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A La Carte: Restaurant + Food PR News & Trends (Whole Foods, Tax Day + When Not to Chime In)

Happy Friday! Tax Day and Earth Day took this week by storm with some fun campaigns and awesome deals. In this week’s A La Carte, we take a look at Whole Foods Earth Day campaign and the posts food brands shared for Tax Day. While those events are worth joining in on, we also dig into when brands shouldn’t add to the social conversation. Keep reading for this week’s taste of food PR news! Social Spotlight Today is Earth Day! To celebrate, Whole Foods Market has been promoting a social campaign all month long with the hashtag #1greenthing. From saving the bees to making use of glass

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

Happy Friday!

Tax Day and Earth Day took this week by storm with some fun campaigns and awesome deals. In this week’s A La Carte, we take a look at Whole Foods Earth Day campaign and the posts food brands shared for Tax Day. While those events are worth joining in on, we also dig into when brands shouldn’t add to the social conversation. Keep reading for this week’s taste of food PR news!

Social Spotlight

Today is Earth Day! To celebrate, Whole Foods Market has been promoting a social campaign all month long with the hashtag #1greenthing. From saving the bees to making use of glass jars, Whole Foods has been sharing tips and life hacks on its Twitter and Facebook almost every day to show ways we can take care of the Earth and how to become more green.

 

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The brand is also encouraging fans to share their green tips and how they’re incorporating #1greenthing into their lives.

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All month long we’ve been following along with Whole Food’s campaign, which is perfectly in line with the brand’s core values and emphasizes what Whole Foods stands for every day of the year. Another great aspect of this campaign is how excited fans are to have shared their contributions to keeping Earth beautiful. So far the campaign has received thousands of shares, comments, likes and retweets on social and has had high numbers of engagement.

Trend Watch: Steals and Deals on Tax Day

Oh, tax day. Everyone’s favorite day of the year. You better believe brands were ready to pull out their best jokes and ask fans to spend! It has evolved into an odd sort of celebration, but every year now community managers are ready to ask followers to reward themselves on #TaxDay and come spend at their restaurant. Brands tweeted out great deals, many of them being freebees, too!

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PR Lessons: When Brands Shouldn’t Chime In

There’s always something going on that brands can jump in and be a part of. Earth Day, Tax Day, National Grilled Cheese Day, April Fools Day – and that’s just been the month of April so far. Those are all fun and games, but what about serious events? Yesterday the legendary music icon Prince passed away, and the news was quite a shock for the whole world. There’s no doubt that millions of people were mourning his death, but is it appropriate for a brand to chime in?

Brands can sometimes be too eager to be a part of the conversation and yesterday was a perfect example of that. Cereal brand Cheerios and and drink brand Four Loco pulled their social media posts yesterday after receiving backlash on social for being insensitive. There’s a fine line between organically joining in on the social conversation and forcing your brand in. Especially when commenting on a sensitive issue, it’s imperative that brand managers think through all possible angles.

  1. What’s the connection?

    Only post if there’s a strong tie between the person and your brand. For music brands that worked with Prince, like Spotify, it makes sense as to why you would post about losing a musician. Being from Minnesota, many brands local to that area also felt it was appropriate to post about Prince’s death, like the Minnesota Twins (whose post gets an A+ in our book).  There has to be a real, legitimate connection between your brand and the event in order for it not to feel fake or forced to your followers.

  2. Even then, maybe not.

    Even if there’s somewhat of a connection, it’s a grey area. Cheerios’ parent company, General Mills, is located in Minnesota, which is why the brand felt a connection was there and posted about Prince’s death. But still, fans did not find it appropriate. There aren’t any clear-cut rules to help determine whether or not a post coming from your  brand will be well-received by the public, so it’s important to think through how people might perceive it.

  3. Be ready to be attacked.

    If you decided to share something surrounding the serious event and it doesn’t go over well, be ready to be attacked by your followers and the media. Fortunately for Cheerios, the brand was ready to answer the public. The company was quick to act, and provided a clear reason why they posted in the first place and why they removed the post (read the comment here). Cheerios was far from being the only brand that was called inconsiderate for joining the conversation about Prince’s death, but at least they responded correctly.

Cheerios’ post will likely be forgotten soon, but it should be an important lesson learned for many brands. Not everything is worthy of commenting on. Joining in on the social conversation is a big part of being a good brand manager, but coming off as insensitive is never worth it.

Hungry For More?

What do you think about brands commenting on issues like this one? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @ThinkBelleCom

Mary Stankiewicz

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