August 2020 is upon us. Students are heading back to class, Wendy’s is podcasting, TikTok might be banned, IKEA is forgetting to check their ad copy and KFC is no longer “Finger Lickin’ good.”
The August 2020 edition of PR News Recap from PRSSA is here, this time featuring recaps from members of the Publications Subcommittee. See some of our favorite public relations news stories along with our takes on them below:
August has been a pretty busy month for the hamburger joint Wendy’s. During August, the brand embraced some new hobbies, and, of course, it made sure to tweet all about them.
It all started with Minecraft and a Twitch stream from the official Wendy’s Twitch account on Aug. 6. The brand has streamed before, but gained a lot more steam this go-round, receiving over 28,000 likes for a simple quote tweet promoting its stream and bantering with Xbox’s Twitter account.
Then, on Aug. 12, Wendy’s embraced a new hobby: podcasting. The brand launched a new podcast titled “Sir, this is a Wendy’s Podcast.” The first episode, cleverly numbered episode 44,444, is really just a Wendy’s advertisement, running for one minute and 28 seconds and announcing the fact that you can now order a “4 for $4” from Grubhub or Postmates.
Later, the brand started playing Fall Guys on Twitch using a win to further promote the new partnership with Grubhub and Postmates.
The most highly engaged August Twitter stunt for the burger joint by far has to be Wendy’s Photoshop thread. It plays on the brand’s popular roast day Twitter antics, but this time around focuses on using Photoshop to essentially “meme up” photos that fans send in. Almost every Photoshop edit was used to further promote “4 for $4.”
With a potential threat looming, the fortunes of TikTok, the most popular video creation app, seem to be taking a nose dive as the Sept. 15 ban deadline fast approaches. It’s a dicey situation that is sending chills down the spine of many Gen Z youth who have embraced the famous app since its inception in 2018. Having amassed over 2 billion downloads, TikTok is speculated to face fierce competition from alternative apps such as Byte, Triller or Instagram Reels, which are growing fast.
In a bid to enhance its bleeding brand image, TikTok recently launched a public relations campaign dubbed “Celebrating You” to appreciate its users for believing in the brand. Also, to aid in correcting misconceptions, TikTok recently launched www.tiktokus.info, which is serving as an avenue to reiterate the brand’s deep commitment to user safety and security, among others.
Whatever the outcome will be on Sept. 15, it is undeniably true that TikTok has presented an impetus for public relations practitioners all across the globe to explore creative video-friendly ways of connecting with their target audience.
In school you are always told to look over your work two or more times before submitting it to your professor. Even at a full-time job, your press release or copy should be looked over multiple times by various people before sending it to a reporter for print.
In Bahrain, IKEA installed an ad on their store with a copy of “Create your perfect night’s sleep” in English, but the Arabic translation read, “The same as written, but in Arabic.” People took to Twitter posting pictures of IKEA’s mistranslation, and Bahraini news outlets covered the shocking mistake. A few days later, the original Arabic text was crossed out and underneath was written, in Arabic, “This is what happens when you don’t get enough sleep. Enjoy your perfect sleep.” The question is: Was this a mistake or intentional?
Companies continue aiming to sensitize users to deal with the coronavirus. On this occasion, KFC has decided to temporarily renounce its globally recognized slogan, “It’s Finger Lickin’ Good” in order to promote responsible behavior among its customers.
The restaurant chain unveiled a short video clip on its KFC UK and Ireland YouTube channels on Monday showing various KFC chicken buckets with the “Finger Lickin’” words blurred out from its captions.
The ad then ends with the tagline, “That thing we always say? Ignore it. For now.”
After 64 years of history in which the restaurant chain has encouraged KFC consumers to enjoy its unique chicken until they “lick their fingers,” the popular chicken brand takes another step against the coronavirus by temporarily interrupting the use of this mythical slogan in its advertising, feeling that it is not the most appropriate at the moment.
“We find ourselves in a unique situation — having an iconic slogan that doesn’t quite fit in the current environment,” said Catherine Tan-Gillespie, global chief marketing officer at KFC. “While we are pausing the use of ‘It’s Finger Lickin’ Good,’ rest assured the food craved by so many people around the world isn’t changing one bit.”
The company said the slogan would return, “when the time is right.”
Zach Ferenchak, 2020–2021 vice president of brand engagement, is a senior at Capital University, a private university in Columbus, Ohio. He is majoring in emerging media with an emphasis in public relations and minors in journalism and marketing. In his free time, Ferenchak can be found obsessing over the latest gadget or video game, exploring a coffee shop with friends, or going on a trail run. He hopes to elevate the voices of all PRSSA members through the organization’s various brand platforms. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.
Ama Akoto-Boateng is a graduate student pursuing a Master of Arts in communication at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She serves as a 2020–2021 PRSSA National Publications Subcommittee member. In her free time, she enjoys singing, trying out new recipes and going on a road trip. She is passionate about sustainability and public relations, and has been at the forefront of a number of award-winning sustainability initiatives. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.
Mauricio Lira is a senior and founding treasurer of Texas Tech University PRSSA. Mauricio is majoring in Public Relations with a minor Spanish. Currently, he is part of the 4A’s Multicultural Agency Internship Program and Digital Engagement Intern at Texas Tech University.
Dieter Tirado is a junior student at Universidad de San Martín de Porres (USMP) in Lima, Peru. He is pursuing a major in PR with a minor in Advertisement. He has served as a PRSSA National Publications Subcommittee member since 2019. As PRSSA USMP’s International Ambassador and the Assistant Director of its Student-run Firm, PR USMP, Dieter takes advantage of every moment and experience in the Society. During his free time, you can find him singing, connecting with people from his city and the world, and watching any kind of videos online just for fun. Connect with Dieter on LinkedIn and Twitter.