Dogs drive online engagement for UPS, Girl Scouts offer cookies with a message, and Facebook defends stance on political ads

Also: Uber partners with mass transit providers, how digital media will be disrupted in the new decade, and whether in-person or virutal activations will prevail in 2020.

Good morning, PR pros:

Cats drive massive engagement online, but the UPS Dogs’ Facebook page and Instagram account are treasure troves of engagement as well as furry faces. Though UPS did not create the social media profiles, the organization has reaped the benefits of boosted brand reputation.

Raisedvibrations.org reported:

It all started in 2013 when UPS driver Sean McCarren created a Facebook group to pay tribute to their furry friends who add smiles and sunshine to even the dullest of days.  Not surprisingly, the group grew in leaps and bounds and UPS Dogs now has over 1.5 million likes on Facebook and 543K followers on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

It’s the UPS guy!!! 🤣 Flagstaff, Arizona

A post shared by UPS Dogs (@upsdogs) on

The highlight of Porter's day is when the "cookie man" stops to say hello and give him a treat! Edmonds, WA

Posted by UPS Dogs on Tuesday, January 7, 2020

I always love delivering to these two! Prince (White) and Pearl (Black) come running towards the truck as soon as I turn…

Posted by UPS Dogs on Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The accounts’ continued high engagement numbers attest to the power of employee ambassadors and organically grown online communities.

Here are today’s top stories:

Girl Scouts debut cookie with a purpose

The organization has added Lemon-Ups to its product lineup this year; the lemon-flavored cookies bear messages such as “I am a go-getter” and “I am a leader,” highlighting the Girl Scouts of the USA’s mission and core purpose.

People reported:

GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo explained how the program is about so much more than just sweets. “Girls learn about entrepreneurship as they run their own cookie businesses,” she said in a press release.

… “The important business and financial literacy skills girls learn through the program are proven to build their leadership skills and position them for success in the future,” added Acevedo. “When you purchase cookies you are helping girls power their Girl Scout experience and you’re supporting female entrepreneurs.”

Why you should care: Whether or not your products spell out your organization’s vision (literally), you should brainstorm ways to highlight your values and culture through your campaigns and within your messaging. Leading with a purpose that makes sense to your brand image can not only give it a reputational boost, but also increase engagement—along with sales.

MEASURED THOUGHTS

The media landscape is always changing—and technology has greatly accelerated that change.

Now, some experts say the next wave of change will be even more disruptive than the rollout of the internet. Mobility with 5G and the increased use and effectiveness of artificial intelligence will have profound impacts on how digital media is consumed.

Read more in our weekly Research Snapshot.

Starbucks offers additional milk alternatives

The coffee chain debuted two new drinks on its menu in roughly 1,300 locations in Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois and Iowa. The drinks contain oat milk, which has been gaining popularity. CNN reported that oat milk sales jumped 222% from April 2018 to April 2019.

Why it matters: Sustainability efforts can help to increase consumers trust and loyalty, but many decisions can also make sense to your bottom line. Animal milk sales are steadily declining, so by offering additional alternatives, Starbucks is helping sales to remain steady (or grow) while earning kudos for offering sustainable options—before being compelled to do so.


SOCIAL BUZZ

A lengthy post by Facebook’s vice president of augmented and virtual reality, Andrew Bosworth, is making the rounds online and in news reports. The New York Times first shared Bosworth’s words, which were originally shared in an internal email. Following the headlines, Bosworth posted his remarks on his Facebook profile:

The NYT recently obtained a copy of a post I made to the wall of my internal profile within Facebook. I thought it worth…

Posted by Andrew Bosworth (Boz) on Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Within his remarks, Bosworth argues that Facebook was not the reason for President Donald Trump’s election in 2016 but also warns that the social media platform should not stand in the way of this year’s presidential elections. The remarks shed additional light into Facebook’s decision not to ban political advertisements.

Uber offers bus tickets

Uber is making a big bet in Las Vegas on public transportation as it rolls out features that will enable people to buy tickets for the public bus system through the app. The prices will match those for ticket buyers who shop directly with the bus authority.

Las Vegas is the second city where Uber has offered this option, but with a rollout as part of the CES conference, Uber is signaling that public transit integration will be a big part of the company’s future.

Why it’s important: Uber might still struggle with its reputation and earning back consumers’ trust, but it continues to deliver services that cater to its audience’s needs. By directly solving consumers’ questions or problems, you stand to gain both sales and loyalists. When doing this, though, make sure you’re not asking your audience to take too many additional steps nor upend their routines, which could temper their willingness to embrace your product or service.

WHAT YOU SAID

We asked if in-person events or digital activations will grab your attention in 2020, and nearly half of you (46.2%) said live, in-person events are the way to go. Though 23.1% of you voted for all digital learning, 30.8% of you opted to play both sides, through livestreams at events.

No matter how you voted, you can help reach your learning and event goals this year by joining us at the Social Media Conference for PR, Marketing and Communications Professionals at Walt Disney World, March 11–13.


SOUNDING BOARD

What’s your preferred format for learning about industry trends, changes and other related news?

Share your thoughts with our hashtag to be featured in tomorrow’s #MorningScoop.


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COMMENT

One Response to “Dogs drive online engagement for UPS, Girl Scouts offer cookies with a message, and Facebook defends stance on political ads”

    Ronald N. Levy says:

    That affectionate dog may not look at first like a son of a bitch to us yet it may be. PR lesson: sometimes value even nontraditional influencers.