Good DiGiorno, Bad DiGiorno: Part 1

The good news? DiGiorno, the popular frozen pizza company, is generally REALLY good at social media. The bad news? Well, I’ll get into that with my next post so stay tuned!

In this age of technology we live in, social media is an essential part of a company’s interactions with the public. A strong social media presence is just another avenue for a company to show its personality and communicate with its consumers.

After taking a look at DiGiorno’s Twitter account, I was pretty impressed. DiGiorno tweets multiple times a day. Those tweets include both original content and interactions with followers. The social media team at DiGiorno really knows how it’s done.

There are two instances that DiGiorno’s social media really wowed me. As an inspiring PR professional, I love seeing a company with a creative social media presence, especially if it’s funny. I love PR a thousand times more if it can make me laugh.

Example 1: DiGiorno Pizza Does Sound of Music

In early December, millions of viewers tuned in to see Carrie Underwood as Maria in the live televised rendition of The Sound Of Music, and DiGiorno Pizza live tweeted the entire thing. What does The Sound Of Music have to do with delicious frozen pizza, you ask? Well, nothing. But DiGiorno’s certainly made itself relevant to the musical.

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Athough DiGiorno Pizza doesn’t seem relevant to The Sound Of Music, the pizza company took the opportunity to give itself a voice and make itself relevant to the event. The PR team at DiGiorno was aware that many viewers would be live tweeting along with the televised musical, so why not jump in to the conversation as well?

DiGiorno brilliantly participated in the conversation by changing lines and lyrics from the musical so that they related to pizza. This ultimately became a brilliant self-promotion tactic when Twitter users saw the exceptionally comedic tweets. DiGiorno certainly enhanced its reputation and public presence with its creative and funny contribution to the conversation about The Sound Of Music.

Example 2: DiGiorno Pizza Does AFC and NFC

Once again, DiGiorno Pizza brilliantly joins the conversation during the American Football Conference and National Football Conference by live tweeting. The company also used the hashtag #DiGiorNOYOUDIDNT to accompany its hilarious one-liners (of course relating to pizza) throughout last Sunday’s football games.

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Yet again, DiGiorno used this opportunity to join the Twitter conversation and promote itself and reinforce the laid-back personality of the company by relating the football games to its product in a comedic and laid-back style. Personally, I think there’s no better position to be in than when the public thinks your company is funny and engaging.

Screen shot 2014-01-29 at 5.13.34 PMAlthough DiGiorno has history of an excellent Twitter presence, not everything with the company’s social media is all sunshine and rainbows (or should I say stuffed crust and pepperoni). DiGiorno did itself a disservice by halting Twitter activity after the company’s dairy supplier was accused of animal abuse. Next week I will discuss the effects of that decision.

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Social Media Tips for a Real Person

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I am in the midst of becoming a real person, and the transition is something I’m aware of on a daily basis. (If you aren’t familiar with my definition of a real person, check out my previous blog post) One of the most obvious transitions on this road to life as a real person is the change in how I use social media.

Facebook and Twitter became very popular when I was in high school. These social media sites were places for everyone to publicize their personal lives. It was fun and exciting to post photos of you and your best friends on the beach, at parties, on Saturday night adventures to Berkeley and then crowd around your phones to tally up how many likes, favorites and retweets you got.

Readers, I can’t even begin tell you how guilty I was of posting Facebook statuses in middle school and high school that said something along the lines of “I want chocolate chip pancakes” or “My trip to the beach ended in a sunburn.”  Yes, chocolate chip pancakes are awesome and sunburns suck, but does everyone really need to know about it? More importantly, do they even care? Both of those answers are no.

One of the first epiphanies I had during the early stages of my transition to a real person was that I needed to de-personalize my social media use.

Not de-personalize in the sense that I need to be boring. I mean de-personalize in the sense that not all of my Facebook friends and Twitter followers need to be told every single time I want pancakes or that I got sunburned.

As I come closer and closer to the day I graduate college, I am learning more about how to transition my social media use to be both professional and personal. And for the personal things that I do post, what amount of personal is okay.  This balance between professional and personal is essential for other PR students in my position.

The goal is to participate in conversation and post relevant content, but sometimes it’s just nice to share what TV show you’re watching or the lovely care package your mom sent you during finals week. When professionals are looking to hire, yes they want someone who is engaged in the professional conversation on social media, but also someone with interests and a personality that will fit into the culture of their work environment.

The personal aspect of social media is just as important as the professional, but it’s essential that you know the boundaries. CKSyme Media Group posted a great infographic that outlines the do’s and don’ts of what to post on social media and how doing social media incorrectly can cost you a job.

I vividly remember my parents saying, “Your whole life does not need to be on Facebook, your employers will look you up before they hire you!” This is one of those times when my parents were 100% right. A drunken photo on Facebook or an awkwardly personal tweet about a doctor’s appointment can cost you your job.

