January 20, 2013

The truth will set you free



Oprah: Did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance?
Armstrong: Yes.

Oprah: Did you ever blood dope or use blood transfusions to enhance your cycling performance?
Armstrong: Yes.

Oprah: Did you ever use any other banned substances like testosterone, cortisone, or human growth hormone?
Armstrong: Yes.

Oprah: In all seven of your Tour de France victories, did you ever take banned substances or blood dope?
Armstrong: Yes.

Oprah: In your opinion, was it humanly possible to win the Tour de France seven times in a row without doping?
Armstrong: No.


In a candid interview with Oprah Winfrey, Lance Armstrong admits he doped throughout his cycling career.

I’ve blogged a few times about the Lance Armstrong doping controversy, so I’d just like to share a quick response to the Oprah interview.

Throughout the interview, Armstrong said he’s lied this whole time about taking performance-enhancing drugs. He also said he was sorry…many times.

Despite an “EPO generation” where doping was part of the “cycling culture,” Armstrong acknowledged it was no excuse to lie about doping, let alone actually dope. He said his apology on Oprah's show has come too late and that it’s his fault. He describes this controversy as one big lie he repeated a lot of times; a story that was perfect for so long wasn’t true.

Oprah: Did it feel wrong at the time?
Armstrong: No..and that's scary.

Oprah: Did you feel bad about it? 
Armstrong: No..even scarier.

Oprah: Did you feel in any way you were cheating?
Armstrong: No..the scariest.

Despite the repercussions Armstrong and his publics face, I believe Armstrong handled himself very well in the interview. He acknowledged he was an “arrogant jerk” for many years, and positioned himself in a way that demonstrates he’s turning a new leaf. And perhaps most importantly, he apologized. He finally told the truth and said he was sorry.

Perhaps Armstrong ended up viewed as the victim in some way after this interview, but I thought he seemed genuine. He laid everything out on the table and answered the questions he was asked.

Armstrong had likely lost all credibility after the truth of this nearly decade-long scandal came out. But I think the Oprah interview will likely help him gain back some of the credibility he’s lost.

I hope for Armstrong that his ex-wife and Oprah are right: “the truth will set you free”.

If you missed the live interview, watch it online on the Oprah Winfrey Network.




Monday, January 07, 2013

Armstrong tweets and...dopes?

Lance Armstrong is considering publicly admitting he used performance-enhancing drugs.

This past August, Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France medals and received a lifetime ban from professional cycling competitions. In October, the shunned cyclist stepped down as chairman of the charity he founded, Lance Armstrong Livestrong Foundation. Armstrong said the following in a statement:

"This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart. Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship."

Armstrong has been in Hawaii and out of the spotlight for the last little while. During this time, sources say Armstrong was hoping to compete in triathlons and road races. The only problem? Many of those events are authorized by WADA, the World Anti-doping Agency responsible for his doping allegations. This means no chance for glory.

While laying low (or lying low?), Armstrong tweeted a picture of himself laying on a couch surrounded by his seven framed Tour de France jerseys. His tweet received more than 6,000 retweets and 1,700 favorites by the next the day.


Was this an act of ignorance or plea for innocence?

Asked about Armstrong's possible admittance, Armstrong's lawyer told the New York Times "Lance has to speak for himself on that". This hush-hush response suggests even a hint of Armstrong preparing to give an admission of guilt will set off a chain of events that would arguably be a nightmare for his PR practicioner.

So, with WADA sporting restrictions, is Armstrong coming clean or does he just want back in the game? Armstrong stepped down from his charity to "spare the foundation and negative effects" as a result of the controversy. Armstrong has maintained his innocence and this clean message has been pretty consistent across the board.

Having not spoken to the media in the longest time, I think admitting to doping now would only destroy Armstrong's image further and produce drastic negative consequences to the Livestrong Foundation. Armstrong had his chance to admit to doping from the beginning, and going back on his word now would only cause damage to his and the Foundation's reputation.

With his ban from WADA to compete in certain sporting events, Armstrong's possible admittance seems convenient, not sincere. What do you think?





Sunday, January 06, 2013

Customers give free, unplanned PR

PR often gets a bad rap. Dicey company decisions can cause PR pros to make tricky decisions and hopefully maintain their rep for future clients. But sometimes, if you’re lucky, a good dose of PR will happen because of someone outside your PR department.

This story happened a couple weeks ago, but I feel it’s worth bringing up. In December, a Winnipeg Tim Hortons chain decided to spread some holiday cheer and pick up the tabs of customers at random. The project was called Random Cups of Kindness.

Although a nice gesture, and a nice PR tactic in my opinion, I hadn’t heard about the chain’s Random Cups of Kindness effort. Instead, I heard about the customer on December 21 who decided to pay for the order of the next vehicle in the drive-thru line. This little act of generosity began a chain of random acts of kindness to pay for the next person in line that lasted three hours (228 orders total).

Journalists want people stories – outlets want to report about events that influence society (and hopefully better it). Well-timed with the holiday season, the Timmies chain was smart to be generous and pick up tabs. However, I believe it was the human element that won this story it’s publicity.

The general manager of the chain was quoted as saying the store had a lot of energy, and the staff was so excited they’d shout out the number of “pay it forwards” all morning. A real buzz started in – and out – of the store.

It’s interesting that no matter how clever your PR tactic, sometimes the best publicity is unplanned. This story spread good holiday cheer, showed the generosity of Winnipeggers, and still brought attention to Tim Hortons. Also, with customers paying for others’ tabs, the restaurant was able to make money they were previously giving away, and gain some good rep at the same time.

I guess December really is the most wonderful time of the year – for coffee drinkers especially.



P.S. Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas! I'm back in full swing again, so expect new posts once a week!