Bud Light’s Area 51 joke, a groundswell for podcasts, and Circle K’s sexist misstep

Also: A clever marketing insight from a Utah youth, how IPR creates buzz through video, and Berkeley nixes genders-specific terms.

Good morning, PR pros:

Marketers looking to capture attention can take a lesson from a young boy’s roadside stand in Brigham City, Utah, which caused several to do a double take.

A few people called the city’s police department to report that the child was selling “ice cold beer,” which he was—ice cold root beer. The detail was small enough to require a closer look, causing officers and reporters to deem it a marketing win.

This young man, in the area of 600 South 200 East, has a twist on a lemonade stand. Yep, he’s selling beer … ROOT…

Posted by Brigham City Police Department on Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Can a little ambiguity spice up your message? On the other hand, make sure your language doesn’t have a double meaning that will leave you apologizing to your audience later.

Here are today’s top stories:

Bud Light beams up Area 51 jokes

Bud Light recently tweeted quips regarding the now-viral Facebook event to raid Area 51. The page, created as a joke, has spread across social media, and several brand managers have tried to grab the trend’s coattails.

Why it matters: When a clever joke lands, lean in—and invite your fans to do the same. You might have the next viral sensation. Don’t be afraid to ask for retweets.

Related reading:


Looking to embrace the video content trend? Read up on how the Institute for Public Relations creates buzz with its “In a Car” video series.

Berkeley eschews gender-specific terms

Leaders in Berkeley, California, unanimously voted to replace roughly 40 gender-specific terms in its city code with more inclusive language. For example, “manpower” will now be referred to as “workforce” or “human effort,” and personally crafted items will be called “human-made” instead of “manmade.”

Why you should care: When AP Stylebook added the singular “they” in its 2017 edition, it advised communicators to use it sparingly. You don’t have to overhaul your PR messaging or campaigns to cater to diverse audiences: Instead, be mindful of them, and adjust your language as necessary.

Related reading:


More Americans are listening to podcasts than ever before, according to new data from Pew Research Center. This means podcasts might be a great way to get in front of your audience.

Before you launch yours, read up on what you should know about creating a stellar podcast.

Circle K Mexico criticized over sexist ad

The convenience store’s Mexican marketing team issued a mea culpa after backlash over an ad promoting condoms, wine and chocolate for Secretaries Day. Associated Press reported that the ad, which Circle K later deleted, depicted “a cartoon image of a secretary’s legs next to the phrase ‘If you know what I mean’ in English and a wink emoji.”

Circle K Mexico apologized in a tweet, saying the content wasn’t meant to “promote any stereotype” and said it “has taken the necessary measures so that this does not happen again.”

Why you should care: If you say your organization is a champion for diversity and inclusion, ensure your marketing messages echo your values. Otherwise, your mea culpa will ring hollow as critics wonder why you thought it appropriate to mention condoms for a day celebrating administrative assistants and the essential work they do.

Related reading:


On Thursday, we asked how many of you were prepared for a security or data breach, including having a crisis response prepared. Almost half of you (45%) said you’d rate your organization’s preparedness as “OK, but could improve,” while 36% of you said you were not ready for a cybersecurity crisis to hit.


What would help you become more prepared for this type of crisis? Tweet us your thoughts @bekiweki and under the hashtag #MorningScoop.

(image via)

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