Tag Archives: storytelling

Creating Great Content Isn’t Just a PR Stunt

In a recent eMarketer article, WestJet’s Corey Evans, manager of sponsorship and community creating your own visioninvestment discussed the company’s 2013 “Christmas Miracle” viral video success. In the post, he is quoted as saying: “You used to do a PR stunt just for the PR. Now you do the PR stunt for the PR, and then you can tell the story through social media, and it can live longer and continue to grow.”

I think that is a really important message – especially because the lines between social media being a PR function vs. a marketing or advertising function are often very blurry.

What marketers or PR professionals must always remember is that – especially when using online video to deliver your message – what sets you apart from other social media initiatives is the story that you tell in order to explain what is truly unique about your brand. The WestJet Christmas Miracle video was so compelling because it connected with viewers in a very emotional way – teaching them that WestJet goes the extra mile for its customers.

So, the story that you tell is most certainly not just a PR stunt. And while you will get publicity for a very good story, your message is more about ensuring that people connect with your brand in a meaningful way – enticing them to want to be your customer.

Likewise, just as the eMarketer article suggests, the more you invest into making your content great, the stronger the impact and the wider the reach of your story.

Here’s the WestJet “Christmas Miracle” video – in case you were living under a rock, or didn’t have a Internet connectivity in 2013.


If Content is the Lure, Email is the Glue

Ever notice how many emails your favourite online retailer sent Glue tube isolated on whitethis past holiday season? The messages were likely tailored to different gift ideas, discounts, party outfit suggestions and more.

Why did they do this? To keep people coming back to the website and shopping their web pages. They also probably targeted specific messages to key segments of shoppers (like myself) who are a more likely to open said offers and ideas.

I’ve written a lot of posts about the power of social media and content marketing on this blog. However, there is a key storytelling tool that is often forgotten as new social platforms emerge.

Email is still the glue that keeps your customers coming back regularly. And if you want to ensure that your customers return to your eCommerce website or App, you cannot live without this tool.

Yes, it is still necessary to use blogs, videos and social media platforms to attract and engage with customers. But if you aren’t using email in tandem with those tools to convert customers when selling your product, you are missing an important piece of the puzzle.

If you’re just getting started, MailChimp and ConstantContact are easy to use tools for a small business or startup.

How do you use email to integrate with social media and drive traffic back to your website? Please share below.

Can Coca-Cola Compete with Traditional Media Publications?

About a year ago, I was having lunch with an old colleague in the digital advertising industry who Typewriter spelling the words "Once upon a time"asked me where I thought the Internet was headed. Now, I am not a visionary or web guru of any sort. However, knowing that I had to pivot my business in the past year towards content marketing (because that’s what everyone was requesting from me), I told him that I thought that big brands would start to create their own web-based publications that might soon rival those of traditional media publications online. He, being a digital advertising salesman, was somewhat skeptical.

I recently wrote a blog post commenting on Coke’s big plan for digital storytelling which revealed details on how the company would develop creative content for the web. Well, according the NYTimes.com, the company is re-designing it’s website to reflect something “more akin to a consumer magazine than a business portal.”

So, I guess my prediction, if Coke is successful, is on its way to becoming a reality. It’s not a big surprise. As I mentioned in this post from July 2011, social media has basically become the soap opera of the digital age. As such, brands are developing web-based media publications and channels where their stories can be shared and commented on to spread virally online. Whether all of them will succeed in this pursuit is not yet clear. However, I think we’ll see a lot of other companies following Coke’s lead in the near future.

Do you agree? Please share your thoughts below.