Hasbro embraces nostalgia, ViacomCBS debuts a streaming service, and Walmart touts $60M annual savings on plastic bags

Also: Peeps introduces new flavors, social media doesn’t boost recruitment, chime in on our social media careers survey, and more.

Good morning, PR pros:

 Mardis Gras hasn’t yet arrived, but consumers’ minds are already on the Easter season—the confectionery aspect, anyway—thanks to Peeps’ announcement of five new flavors. Fans can try Hot Tamales Fierce Cinnamon, Root Beer Float, Froot Loops, Raspberry Dipped in Crème Fudge, and Chocolate Pudding marshmallow chicks or bunnies.

USA Today reported:

“The Peeps Brand has become an icon in American pop culture, with its instantly recognizable colors, shapes and flavors holding a special place in the hearts of many for nearly seven decades,” said Caitlin Servian, brand manager for Peeps, in a statement. “We strive to meet the perfect balance of history and innovation by continuing to offer our classic Peeps Chicks and Bunnies, while also bringing new and exciting products to our fans.”

Though the company has encouraged social media users to share experiences under the hashtag #PEEPSONALITY, its own Twitter feed remains sparse on content.

Here are today’s top stories:

 Hasbro brings back retro favorites

The toymaker has embraced nostalgia with its recent product announcements: It’s bringing back Tiger Electronics LCD handheld video games, Nerf’s Super Soaker (in its orginal design) and the Mall Madness board game. Though each product line is updated, Hasbro said it modeled the new offerings after their ’90s versions.

The announcements quickly earned Hasbro headlines, as well as chatter from excited consumers and reporters.

Bustle’s Mia Mercado wrote:

Real malls may be dying, but our collective love of Mall Madness never really went away. This is evidenced by versions of the game being sold on Amazon and eBay at mark-ups more than three times the original price. It’s also evidenced by the fact that I break out in pre-teen sweat whenever I hear “attention mall shoppers” on a loudspeaker.

The media coverage about Hasbro’s product comebacks has also made easy work for the company’s social media team:

Why it matters: Though your communications strategies should be updated to stay abreast of current trends and best practices, harkening to earlier days can be a great PR or marketing tactic. You don’t have to bring back old products, either: A limited-edition design using older packaging or social media posts showcasing your brand in years past can also increase interest and excitement among consumers.


 MEASURED THOUGHTS

 According to a Clutch study, social media is the least effective tactic for recruiting top talent.

Image courtesy of Clutch.

Some experts say social media can be effective in talent searches, but only if campaigns are well targeted.

The report also suggests that you ask unexpected questions in interviews and test relevant skills in your hiring process.

To see more results, look at the full report.


TAKE OUR SURVEY

What’s the career path of a social media communicator?

Ragan Communications and PR Daily, in partnership with the Institute for Public Relations and the University of Florida, will deliver the answer through its inaugural Social Media Career Survey. You can participate by sharing your views about social media’s function and future.

Click here to take the survey, which closes March 6. To thank you for participating, we’ll send you the full findings and enter you in a drawing to win one of three $50 gift cards. We’ll also announce the findings this spring, with a sneak peek at our Social Media Conference at Disney World, March 11-13.


TACTICALLY SPEAKING

In Walmart’s fourth-quarter earnings call, the company’s chief financial officer, Brett Biggs, said it expects to save $60 million each year by offering resuable shopping bags made with recycled plastic. Each bag will cost 98 cents, and Walmart will continue offering single-use bags as well.

Biggs also reported a 15% saving on employees’ vests, which are now made with recyclable materials. It’s another showing of not only the PR boost that sustainability initiatives can bring, but also the bottom-line benefits.

ViacomCBS introduces a streaming service

Following the merger of Viacom and CBS, the company announced an expanded streaming service that will include content from Nickelodeon, Showtime, BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Paramount Pictures, Pluto TV and Smithsonian Channel.

In a string of tweets sharing information from its earnings report, ViacomCBS revealed that its subscription revenue and digital video ads racked up roughly $1.6 billion in 2019:

Why it’s important: Streaming is one of the several trends showcasing the future of content, with more traditional brands scrambling to catch up. Dish Network recently proposed a merger with DirecTV to keep up with other competitors. Regardless of whether your organization offers streaming services—or creates video content—consumers have many options and can now personalize their viewing experiences. The more you can tailor content (of any kind) to your audiences’ needs, the likelier you’ll grab attention, engagement and sales.


WHAT YOU SAID

We asked what the most overrated social media platform is for PR pros, and you said TikTok carried the bell away.

The choice wasn’t even close for many PR pros:

The least overrated, according to the poll? Twitter. However, the fact that the poll question was asked on Twitter might have influenced that outcome.


SOUNDING BOARD

Is all media coverage created equal? Does the adage, “All PR is good PR,” hold any value for an organization?

Though crisis management and reputation protection have become essential parts of a PR pro’s toolkit, some messages still break through amid a controversy.

What do you think? Weigh in with your opinion with our hashtag #MorningScoop.

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