So, for us soon-to-be graduates, remember that even though it may be fun to share parts of your life on social media, a weirdly personal photo or tweet isn’t worth your job (or the job you weren’t hired for because of it).

The Entry-Level Worries Of A Real Person

As I dive into my third-to-last term of college my mind is filled with anxiety, excitement and worry. Will I get a job right out of college? Will it be a job I’m satisfied with? What will the pay be like? When do I even begin applying for jobs? The list of worries goes on and on.

Despite my worries, I am excited and eager to be in the working world and experience what’s next. But that requires adjusting to life as what I refer to as a real person.

finding a jobI define a real person as a college graduate with a professional job and independent adult responsibilities. Being a real person seems both exhilarating and overwhelming, especially when the #1 thing I need to check off of my How-To-Become-A-Real-Person List is to GET A JOB.

The pressure to get a job is the most stressful aspect in my life right now. Karen Vitale’s post on Ragan provides some really insightful advice for people in the early stages of their career. She wrote the post to her former “20-year-old careerist self” about job-hunting and early career choices. I found this post really relevant to my own worries as a 20-year-old and soon-to-be college graduate.

I really took to heart Karen’s first piece of advice: Chill out. That’s it. Just chill out and take a deep breath. It’s so simple that it’s almost silly, but it will serve as an invaluable reminder for me (and many other college students) as I begin my life as a real person entering the workforce.

As I look at my resume, I realize I am really and truly proud of my accomplishments. A few internships scatter my resume but my work as an Account Supervisor with Allen Hall Public Relations, a student-run PR firm through the SOJC, stands out. I work closely with Account Executives and clients on a daily basis doing a wide range of hands-on PR work. This invaluable experience has prepared me for a job in PR.

There are still many obstacles and new experiences headed my way as I graduate college and enter the workforce. But Karen’s post reminded me to be confident in my passion for and experiences in PR, as well as my role as both a listener and thought-leader in the industry.

My entry-level worries will work themselves out and my life as a real person will begin as soon as I teach myself to chill out.

Photo by Karen Batchelor

Rice Krispy Treat Lay’s, Anyone?

That’s right, it’s a possibility. The consumer creates and the consumer chooses. It sure seems like fun and games, but is it smart PR? My answer: ABSOLUTELY.

In the world of public relations it is crucial for brands to communicate with its customers. Lay’s has done just that with the re-launch of its famous Do Us A Flavor contest. This contest allows consumers to create an original flavor and vote for other existing flavors with the chance of one of them selling on grocery shelves around the nation. The winner even gets $1 million.lays

One of the most important jobs of a PR professional is to ensure that the brand or company he or she represents maintains regular, positive interactions with its consumers.

The Do Us A Flavor contest allows consumers to interact with a familiar product in hands-on way. The contest is brilliantly designed such that not only the person who gets the monetary prize wins, but all consumers win when they see the consumer-created flavor on store shelves that they helped bring to life.

As a result of this fun and interactive contest that revolves around consumer participation, Lay’s creates a personality for itself that consumers become highly aware of. What kind of company would put on such an engaging and interactive contest? One that is fun, creative and innovative.

This type of consumer interaction will improve the consumer’s perception of the company and brand. Customers will be much more interested in the product if the company has a good relationship with the public and portrays a positive personality through PR tactics such as this contest.

The point: It is essential for brands to engage with consumers. Brands become much more interesting and attractive to consumers if the consumers feel they can engage with and relate to the brand on a personal level. Lay’s engages with customers and portrays itself to the public as fun, creative and innovative all in a day’s work with this contest.

Photo by Alexa Clark

Ready for the Challenge

headshotFor the last three days I’ve been picturing what it would be like to write my first post on my very own blog. And I will tell you now, it’s both exciting and intimidating.

I have a little bit of experience blogging, through my time working as an Account Supervisor at Allen Hall Public Relations, writing blog posts for both clients and the firm. Although this does give me a little bit of experience in the area, creating posts on a blog that I am calling my own seems like a much more daunting task compared to creating blog content for clients, but I am ready for the challenge!

I’m getting to the point in my education at the University of Oregon where I am ready to explore my areas of interest within PR and discover how I fit into those areas. This blog will provide the opportunity for me to do so.

I am interested in event planning and the food and hospitality industry. I will use this blog to explore those interests and assert myself as a creative thought leader in the food and hospitality industry. Although I am not yet ready to give myself the title of “PR professional,” I am nearing the end of my time as a student and I can see myself taking leaps and bounds towards that title. I am forming a habit of regularly reading news articles and blogs regarding the food and hospitality industry. I will use the information I read on a daily basis as a “jumping-off point” for the PR insights that my posts will revolve around.

All of the content that I present on my blog reflect my own opinions and insights. I welcome any and all comments and critiques on everything I post.