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Timing Is One Imperative That All PR Firms Can Agree Is Black and White

February 11, 2013 Bradford Group Administrator

medium_2744390812William Shakespeare said, “Better three hours too soon, than one minute too late.” While some may argue the inherent truth of this statement, PR firms can agree that Mr. Shakespeare was not competing for attention with 100,000 tweets, 687,478 pieces of Facebook content and 27,778 new blog posts every minute.

Now more than ever, a PR firms’ impeccable timing can mean the difference between a successful or catastrophic media campaign, and ultimately result in either an elated or fuming client.

Here are two examples of how timing can help or hurt your brand:

2013 Super Bowl: Strike while the iron is hot

America’s favorite cookie company, Oreo, knew that its 2013 Super Bowl commercial, popularly named “whisper fight,” was a no-brainer advertising opportunity that would attract 113 million viewers. But Oreo also knew the multi-million dollar ad was not enough. Armed with a 15-person team of PR and branding experts, Oreo monitored the game like a political campaign room, searching for the perfect time to shine – and shine they did.

During the unexpected 34-minute blackout, Oreo’s brand team posted a simple ad that read, “Power Out? No Problem,” with a photo of a cookie and caption that stated, “You can still dunk in the dark.” This simple concept was retweeted more than 14,500 times on Twitter, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog, and gained unprecedented buzz for days to follow, demonstrating the power and importance of quick thinking in this digital era.

Now more than ever, a PR firms’ impeccable timing can mean the difference between a successful or catastrophic media campaign, and ultimately result in either an elated or fuming client.

2012 Presidential Election: Observe the tone or strike out

While many companies look to noteworthy media-hyped events like the 2012 Presidential Election for a window of opportunity, it’s important for PR firms to consider the tone and timing of related marketing efforts.

Take Pizza Hut for example. In an effort to get Barack Obama or Mitt Romney to utter the company name, Pizza Hut offered a lifetime supply to any attendee at the town hall debate at Hofstra University who asked if the candidates preferred pepperoni or sausage on their pie. Pizza Hut CMO stated that candidates would show they are “in tune with all the issues” and felt a “pizza-related question on behalf of the Pizza Party was very appropriate for a town hall debate.” It came as no shock that others did not find this funny.

At a time when the U.S had much more to discuss than pizza, Pizza Hut’s PR blunder went down in the books for horrible timing, and a complete disregard for its country.

The important thing to note is that timing is everything when it comes to PR. If you are currently working with a PR firm, or considering hiring one, it’s essential to ask questions like, “How will your firm help our brand stay relevant in the digital age?” and “What is your firm doing to compete with all the noise on social media and respective outlets?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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