PR Roundup: June 2018

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The PR Roundup covers the top public relation stories from the past month. Check out this month’s featured news below.

IHOP Rebranding: Incredible or Irresponsible PR?

The 24/7 restaurant chain previously named IHOP rebranded to the International House of Burgers (IHOB). The decision left customers thinking one of two things: either renaming the chain would lead to significant business opportunities or the new name would cause confusion and potential loss of business.

What Happened?

While IHOP offered additional items on their menus such as eggs and burgers, the restaurant is best known for their signature pancake dishes. After declining sales, the restaurant made the decision to update their menu as well as change their name. While the name “IHOB” is designed to look like IHOP upside down, some experts believe the change will cause more harm than good. The name change attracted social media attention but some critics argue that the rebranded restaurant will not see an increase in sales.

 What’s the positive?

Since the company launched the new name the week of June 11th, social and digital tracking have spiked. Chris Cradduck, a partner at LDWW group, described the campaign as a smashing success, “This campaign so far has been absolutely brilliant, creating anticipation, followed by massive attention, and social sharing.”

Is there proof?

Data indicates that the day of the announcement, ihop.com saw five times more traffic than usual. Additionally, the rebranded name was mentioned more than 15,000 times on Twitter. 

What’s the negative side?

Ashley McCown, the President of Solomon McCown, described the rebrand as a success in terms of creating a mystery.  “If creating a mystery through social media was their goal then they reached it. From a business standpoint, I don’t think they will be super successful.”

 The Lesson

Like it or not, the temporary rebrand from IHOP to IHOB has people talking. Though changing the signature food item from pancakes to burgers will take some time to adjust to, the International House of Burgers seems like it is here to stay. The story, sales and marketing decisions will be a true attest to the pros and cons of changing your brand.

Parkland Parents enlist boutique PR firm to prevent mass shootings

Dini von Mueffling Communications joined the Families vs. Assault Rifles political action committee (PAC) on June 1st in aims to prevent mass shootings across America.

What is it?

The PAC, created by parents of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School acknowledged that civilians can too easily purchase assault rifles which are“meant for war”.The boutique public relations firm, based in New York City, has allowed the PAC to broaden their message to a larger audience than the group of Floridian parents could impact alone.

Why this boutique firm?

President and founder of the PAC, Jeffrey Kasky, explained the firm helped to soften the message and keep it “in check” without softening the message too much. Kasky’s son was one of the Parkland students who participated in the March For Our Lives in support of a tighter demonstration of gun control. The students demanded universal background checks on gun sales and raising the federal age limit for gun ownership to 21 years old. Kasky chose to reach out to Dini von Mueffling Communications due to what the firm’s values are. “Dini von Mueffling kept coming up as the agency that’s done the great work […] She doesn’t just do the work but believes in the cause,” said Kasky.

What have the results been?

Of course, the social media presence has been a contributing factor to reaching a larger audience. The PAC’s twitter page has over 4,000 followers. Additionally, Kasky has made appearances on MSNBC and CNN to bring light to the group’s mission, thanks to Dini von Mueffling Communications.

 PR tools to remember:

In this situation, a strength, weakness, opportunity and threat analysis (SWOT) would be ideal for a firm to create because it lays out the current and future scenarios of a situation. Dini von Mueffling Communications is a small firm starting to build their brand identity by taking on new clients and having a corporate social responsibility mindset.

Chrissy Teigen, Cleveland Cavaliers, and TUMS? How Three Different Worlds Collided

The headline:

Basketball star LeBron James took a $153.3 million 4-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, leaving his hometown of Cleveland. He states that Cleveland will always be home but he needs to make a transition.

 Chrissy Teigen:

Model and twitter connoisseur Chrissy Teigen accidentally, jokingly and correctly leaked the news about James when she saw him leaving an embroidery shop with a Lakers jersey. When the news broke the next day, Teigen tweeted “I told you so”. Be it fate, a coincidence, a joke or a stunt, James’ and the Lakers need to keep a close eye on the power of social media.

 TUMS:

Hearts stopped in Cleveland when the news of James broke, which was the perfect segway for TUMS.TUMS is giving away their product to stop the heart pain that the Cavalier fans felt during this announcement. Heartache or heartburn? TUMS is ready for Cleveland.

What methods were used?         

This is a classic case of newsjacking. Newsjacking is an art and timing is everything. Since Teigen had no objective and “newsjacked” the story before the news was officially out, the spotlight was only on her for a short period of time. TUMS, however, struck while the iron was hot and successfully used the sports story of James moving to LA to bring awareness and sell their antacid product.

Sydney Wishnow is a sophomore at American University in Washington, D.C. In addition to serving on AU PRSSA’s executive board as Website Director, she is also the Advertising Manager for the FORUM Production team.

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