Social Media, Marco Rubio and Poland Spring Water

Marco Rubio's Poland Spring Water Tweet pic. Image Courtesy of Marco Rubio and Twitter. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. 2013.
Marco Rubio’s Poland Spring Water Tweet pic. Image Courtesy of Marco Rubio and Twitter. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. 2013.

Last night’s GOP rebuttal to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address given by Marco Rubio created quite the stir on social media. Twitter went ablaze with jokes on Rubio’s off-camera reach for a bottle of Poland Spring water. Since then more tweets and news stories covering the drinking of water has sparked a lot of online comments from political followers. However, more surprisingly has been the discussion on Poland Spring water’s Facebook page. Some are wondering why the Nestle brand has not responded to any of the online chatter.

“Come on people, you get the #1 FREE media w/Marco Rubio taking a swig of a Poland Spring water bottle and there’s crickets coming from your social marketing …” – Victoria K.

“How have you guys not posted about your superfan Marco Rubio?” – Raman S.

And John D. wrote, “NOW IS YOUR TIME TO SHINE, Poland Spring social media manager!”

But in the professional communications’ circles, many would agree, that no comment by Nestle is the best stance to the brief and probably much appreciated shine that the few seconds brought them.

Here’s why:

  • Jumping into a political arena showing support or disdain for Rubio’s use of their brand, could cause more hurt in sales than anything else.
  • The moment, although great product placement, is appearing as not staged. Any discussion surrounding being happy for their time in the spot light, may cause others to consider it was more or less agreed upon in advance rather than being at the right place at the right time.
  • One wrong turn with the online chatter could be misconscrewed as a part of the Poland Spring brand.
  • None of this is following their “Born Better” tag line for the brand, at least it couldn’t be associated positively without touching on the first point above.
  • It’s not as though Rubio began to choke on the water or mention any disgust for its taste. It’s not as though the water was a part of a crime investigation. (See Skittles and AriZona Iced Tea.)

Although Nestle can safely capitalize off of the promotion from “water bottle gate”, there is no need to push it further. Some moments are just that and should be left to the public to run with them.

What do you think? Should Nestle respond?

Please comment below with your thoughts. They may be used for future articles.

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Above Promotions is a full service publicity, marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.

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Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the recent author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation.” To find out more information on the book, please visit http://www.abovepromotions.com or purchase online at Amazon, Booktango and other online bookstores.

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Minding Your Ps & Qs – Posts & Quibbles

Minding Your Ps & Qs (Posts & Quibbles) the state of Social Media Etiquette. Photo Courtesy of The Watery Tart. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012
Minding Your Ps & Qs (Posts & Quibbles) the state of Social Media Etiquette. Photo Courtesy of The Watery Tart. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012
Minding Your Ps & Qs (Posts & Quibbles) the state of Social Media Etiquette. Photo Courtesy of The Watery Tart. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012

If we can learn anything from yesterday’s post, it’s that talking too much can upset others. Or even talking anything too close to politics can as well. No matter your political stance what you say in-person and in writing is evaluated for the public. This lesson goes hand-in-hand with today’s post by a guest blogger.

Today I am pleased to share Brenda Ellison of MyInfoSnap.com with each of you. She is a colleague and friend to Above Promotions and is highly respected for the wealth of information she knows or has access to for research. Take a moment to check out her must-read social media reminder below, then be sure to visit her website or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

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Well, if this year has taught me anything, it’s that some people on social media no longer have any filters when it comes to politics, religion, business and just about anything else. While I did observe Twitter and LinkedIn tweeting and posting conformed pretty well to a more ethical nature, Facebook became a knock-down, drag out, “lose your friends” battleground. I felt like I stepped into an old western or worse, an old time war movie. Something I had previously looked forward to each day became something I dreaded for fear of what I would see. “Did they just really say that?” my new mantra.

The elections brought out the very worst in people as they ranted, raved and raged at anyone within reading distance.  The lashing became so distasteful I found myself “hiding” more posts than I could keep up with, scrambling to redefine certain Facebook friend’s wall access and finally deleting some that just couldn’t find a decent thing to say….Ever. One thing it did teach me….don’t just accept any friendship because I’m asked. Check out their wall and photos….you may find it better to ignore.

