The Berocca Blogger Relief pack lands

My Berocca goody-bag arrived last night full of cool stuff. For all that I have blogged (which I stand by) I still think this initiative was a great idea – only it could have been better executed.

I also still stand by the fact it has been executed by Bayer‘s marketing team or agency in conjunction with the legal department.

The blogger’s pack contains a letter telling us our email addresses will be used to send us occasional emails about Bayer’s future blogging initiatives, but we can opt out if we want. That’s fair enough.

The letter is as impersonal as the rest of the campaign, beginning ‘Dear Blogger’ and ending ‘The Berocca Team’ which is unsurprising.

And as per the rest of the campaign it takes a very tactical – dare I say narrow-minded – approach to blogging by emphasising the great link love we get from Berocca’s blogger relief page on their website.

All in all I think it has been – and continues to be – a really interesting foray into blogger engagement; certainly different from most.

Likes – the origins of the initiative, the news story about bloggers’ stress levels, was spontaneous and fun and was something Berocca could really piggy-back.

Dislikes – the impersoanl communication with bloggers: generic intros and sign-offs to emails and letters; infrequent communications and periods of radio-silence.

Tips for next time –  "Hey, Berocca, this cool thing called email means it’s really easy to contact people directly, cheaply and quickly. You should try it sometime!"

Technorati tags: blogger outreach, Bayer, marketing

Berocca Blogger Relief Update

After my bitterness tainted whinge/objective critical analysis (delete as applicable) post last week about the Berocca Blogger Relief engagement programme stunt what turned up in my inbox today? Lo and behold an email from Berocca saying I could expect my blogger relief pack some time soon.

Am I satisfied? Not entirely. This is partly because I’m vindictive and hold grudges, but mainly due to some unanswered questions I have about why I am being sent a pack now, at least a month after the first batch was mailed out to recipients.

In particular: why am I being sent a pack now, a week after critiquing Berocca’s campaign? Is it coincidence? If it is in respnse to my post it would be nice to get a personalised email explaining so.

In fact, the email I received appears to be an automatically generated one. In double fact, don’t take my word for it:

Hi Simon Collister
Thanks for your submission; your blog has been accepted!
Look out for your Berocca Blogger Relief Pack that will be on its way to you soon.
The Berocca Team

I could be wrong but I don’t start many emails with ‘Hi Simon Collister’.

While I’m on a roll, my blog has "been accepted"? Um,. