Oreo’s Super Bowl moment underscored the notion that we live in a global community where we share the same experiences the moment they happen—and it’s making things rather interesting if sometimes volatile in PR and marketing.
For these sweeping national media events such as the Super Bowl, the Grammys, the Academy Awards, and so on, PR people had to focus on the pre- and post-event happenings from red carpet arrivals to after-party wrap-ups.
Now it happens in real time, and we have to prepare for anything and everything. Oreo capitalized on the moment
with speed and finesse, whipping up an image it shared on Twitter minutes after the power outage at this year’s Super Bowl.
By the time play had resumed at the Superdome, the image had been retweeted thousands of times.
At the same time, some public figures shot off ill-advised tweets. Former FEMA chief Michael Brown offered this tweet, which created an angry backlash:
This shifting landscape affords brands the opportunity to weigh in on the national stage. Here are a few suggestions for how to manage today’s new real-time media landscape:
Do your homework.
Before the big event, make sure you know who will make up the audience so you can hit the right note even when it’s necessary to be fast on your feet.
Expect the unexpected.
Have your social media staffers primed and ready to go. Do trial runs and brainstorm sessions so everyone knows the “rules” and the boundaries for how far they can push the envelope. In the moment, they should know where and how to reach their supervisors to get the go-aheads promptly.
Tailor the message to the medium.
Catching the wave on these opportunities calls for precision. This is not the time for a generic broad-brush approach. Have your specific plan of action ready to roll for Twitter, Facebook, and other social media.
Keep it simple.
To be successful it’s got to be clean, simple, and basic so it can be instantly understood.
Ed James is president-founder of Cornerstone PR. You can follow him on Twitter @edwjames.