It seems people tend to think their “wall” is their personal diary or journal only the closest friends can see……hold on just one minute people. Whether you realize it or not, once you accept online friendship you are subjecting them to your daily opinions…and their friends, and friends of friends. This is a world of global proportions and it ain’t the neighbor’s backyard fence.

Personal walls are many times connected to business pages and in some cases, they are the same. Do you really want to put yourself out there like that? I’m no Emily Post and I sure like to have a good laugh, occasionally lament or sympathize with a good cause but come on people, it’s time for some new ground rules.

Emily Post. Picture Courtesy of Britannica. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012.
Emily Post. Picture Courtesy of Britannica. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012.
Brenda Ellison provides reminders that even Emily Post would agree to regarding social media. Photo Courtesy of Brenda Ellison - MyInfoSnap.com. Tampa, FL 2012
Brenda Ellison provides reminders that even Emily Post would agree to regarding social media. Photo Courtesy of Brenda Ellison – MyInfoSnap.com. Tampa, FL 2012

TMFI-Too Much Facebook Information….if you can’t say it to someone’s face, a large group of people or in front of your parents, reconsider posting it. People don’t want to hear about your bodily functions (or lack thereof). Are your kids on your page? Would you want them reading it?  If I Google you, will that perhaps come up?  Maybe. Think about it.

Politics + Religion = Bad Combination. When has this ever worked…even at the family get together?  No, it’s not a good idea. Period. Sharing positive, strong and fact checked information just doesn’t happen so why create bad feelings about personal beliefs? Perhaps you should consider moving to another country if you feel that badly.  I’m not sure they will want you either. Join a special group or movement to share like-minded opinions….no one else wants to hear them. Groups….that’s why they were created.

Preacher Syndrome…..you may have a knack, a special talent, something you’re really good at. Does everyone else want to hear about it day in and day out? Do they want to be chastised or criticized because they don’t “believe” as you do?  Get real. Again, the answer is a big NO.  It’s okay to put things out there for others to share and enjoy. Everything in moderation is an age-old adage that still holds true. Please don’t post the same thing twelve different ways within an hour….chances are people are hitting the hide button as a prelude to “unfriend”.

Slander…..this has to be mentioned. Bigotry, racism, ethnic and religious slurring should be banned from the world of social media. A big hand should come down and knock the post right off the page. Social media is a place to meet and be friends, do business and share in the everyday ups and downs of life. This world has all kinds of people and all kinds of beliefs. You may not agree, you may not like what they like but be the kind of person who can agree to disagree without nasty statements intended to hurt and malign. You get back what you put out there.

All of this being said, I know this is not the bulk of my friendships or the true core of my FB relationships. Over the past year I have gained some of the best online business and personal relationships ever. Sometimes one (or two) bad apples can spoil the whole darn bunch.  What are your opinions about social media’s recent fall from “grace”? How did it affect the way you use social media? Would you like to see a little more filtering? I would love to hear your opinions, comments and questions.

See you on Facebook….maybe.  LOL

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Guest Blogger:

Brenda Ellison is the creator/owner of MyInfoSnap.com a Florida Gulf Coast Online Guide and Community providing business, lifestyle and social media information.  http://facebook.com/myinfosnap

Papa John’s: It’s Time to Slice Humble Pie

John Schnatter, CEO of Papa John's, makes news over Affordable Healthcare for employees. Photo Courtesy of Jason Merritt/Getty Images. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012.
John Schnatter, CEO of Papa John’s, makes news over Affordable Healthcare for employees. Photo Courtesy of Jason Merritt/Getty Images. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012.

John Schnatter, CEO of Papa John’s, first came under attack after his address to shareholders in August. What wasn’t meant to be a public declaration of being against the Affordable Healthcare Act as introduced under the administration of President Barack Obama, turned into a discussion gaining a lot of confusion and animosity towards the pizza chain.

John proclaimed in August that, “We’re not supportive of Obamacare, like most businesses in our industry. But our business model and unit economics are about as ideal as you can get for a food company to absorb Obamacare.” The Politico article containing words from the call went on to include the company would use tactics to protect its shareholders. In the same call John went on to say, “Our best estimate is that the Obamacare will cost 11 to 14 cents per pizza, or 15 to 20 cents per order from a corporate basis.”

