5 Quick Questions with Belinda Martin, SVP of MSL on P&GAlexa Ehrlich | May 3rd, 2011
Q: How is PR being affected by Social Media?
A: “This is the golden question of the year. There is a dual approach, PR has been both disrupted and enhanced based on consumer needs through social media. For us, our Media Relations landscape is changing so much so that we’re seeing a lot of changes such as; fewer editors, people spending less time at events, less reporters, etc. Social Media is enhancing what we do; it’s yet another outlet to get our media out in its respected sphere. It can be catastrophic if a client is not willing to change with the times, and it is part of our job to coach them and make sure there is education. We must crawl before we walk, before they run. Right now, we are all in a learning process especially as social media continues to grow every day and we are doing this with our clients like P&G. . In terms of engagement, we most definitely want engagement from our consumers. We have Community Mangers who are listening, reading and hearing what our consumers are saying. They scan our clients’ websites and monitor the content no matter ho big orsmall. We want clients and our consumers to respond, whether it’s good or bad. Believe me, it’s not always sunshine and roses. But this is when have to listen to consumers the most. It is a constant education and learning process for us because every brand has a different personality that speaks right to its respected audience. For instance we have Social Media pages for Crest & Oral B, Crest Whitestrips, and Scope.
Q: Is a brand like P&G innovative?
A: “In terms of programs, we (MSL New York) have the luxury of being an outside agency. Our clients want us to think ‘outside the box’, and in doing so we sometimes have to make them a little
uncomfortable. We are fortunate that our relationship with P&G allow us to do so and bring them innovative programs that they might not have considered in the past. I’ve personally tried to push the envelope a bit, and several clients were open to it. If a client doesn’t like a proposed idea, I always dig harder and ask why they felt it wasn’t a fit. It is important to be open to constructive criticism. We have to always remember our clients way in, is through media. So in a way the media is our consumer. We have to work hard to get the public excited about different products in varying ways.”
Q: How can Small and Medium Businesses use PR, are there tips and tricks you can provide for people getting off the ground?
A: “The first rule of thumb is realizing that no placement is too big or too small. You have to think of the influence of that placement, how you get to the end game.. Your company or a brand needs a STORY. There needs to be something different about you/ your brand, a point-of-difference, something that’s happened to you/your company that makes you stand out in a positive way.
Also more than ever it’s important to influence bloggers Word of mouth still helps companies like P & G. Remember to layer your media! You have to have constant outreach.. When it comes to sending out a press release, don’t just do a typical press release, make a multimedia one. This can be a press release that also has a biography section, pictures, etc. all housed in one place for editors. We must make the editor’s life try and easier and become a resource of information for them. It is as simple as housing all their necessary tools in one box.
Q: What is the coolest event you have put together and who have youhad the chance to hang out with celeb-wise?
A: “I have to attribute this to my team, the most recent thing thatcomes to mind is a really great launch of new Crest 3D White2Hour Express Whitestrips and Enamel Renewal Toothpaste. Our celebrity spokesperson Amanda Peet was our special guest. She by far was one of the most amazing spokespeople. Her message delivery was so effortless and fluid and she was already a Crest fan making the connection organic. The challenge here was how to make “2 lessthan 1”. We recently launched a whitening collection that had a one day claim but now we were talking two products one you used for two hours and the other twice a day. . It was hard to think how to take the 1 one day claim from last year and make thisyear’s seem less even though now we’re leveraging the number 2.We did this by leveraging specific product benefits and PODs.This became our theme of “It Just Takes 2.” You can now get a whiter smile in 2 hours and brushing twice a day to keep it white.The event was all about creating the Perfect Profile Picture. So it began with a preview hour for top short-lead editors, that included hair styling, makeup application, accessories and of course whitening their smiles while going through all the stations. Once they were done, they took a professional photo, complete with their new white smile and were able to instantly upload their new photo to any social media site. What made this event an even bigger success was our partnership with Daily Candy that allowed us to open the event up to consumers. We worked with them to send out communication about the event to their readers which is THE Crest 3D White target audience.
Q: How can someone else get where you are?
A: “You have to work hard, listen to your brand, don’t be afraid to learn outside your discipline, and SELF EDUCATE! In PR, the landscape is changing so much and we must be the chameleons of the marketing mix which is going beyond media placementsand driving awareness. This includes actually developing smart programming that helps drive consumers to shelf. It is the time to be BOUNDLESS and not be afraid to take chances as long asyou do your homework. Also, you have to work and preserve your relationships in and outside of your business. In this business humility only makes you stronger, constructive criticism is keyand you must keep learning. Remember it is part of your job to understand all the players in your marketing mix and respect each discipline. At the end of the day, our teams work really hard, harder than I have ever seen before but as part of my job, I also make sure they take fun seriously. Celebrating creative and boundless work HAS to be a part of the job too!
- 5 Quick Questions with David Berkowitz, Senior Director of Emerging Media & Innovation at 360i
- 5 Quick Questions with Rick Song, Senior Director of Microsoft Advertising
- 5 Quick Questions with Adam Hirsch, COO of Mashable
- 5 Quick Questions with Jeff Hayzlett former CMO of Kodak
About the Author: Originally from Danville, Illinois, I received my Bachelor’s of Arts in Journalism and Second Concentration in Gender Studies from Indiana University Bloomington in May 2010. I am now an aspiring Broadcast Journalist with great experience in the field, which I have obtained through various internships and with my involvement in IUSTV, the student produced news team at Indiana University.I am excited for new challenges and new learning experiences with each day in this field of work.I enjoy writing, volunteering in my local community, traveling, reading, and working out. I am eager to see where my degree will take me! For now I am so happy to have the opportunity to be contributing to SDZR.