Creativity in Public Relations » word-of-mouth http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal Creativity, marketing, great ideas, smart thinking, public relations, insights, inspirations, innovations and more. (Formerly known as Ryan's View) Wed, 05 Aug 2009 00:52:54 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 Talbots Hosts 500+ In-Store Cocktail Parties http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/01/06/talbots-hosts-500-in-store-cocktail-parties/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/01/06/talbots-hosts-500-in-store-cocktail-parties/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2009 09:02:00 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs2.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/11565.aspx I’m a big believer in ambassador marketing (a.k.a. influencer marketing, word-of-relevant-mouth marketing) and was thrilled to hear about a new initiative by Talbots in the US from my friends at MediaPost.  Talbots in a women’s clothing company that has great clothes that are affordable (and have great mom gifts as my mom has experienced over the past few years).  The company recently hosted mini cocktail events in each of its 500+ stores – attended by guests that were invited by a regular customer of each store that hosted the event.  These “Hostess Events” were held right before the holidays (and the stores remained open) and Talbots provided food and drinks and the identified hostess invited her friends, with more than 100 attendees on average at each event.

This is a solid example of the ongoing trend (and demand) for more personal and 1:1 relationships between companies and their customers.  It seems like such an obvious effort to implement, but one that definitely isn’t naturally included in the marketing mix for brands that could easily replicate this effort.  This effort builds natural buzz for the brand, provides something special to the companies more frequent shoppers, casually highlights the company’s products (can’t really miss them in the store where the party is held), builds and refreshes Talbot’s database and adds a bit of fun for employees as well.

So next time you are working with a company that has retail stores take some time to think if a kind of “open house” for top customers could work.  Finding new ways for more personal marketing efforts could do wonders during a challenging economy.

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Creative Protest Of The Year Award – Thailand Airport Protestors http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2008/12/12/creative-protest-of-the-year-award-thailand-airport-protestors/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2008/12/12/creative-protest-of-the-year-award-thailand-airport-protestors/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2008 07:25:00 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs2.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/11505.aspx This is not a political blog or blog entry, and i’m definitely not saying I have any clear thoughts on who did what and who is right or wrong or anything of the like.  But as someone who tracks creative thinking, ideas, campaigns and everything in between I felt compelled to highlight the creative thinking that was at the centre of the recent protests in Thailand that shut down the country’s airports for multiple days.  I know thousands were impacted, some were hurt in the process, international flight networks were hindered and more, but the fact of the matter is that this type of protest was one of the most creative I’ve seen in a while.

I purposely waited until the protest was over to write about this.  So, again, remove the political part of the whole situation and take a look at the protest with your creative hat on:

  1. Wow-factor. Yes!  The group responsible for the closing down the airports has had similar activities before, they have closed down the country’s prime minister’s office before which obviously didn’t have the same impact.  By closing down the airport the group received international awareness and direct impact to the economy, making it very hard to ignore and not listen to their messages.
  2. Visuals. Lots of them.  Thousands of people wearing the same coloured outfits, goggles, hats and more provided a wave of yellow across the airport floors that hasn’t been seen before.  Lots of Thailand flags and people of all ages and this creative idea had the right visual again to convey their message.
  3. Conversation/buzz starter. Duh!  Who didn’t hear about the protest and the shutting down of the airports and not talk about it with a friend, colleague or family member.  The idea and the impact were so revolutionary that you couldn’t not talk about it.
  4. News generation. Yes!  Before the awful attacks in Mumbai the airport closure in Thailand was the lead story every day.  After Mumbai it wasn’t obviously front page news but definitely second page news.
  5. Impact. After a bit more than a week a court banned the government and its party from politics because of election law violations.  Without the protest who knows if this would have happened.

Now, again, I’m not saying the protest or the government was right or wrong or anything at all – this is not a political blog entry and I’m definitely not a political scholar.  But as someone who appreciates creative thinking and looks for it everywhere I couldn’t help but use this as another example to reinforce to everyone that every successful effort starts with one creative idea.

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