PR and Marketing Industry Weekly Update

Let’s take a look at all the big stories that went down last week that might be influencing this week. Welcome to our industry insider.

  • April 10, 2016


Gap acts fast to apologize for and remove ‘insensitive’ ad.

Gap apologized for posting a social media ad that consumers have deemed “racially insensitive.”

Why it matters: Relationships with your customers is paramount to success. Respect them enough to put yourself in their shoes at the beginning to avoid insensitivities, and know when to own up and acknowledge your mistakes. A humble company can win over audiences and create even deeper relationships by owning up to their mistakes in authentic ways.

Microsoft ‘plans to offer adblocking in Edge browser’.

Microsoft’s new internet browser update, Edge, would have an adblock system already built in, causing concern for marketers.

Why it matters: The time to test advertising solutions beyond display is now. We see incredible success with campaigns that leverage many placements – native, marketing automation, in-line social, etc. If you’re not testing this, add it to your ad campaigns now so you’re ahead of the curve if display inventory effectiveness is lost.

Public Relations

Even More Executives Come Forward To Defend LGBT Rights

Executives from eight major corporations, including GE, Dow Chemicals and Pepsi, signed a letter urging the state of Mississippi to repeal a law passed earlier in the week that allows for discrimination against LGBT people on the basis of religious convictions.

Why it matters: Corporate responsibility is continuing to take multiple forms, and we stand with these companies taking this challenge head-on. Think about what corporate responsibility means within your corporate culture – would you know how to handle this situation if it happened in your state? Strategic planning now for these situations can help prevent crisis communication in the future.

WhatsApp takes a stand on privacy by encrypting users’ data.

After the recent lawsuit involving the FBI and Apple, WhatsApp said they will start encrypting all messages so that messages will not be accessible from anything or by anyone except on the phone.

Why it matters: Data security is paramount, and we need tech companies to acknowledge the power they have and be good stewards of the responsibility. We applaud these folks.

Digital Marketing

Facebook Will Pay Publishers to Livestream Video in New Hub Platform takes aim at YouTube

Facebook has created a video hub that will roll out in the coming weeks for the mobile app. It will highlight live video that publishers will be paid to host their videos here instead of their own sites and will offer recorded clips as well.

Why it matters: Facebook has made it clear they are coming after the king of video, YouTube, in a big way. Premium content and video is showing explosive growth on the platform. The time to test it out for your brand is now.

Twitter to Broadcast American Football Games

Twitter and the NFL have made a deal to live stream 16 NFL games next season via Twitter. Both the NFL and Twitter will benefit from this with the NFL $250 million a year deal. Twitter stock has risen by 3.5% since the deal was announced.

Why it matters: The amount of devices available to target your customers continues to increase. Make sure you are utilizing a multi-channel strategy to reach your targets where – and when – your message has the highest likelihood to break through the noise.

Graphic Design

HP’s cool new logo is actually one it rejected five years ago.

HP is updating their logo after 75 years. The new logo was considered 5 years ago but was rejected. It’s finally making a comeback.

Why it matters: Never be afraid to go back to the drawing board. And sometimes the trash. Ideas that didn’t work in the past may have just been ahead of their time.


How Cracker Barrel Is Shaking Up Its Marketing to Attract a New Generation of Fans

Cracker Barrel is revamping their marketing in hopes to appeal to a younger generation by using videos of popular country music stars, dance contests, dogs, and more.

Why it matters: Marketing to the millennial and younger demographic is a completely new challenge, with a level of complication (and advertising skepticism) never seen before in history. Make sure you are arming yourself with the right strategies and partners that will help you reach this group.

Hilton’s new Tru aims at entry level.

Hilton is opening a new branch of hotels. Tru, geared towards Millennials, will offer cheaper rooms by eliminating many of the unnecessary things that traditional hotels come with, like desks in the rooms.

Why it matters: Don’t be afraid to challenge what has always been the status quo at your own company. Changing up the norm uncovers new possibilities – and audiences. Marketing has never changed as fast as it does right now – and the speed of change will continue to accelerate.