Public Relations made easy.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Following my last post discussing RESEARCH from the PR acronym R.A.C.E, this post will take a look at the letter A for ACTION.

So, PR professional, you’ve done your research. You're good to go, right? 

No! Wait! Stop! You’re not ready!

You need to figure out your plan of ACTION, my friend. By determining the best course of action, you can plan your response, and then implement these plans using your RESEARCH findings. What happens if you skip this step?

Surprise: a PR pro’s worst nightmare.

Good surprise – Your home city is trending on Twitter. Yay! Let’s take advantage of it by tweeting about our clothing line!
Bad surprise - Your home city is trending on Twitter because a mentally disturbed man went on a shooting spree, killing multiple people. Crank up the old damage control machine.

Of course, the example above was unfortunate but it was most-likely a one-off; it was an opportunistic tweet from an out of country employee who was too lazy  to check why "Aurora" was trending.

Let's have a look at a real "A" failure case study

The usually PR savvy team at McDonalds recently experienced a social media #McFail.

While attempting to capitalize on a the success of their #meetthefarmers campaign, McDonalds invited people in the twittersphere to share their McDonalds' stories by using the #McDstories hashtag. The result made for highly entertaining tweets, but probably not the kind they were looking for.
A well thought-out and carefully planned campaign could have avoided this backlash. Conducting a survey or sitting down with a focus group would most likely have shut down that tactic and saved McDonalds a lot of embarrassment. They rushed to capitalize on an opportunity, didn't follow the plan and paid the price. 

Lesson learned: don't forget the ACTION!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sylvie,

    Great post! I like the simple approach that you took. In fact, anyone outside of the PR world would definitely understand your blog, while learning about Action.

    Bringing in the McDonalds example hits home for a lot of people since most of us generally assume that there are NO health benefits to eating there! So not following up with the Action is a colossal mistake.

    I also enjoyed your comments regarding twitter. PR professionals who can't be bothered to check into why people are trending a certain city or subject are setting themselves up for an embarrassment.

    You tied the 'R' and the 'A' very nicely. From my experience, taking a relatively complex explanation and making it simple is very effective, especially in social media. Copying and pasting the examples was particularly helpful.