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Posts Tagged ‘Nike’

7 Tips for Your Next Big Apology Tour

Last week brought news of disgraced general/CIA chief and potential presidential candidate David Petraeus‘s first post-scandal appearance. Petraeus used a speech before a University of Southern California dinner honoring the military to effectively begin his apology tour. We and everyone else in PR are obsessed with damage control, and we feel like Petraeus got it right. Now we’d like to take a moment to relay seven lessons from recent scandal-wracked personalities who didn’t quite get it right.

1. Make it public — but not too public: Whoever told Arnold Schwarzenegger that appearing on every interview show ever to talk about his affairs and his out-of-wedlock child while simultaneously hawking his new book was very wrong.

2. Be humble. Seriously: Jonah Lehrer didn’t get the message that being a public intellectual does not allow you to avoid taking the blame for your own failings by over-intellectualizing the whole thing and pontificating about the why and the how. “I need rules because I don’t trust myself to not be arrogant”? Come on, man.

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Nike and Tiger Woods Lose Focus in the Name of Winning

The public loves tenacity. We understand that people go through difficult times, and many of those struggles are self-inflicted. But we love a good comeback story because we believe that tough times build character.

We all fall down, and most of us get back up again. It makes us better, more compassionate people. (This is why our Dad made us play soccer even though we had asthma.)

OK, so what’s up with the new Tiger Woods and Nike ad celebrating the golf legend’s recent return to “top dog” status in his sport? It shows Tiger measuring up a putt with the tagline “Winning Takes Care of Everything” over a Nike Swoosh and the word “Victory”. Is that the lesson Tiger learned from his sex-addicted meltdown and subsequent costly — on every level — divorce? Is that what Nike learned from former sponsor and fraud Lance Armstrong?

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Nike’s Instagram Strategy: Flattery Gets You Everywhere

If you want to encourage your social media followers to engage and create content for your brand, the secret sauce is quite simple: flattery. Earlier this month, for example, Nike celebrated accumulating its one millionth Instagram follower by featuring a series of ten pics chosen from we don’t even know how many.

Nike didn’t even really have to do all that much. Its team simply chose some user-submitted photos, shared them, and made ten people very, very happy by encouraging tens of thousands of users to “like” their photos and follow them. Most of these pics aren’t even particularly well-composed or creative–they’re just photos of people wearing or holding their shoes. We chose the two best:

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10 Brands That Do Customer Service Right on Twitter

Here’s an interesting fact: 30% of top brands now have “dedicated customer service Twitter handles”. This makes perfect sense, right? Customers value great service above all else, they love the instant gratification of social media and they really, really hate waiting for reps to pick up the phone. Also: by establishing separate Twitter handles for customer service, brands can “divert negative attention and activity” away from the primary feed.

So what goes into running a great customer service operation in the twittersphere? In order to find out, we poked around and found ten examples of brands that are doing it right, starting with some of the biggest.

1. Nike Support: This one is pretty much the gold standard. A quick glance at the account with all replies shows you how quickly and how often the feed’s managers respond to individual customers.

2. Xbox Support: Xbox boldly claims to hold the Guinness World Record for “most responsive Twitter feed”–and based on the number of replies their team posts every minute, we can see why they make that claim.

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Big Brands Encourage Supreme Court to Support Gay Marriage

Supreme Court of the United States An update in case you don’t follow judicial politics: The United States Supreme Court is about to hear a couple of cases challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA), the 1996 legislation that effectively said “in the eyes of the federal government, marriage and related legal benefits can only occur between a man and a woman.”

Public opinion on the issue has shifted dramatically since that law passed, and now more than 200 of the country’s biggest brands are teaming up to let the Supreme Court know that this isn’t just a cultural or political matter–DoMA is making it harder for businesses to operate.

Brands ranging from techies like Facebook and Apple to consumer biggies like Nike and even financial titans like Citigroup and Goldman Sachs signed on to file what’s called a “supporting brief” or “friend of the court brief”. Their major point: DoMA effectively forces us to discriminate against our employees and makes the process of finding, courting and rewarding the talent we need that much more challenging.

How so, you ask?

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Adventures in Marketing: Headphones by Snooki

Say you’re promoting a “premium” product with minimal production costs and you want to heighten its appeal to a certain target audience. What do you do? First you label it “premium” or “exclusive”. Then you slap a barely-related celebrity’s name on it and jack up its price well beyond reason. Score!

