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Posts Tagged ‘Pizza Hut’

Pizza Hut Hopes One Dubious PR Stunt Will Fix Another

In the world of public relations, there is a costly difference between mistakes and stupidity. Mistakes are an inevitable part of life; stupidity really requires some effort.

Most acts of stupidity in public relations stem from a decisive disregard for the public on some important level, be it underestimating our intelligence, our patience or our values. When brands succumb to denial or deception, the public knows. We can feel it, because the public has “gut feelings” just like any individual. Deep down, we know when someone is lying to us, cheating on us or condescending to us. Alarms go off.

After a tone deaf, misguided and dismayingly inappropriate attempt to sells pizzas by encouraging attendees at the presidential debate to ask the candidates if they preferred pepperoni or sausage pie, Pizza Hut has prudently implemented a change in strategy. Instead of interrupting democracy in action, Pizza Hut has decided to shift the contest online and randomly select a winner willing to simply offer his/her email address and zip code. The prize–a pizza a week for 30 years or a check for $15,600–remains unchanged. Read more

Pizza Hut’s Cheesy ‘Lifetime Supply’ PR Stunt

This week’s political polls show us that the presidential race is heating up. Last week’s first debate pitted a spirited Mitt Romney against a feckless Barack Obama–and it changed the trajectory of the election by facilitating a virtual tie between the two candidates as we enter the final weeks of campaigning.

Our nation remains mired in two unpopular wars and a devastating, prolonged economic recession. And then there is the rest of world, which is increasingly either jobless or on fire. Americans are taking this election seriously, as they should. Pizza Hut, however, is not.

As PR experts we’re concerned about Pizza Hut’s latest publicity stunt, which offers a lifetime of free pizza to any attendee at the town hall debate—to be held at Hofstra University—who asks if the candidates prefer pepperoni or sausage on their pie. If you have a loved one in Iraq or Afghanistan, or an unemployed family member, or if you just happen to care about fellow citizens that you don’t even know for some reason, the humor of this ill-conceived idea may be lost on you. Read more

Hotels to Increase Fees for Just About Everything

The hotel industry is about to embark on a dangerous PR journey. As the Los Angeles Times reports, hotels expect to boost revenue by 5% in 2012—to the tune of $1.95 billion—simply by increasing the fees they charge customers for everything from baggage handling services to outgoing phone calls. It doesn’t take much PR expertise to know how the public feels about fees.

The public hates fees.

Anyone who has had to shell out $25 for a salad and a bag of chips at a crowded airline counter knows the feeling of being pushed into a steaming cauldron of anger, exploitation, vulnerability and frustration while searching for cash and balancing the carry-on luggage between one’s elbows.

Anyone who has ever looked at a bill, an ATM receipt or a credit card statement and noticed ambiguous or undisclosed fees can relate to the sensation of being punched in the back of the head while walking down some stairs–it’s not much fun!

So yes, the public feels very strongly about the evils of hidden or unexpected fees–no matter how small they may seem. Read more

Public to Domino’s: We Can Pick Up Our Own Pizzas

In many ways, pizza is the canary in the coal mine when it comes to the US economy. Americans order pizza to celebrate a child’s birthday, to mark the departure of a coworker, or as something to eat when we don’t have the time–or the money–for anything more elaborate. Through good times and bad, pizza has been there for America.

Domino’s built an empire on our appetite for pizza, as did its many competitors (Pizza Hut, Little Caesars, Herman Cain, etc.)–and our supermarket aisles filled with frozen cheese pie brands. So when a juggernaut like Domino’s implements a major change in its relationship to the public—such as emphasizing services in its brick-and-mortar stores—we know something big is happening. Here it is: A growing trend shows that many Americans would rather pick up their pizzas than have them delivered. The first question any PR expert would ask is “Why?”

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