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Chocolate Mutiny

I love Nutella. I fell in love with it while studying abroad in Greece and I remember it being one of the few foods that reminded me of home. Trust me, after a month of greek salads, hummus and pita you WILL get tired of it, no matter how much you love it. And Nutella with bagel chips became a great comfort food for me.



So I completely understand a fan of Nutella creating a day specifically to celebrate it. www.NutellaDay.com does just that. And this can be a PR dream: fans rallying around a product enough to spend EVEN MORE MONEY and write even more good stories, recipes and goodwill to celebrate it.

But this week saw that PR dream turn into a potential nightmare for Ferrero, the parent company. According to this AdWeek article, the company sent the fan a cease and desist letter to stop participating in and organizing Nutella day “as a routine procedure in defense of trademarks.” This of course caused a reaction from the social/PR/marketing world with a collective head scratch: “what company wants to threaten their most loyal fans?”

Luckily, the legal drama is over and the company has retracted the letter and now thank the fans for their loyalty.

I understand both sides. I understand protecting the brand and the trademark, but I also am surprised a company would go this far for something that “seemingly” is all positive and a PR goldmine. How many companies/services/products dream of this type of fan loyalty? Either way it’s an interesting case for the marketing world this week. Isn’t that what we pay billions of dollars for in advertising each year?

It has also inspired me to think of my own special day for a few of my favorite things. So happy chocolate milk / sushi / vanilla latte / guacamole day!! Obviously not all at the same time 🙂



Do The Twist

I may not have talked about it at length here, but I’m in love with the Starbucks brand. Yes I know they aren’t a real person.

Even though I love the coffee, I love their brand story even more.

I’ve read all their books, the founder’s biographies, and even got to visit the first store when Jason and I were in Seattle (the day we got engaged! ok, squeal over). Starbucks is on a short list of my favorite brands, and I don’t adjust that list very often.

So I don’t often anoint a brand as a favorite, but the time has come.


I know, right? Surprisingly this has nothing to do with the fact that they make White Chocolate Covered Oreos at Christmas time and I might buy out my local grocery every year, and eat them within about a week’s time while decorating my Christmas tree and believing that Santa takes away the calories. Not it at all.

It has everything to do with their latest Social Media Campaign: #DailyTwist.


Take a look at this article about the campaign. Basically, to celebrate its 100th Birthday, each day Oreo would post a new photo showing the famous cookie in a new and fun ways. Talk about a extendable campaign. Smart, fun and they even talk back to people as fans submit ideas, poke fun or admire the work.

Here are the top reasons why I think this campaign is getting so much buzz:

1. Content – each day, Oreo is pushing out something new and fresh to its followers. Not just a static photo of an Oreo bag, or Oreos in different places, it’s taking the icon and making it relevant to that week’s news stories (they’ve had Oreos as NFL replacement refs, Elvis week and Twitter anniversary, among others). This means there are people whose sole job is to think of a new ways to design an Oreo. I want that JOB.

2. Fun – Oreo isn’t afraid to have a little fun. Evidenced by its “Twitter-war” with AMCTheaters, they aren’t afraid to poke fun at themselves, or other brands willing to play along. They know what category they are in and don’t take it too seriously. I’m sure they take success of their brand and business seriously, but if you can’t a little fun along the way, why do it?

oreo twitter

3. Engagement – for their final post today (Oct. 2), they crowdsourced the final design, and ultimately gave a virtual high five to all their fans in honor of the campaign (and in honor of the anniversary of the high-five). The final billboard was featured in Times Square. This gives fans a chance to talk back, interact and have as much fun with the brand as the brand is having.

Will this campaign turn into increased sales for Oreo? Not sure yet. But many times this type of campaign is not about profit, but about brand value and moving the brand forward, even for something as old as Oreo. Even today, Facebook fans are begging them not to stop the campaign. That’s incredible. How often do you have customer ASK you to keep advertising?

What do you think? Love the new campaign? Made you hungry? Can’t wait for the White Chocolate Oreo cookies? Well, don’t even try the grocery stores within a mile radius of me…because you’ll be out of luck.