The latest industry overcome by celebrity endorsement deals is audio equipment. Headphones appear to be the new sneakers–when the $300 Beats by Dre model debuted a couple of years ago, they were the earwear equivalent of Nike Air Jordans. The first question to ask someone wearing Beats by Dre was either “When’s your album coming out?” or “How can I get tickets to the release party?”

Once marketers realized how profitable this racket can be, everyone and his brother (and his brother’s nephew, who appeared on one episode of some reality show) jumped aboard the C-list headphone train. Are they better than iPod earbuds? Do they offer deeper bass and crisper high-end sounds for compressed, low-quality mp3s? Sure–but this is more than a little ridiculous.

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When Should Brands Drop Celebrity Spokesmen?

Image courtesy of European Pressphoto AgencyToday brought the completely unsurprising news that Nike has suspended its contract with Olympian “Blade Runner” and accused murderer Oscar Pistorius in order to “protect the brand”. Of course, the company also dropped Lance Armstrong last month after he confessed to being a cheater and a general jerk. Other athletes, however, have fared far better even after their bad behavior created PR problems for Nike. Remember the awful Tiger Woods/James Earl Jones commercial? Remember how Nike stuck with A-Rod after he admitted to using steroids?

We also find it a little strange to note that Nike still has a very cozy relationship with its biggest spokesman, Michael Jordan, who not only admitted to being a serial adulterer but supposedly taught Tiger how to follow in his footsteps. (Both Tiger and Kobe Bryant, another famous cheater and homophobe, have new Nike campaigns on the way. Tiger’s is titled “apologies.”)

Here’s what we take from this development:

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Nike, More Brands Taking Social Media In-House

Nike Facebook page One of the most interesting trend stories to pop up so far this month concerned Nike‘s decision to take its social media efforts away from third-party agencies and do everything in-house.

Some industry observers see this move as a sign of larger trends. Given the fact that we recently wondered whether social media responsibilities would fall to PR or marketing departments in the future, we think the topic is extremely relevant to all communications professionals.

Nike claims that keeping all social operations in-house will help its team “gain a deeper understanding” of its fans in the interest of boosting brand loyalty. It started the transition in October by hiring Musa Tariq, former social media marketing director for Burberry, to “kick start” its social strategy.

The sneaker king isn’t the only company to take a greater degree of responsibility for its own social media efforts in recent months: Competitor Reebok conducted an internal audit of all its social channels after rejecting contract offers from agencies, and Digiday reports that other big names like Ford and Campbell’s Soup have done the same.

This isn’t to say that Nike will sever ties with all third-party firms.

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6 SEO Content Tips You May Have Missed

Everyone Pay Attention to Me Every PR pro has heard the news: The future of public relations is all about “brand journalism“, which is all about content, content, content. Of course, the quality of said content is paramount, because if readers don’t get your company/client’s message then the words themselves won’t be worth much in the end.

But search engine optimization also plays a big role in the art of content creation. If pages don’t show up near the top of relevant Google searches, then their value will be limited.

Now for a tiny bit of shameless self promotion: As Mediabistro employees, we recently had the opportunity to take one of our company’s courses on SEO best practices. We thought we were fairly familiar with SEO, but we learned a few techniques that go beyond the usual “include key words and phrases”, and we thought we’d share six tips that we would have missed otherwise.

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Hockey is Back. Will Nike’s Anti-Lockout Ad Still Work?

This new Nike ad, from Wieden+Kennedy New York and Biscuit Filmworks director Tim Godsall, flies defiantly in the face of the NHL lockout by giving hockey-lovers a chance to declare that “hockey is ours.”

The spot features kids decked out in their gear, looking directly at the camera and asking the league “what are you gonna do, take my skates? Take away my puck?” The message is clear: The NHL may have all the power, but fans and the amateur players really “own “the sport–and no lockout can take it from them. While we’re hardly the world’s most dedicated hockey fans, we found ourselves stirred by their testimony.

But–in case you missed the tidal wave of exuberant, profanity-laced Facebook and Twitter posts–the NHL lockout is officially over. Now what?

In some ways, the ad still works; even when the NHL is fully operational, the sport is more about the fans than any team owners or league officials. On the other hand, it’s pretty hard to get around the fact that the spirit in which the ad was made no longer applies.

What do we think? Does the message still resonate, or should Nike pull the ad?

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