Now for the general public who sees that Schnatter was a huge donor and supporter of the Republican Presidential Candidate, Governor Mitt Romney, they can equate the use of his term of Obamacare and his personal support to mean an attack on policies and lack of consideration to employees. However, I do not believe this is where John went wrong. Stick with me, I’ll show you where his words started to bite him.

  • After the shareholders meeting, Papa John’s announced its NFL promotion to giveaway 2 million pizzas.
  • Schnatter says that franchises will more than likely reduce employee hours. This news reignited the public spurring a boycott of Papa John’s.

I do not believe that it is the concern of people who support the healthcare act or not, that is really driving the criticism, it’s the simple math of it all. The mixed statements coming from John has caused this backlash. Here’s why.

The public sees an increase in rates, free pizzas being given away and a reduction in employee hours. Period. John has not clearly addressed the fact that instead of raising rates, the employee hours will be reduced. Although, as seen, it was not swallowed as easily. But making a statement to amend a previous one would have placed some indication that there is an “either or” or not both in this situation. But instead of clarifying the company’s position, he left individuals to ask the question, “why raise the rates and give away pizzas if you still intend to not provide healthcare to your employees and reduce their income?”

Now that probably isn’t the message John was intending on sending, but due to the inconsistency or not providing clarity in their business’ possible solutions, he created an uproar to those who like to do arithmetic, such as Caleb Melby of Forbes Magazine. You see, Caleb decided to break down the proposed revenue of the increase and even the promotional giveaway. Like many others, this giveaway was really putting a wrench in to the thought of customers seeing employees lose income instead of Papa John’s incorporating the insurance. Even in the August call, John indicated that his company is structured to handle such a change. So if this is a manageable change to the business model, why continue to speak about the regulation in a new public appearance? Now this just comes off to the public as a man upset with the outcome of the election.

What really draws my interest as a media professional to his original statement to the shareholders, is that if he had used words to not draw an emotional response to government policy, increasing the price of the pizza would have been forgotten after it was implemented. Instead his words then have tangled with his words now. Truth be told, the cost of food increases every year. In fact, food increases are felt by consumers often throughout the year. The increase would have been assumed by many as the cost of inflation not disdain for providing healthcare to employees. Had emotions over politics never entered the original statement, the majority of the public may have never been the wiser. Just think about it, if Frito-Lay decides to make a huge spend within their company, does the typical American know the reason behind it?

I wanted to give Schnatter some credit from his recent statement. He said he isn’t in support or against the Affordable Care Act. But as mentioned above in his words at the stakeholder’s meeting, that isn’t the truth. It makes it hard for the public to believe, “the good news is 100 percent of the population is going to have health insurance” when a couple of months ago you stated you were not in support of Obamacare. Unfortunately, by the time he publicly mentioned this in a recent appearance, everyone had already stoned him for going against their company’s mission of protecting their best asset, their employees and had NOT forgotten his original comment of being against the healthcare act.

John Schnatter really has only one thing left to do at this point in his crisis, slice up and eat some humble pie. Here is what I recommend:

  • John needs to make one final and clarifying statement on the topic of how his company will handle healthcare as it concerns his employees.
  • His final statement should be either pro-customer or pro-employee. If he has paid attention to the comments, he would realize that none have been highlighted as saying, the public will not pay the extra cents so others can have health insurance. Either way, he needs to make one final statement and stop discussing it from various angles. The inconsistency is not sitting well with customers.
  • The company needs to focus on publicly highlighting their mission to their employees and to the customers. Ensuring to the public, a business that started off small, can still relate to the working class (his demographic).
  • Until this is completed, the emphasis on giving away 2 million pizzas needs to simmer in the oven before serving it back to the public. (Pun intended.)
  • This should all be done before the boycott gets legs and runs away too far for him to fix.

What do you think? How has the Papa John’s discussion played out among your family members, friends or business associates? Above all, please walk away with this reminder to not incorporate political emotions into your company’s public stance.

Leave your comment below as you may be featured in a follow-up article.

 

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Above Promotions is a full service publicity, marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.

********************

Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the recent author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation.” To find out more information on the book, please visit http://www.abovepromotions.com or purchase online at Amazon, Booktango and other online bookstores