By Scott White
According to national media in the days leading up to this year’s Super Bowl, the nation was in grave danger of experiencing a chicken wing shortage on the day of the big game.
If that’s the case, you can thank BizCom client Wingstop. The “Wing Experts” expected to sell more than 6 million wings on Super Sunday, their single biggest sales day of the year.
Wingstop knows how. And it’s not by pouring millions of dollars into a Super Bowl ad.
While players and fans of the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco Giants were reaping the benefits of advancing to the Super Bowl over the past two weeks, Wingstop franchisees were reaping the rewards of a publicity blitz designed to capitalize on the pre-Super Bowl coverage.
From USA Today to local morning shows to high profile national blogs, we were able to insert Wingstop into news stories that delivered thousands of dollars worth of publicity and reached potential customers.
Of course not every business has a natural tie to the Super Bowl. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have your own Super Sunday. Perhaps it’s July Fourth. Or maybe it’s Hurricane Season. Or maybe it’s Spring Break.
Whatever your “Super Sunday,” you can find a few days or events around which you can develop a publicity campaign.
BizCom Account Supervisor Leah Templeton, who has developed highly successful Wingstop Super Bowl campaigns for several years, provides the following keys.
1. Start early.
Planning for your campaign needs to begin months, if not a year, before. For Wingstop, for example, Leah’s team reviews the results as soon as the Super Bowl is over. They evaluate what worked and brainstorm ideas for the next year.
Actual planning for the publicity campaign begins about two months before the Super Bowl as Leah’s team begins compiling stats, identifying what visuals are available and begin developing a database of news media to pitch.
2. Partner with a national organization.
Industry organizations want publicity as much as you do and can provide national credibility and perspective while you provide the “boots-on-the-ground” example that the news media needs to compliment the story.
3. Have plenty of statistics and visuals.
Compile national figures such as how many pounds of chicken will be eaten on Super Sunday. This creates the basis for a national trend story, not just a local one.
4. Be ready to respond at a moment’s notice.
While you are getting out front with your planning and development of materials, the news media are notorious for waiting until the last minute. It’s not unusual to get a call on Friday wanting a spokesperson on Saturday or Sunday morning.
5. Be flexible.
When the Super Bowl was in Wingstop’s hometown of Dallas, we teamed with Major League Eating to hold the Wingstop World Wing-Eating Championship. Celebrities were flying in from all over the country for interviews and to compete. A day before the event, a record ice storm hit Dallas wiping out all the planning. However, we capitalized on the crisis to make Wingstop part of the story about the impact of the storm on events around town . . . and, the event was later held just prior to the start of the NBA playoffs.
Now it’s your turn.
What’s your Super Bowl? Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to scoring tons of publicity. Or contact us and we’ll help you put together a winning game plan.