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The Best Advice

This post is for all you PR/Marketing/Communication people out there who get the quizzical looks when you say “I work in PR.” Or for those times when you feel like you’ll never understand this industry. Or when you feel like everyone else around you knows everything, and you’ll never catch up. You are not alone, my friend.

This list of advice is for you. Check out what other professionals are saying has been the greatest advice they received. Really good stuff.

Just like any industry, when you’re starting out as a young professional, it can be very overwhelming. But I find it comforting when other professionals admit they don’t have it all figured out.

I think marketing/public relations/communications is a tricky place sometimes, for a few reasons:

  • you’re expected to always be creative
  • you’re often expected to do everything, even if it’s not really marketing (enter staff appreciation lunch coordinator title here)
  • people don’t really understand what is that you do, so they sometimes fail to give you enough credit or respect

It’s a fuzzy type of industry that does have some concrete standards, but often it falls to the professional to make your individual plan, event or campaign work with constantly changing expectations, metrics and budgets.

I fortunately had a great mentor at my first marketing job, and know the importance of having someone to tell you it’s OK to make mistakes, it’s OK to not know it all in your first job, as long as you’re passionate about what you’re doing, and willing to take risks. Believe me, there were several days (and still are) where I went home feeling like a complete bozo because I just couldn’t seem to grasp it. But the good thing is, if you stick with it and keep learning and keep trying, things start to become more clear. And everyone else in the room has been where you are.

Want some more vindication that everyone feels like you do? Here are a couple of blogs that I follow that have advice, funny anecdotes and authentic realities about how being a young PR professional can be:

Ask A PR Girl: http://askaprgirl.com/

PR Breakfast Club: http://prbreakfastclub.com/

The UnLost (thanks Kate + Kristen!): http://www.theunlost.com/

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Back In The Groove

I’m BACK! Back in the groove of geeking out over marketing and advertising. I was really inspired this morning in my ad design class where we shared some of our favorite ads. Here are some really cool, strategic examples of how creativity can go a long way:

Direct Mail


Customer Appreciation 

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The Power Of An Editorial Calendar

I love a good calendar.


Every year, I painstakingly pick out my planner, open its crisp, new pages and begin to fill in each little box, as if they were each a new opportunity to do something new, experience something new or plan for something new. It’s a science AND an art to make sure a calendar meets my standards:

1. Enough space in each calendar block to write multiple things (I have high expectations for my social life)

2. Enough extra day or “notes” pages to write assignments, To Do lists, grocery lists, or those desperate doodles made during meetings or classes

3. A tough cover that won’t tear because that sucker will get pulled in and out of my purse/bag/laptop case one million times over the next year and it needs a little oomph to make it through

4. Inspirational – whether it’s my color of the moment or a specific design I’m loving, it’s got to make me smile when I take it out

(P.S. Confession time: For my senior year in high school, everyone was required to put one item in a time capsule we will open at our 10-year reunion next year. Can you guess what I put in as my item? That’s right….my planner. I know. My name is Stephanie, and I have a problem.)


But, if you’re like the other 99% that have moved onto electronic calendars a la Google Calendar, iCal or Outlook, then these rules seem antiquated. AND with the proliferation of social media, having an on-the-go, update-able and sync-able calendar is imperative, especially if you’re in the marketing, PR or advertising world. I’m taking baby steps to go in this direction.

More commonly known as editorial calendars or content strategies, these calendars and planning tools can help sort all your ideas, posts, blogs, photos, etc. out to ensure you’re keeping all your content fresh.

I’ve pulled a few great blog posts about this topic, hoping to stir my own creativity to create something like this for this blog, or future clients, or for my own personal life maintenance. Take a look at what some of the experts are saying OR share your favorite calendar/organizing trick with us all!

4 Ways To Beat The Social Media Clock via PRBreakfastClub

Content Strategy Is, in fact, The Next Big Thing via Brain Traffic

Social Media Calendar Template via Ekcetera Design Studio

Organize Your Social Media Efforts via @MaryFletchJones

How To Create a Social Media Editorial Calendar via Search Engine Watch

Let’s get planning!