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A La Carte: Restaurant + Food PR News & Trends (Subway, April Fools)

Happy Friday … and happy April Fools’ Day! Brands have had us laughing all day with their posts, ranging from elaborate and clever to downright ridiculous. We’ve rounded up some of our food PR favorites, as well as some important takeaways from getting in on April Fools jokes. Here’s what’s cooking: Social Spotlight For the last three weeks Subway has been implementing a social media campaign to promote its fresh food, healthy ingredients and new subs. Since battling a PR nightmare last year after the downfall of Subway’s long-time spokesman, the brand has been working diligently to climb back on top. Subway’s “Half-Baked/Fully-Baked” social

Copy of Copy of A La Carte- Restaurant + Food PR News and Trends (1)

Happy Friday … and happy April Fools’ Day! Brands have had us laughing all day with their posts, ranging from elaborate and clever to downright ridiculous. We’ve rounded up some of our food PR favorites, as well as some important takeaways from getting in on April Fools jokes. Here’s what’s cooking:

Social Spotlight

For the last three weeks Subway has been implementing a social media campaign to promote its fresh food, healthy ingredients and new subs. Since battling a PR nightmare last year after the downfall of Subway’s long-time spokesman, the brand has been working diligently to climb back on top.

Subway’s “Half-Baked/Fully-Baked” social campaign jokes about bad sandwich ideas the brand had, calling them “half-baked” ideas, and then highlights its best, or “fully-baked,” ideas.

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This campaign is also promoting its new Rotisserie-Style Chicken sub and is asking fans to share their ideas for a chance to win Subway gift cards. These funny GIFs and photos are exactly on brand with Subway’s tone of voice and personality and are calling attention back to the brand’s emphasis on fresh and healthy ingredients.

Trend: April Fools’ Day Fun

For brands, April Fools’ Day is a perfect excuse to do something a little different and have some fun! Many brands are making jokes on social media, but some food brands went a little bit farther. Food delivery service GrubHub announced the launch of Grüber, a Super-Duper Revolutionary New Ride-Sharing Product,” with a wire release. Complete with quotes from GrubHub’s CEO and Seinfeld references, GrubHub’s release is silly and enticing. Read the whole release here

As an interactive April Fools’ joke, Open Table developed an app concept that would invite users to lick their phone screens before booking dinner at a restaurant. If only! Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 11.56.54 AM

For other brands, just some simple tweets or Instagram posts will suffice for this wacky day. Check out some of our favorites:

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PR Lesson: 3 Questions To Ask Before Participating in April Fools

Through the years there’s been no shortage of brands getting in on the fun of April Fools’ Day, but before taking a step out of the box, there are some precautions to take to make sure nothing goes wrong. Ask yourself these questions before bringing your brand in on the fun.

Is this going to be still in line with your brand?

It’s important to make sure any April Fools posts match your brand’s personality, or just completely omit participating in the day all together. It’s okay to have some fun, but the post should make sense coming from your brand.

How can your post relate to your products?

We love the posts we shared above because many of them reference a product we are all familiar with. These posts don’t seem totally random coming from the company. Many people are familiar with Bob Evans grocery store product line, and sharing a post about this familiar product is great for people to relate to. How funny is it to actually picture everyone scratching and sniffing in the grocery store??

How should you respond if there is backlash from fans?

Have responses prepared and at the ready in case your fans aren’t, well, fans of your joke. You should also be prepared to respond to inquiries from media and any unforeseen attention. Unfortunately, there’s always a joke or two that goes wrong every year. For example, yesterday Yahoo! News posted a fake story about Trader Joe’s shutting down all of its grocery stores. Many people weren’t a fan of the joke and responded on social media with backlash. It also caused Trader Joe’s to have to respond saying the story was completely false.

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Mary Stankiewicz

Mary helps our clients grow their brands with smart and strategic content across social media platforms and targeted media coverage.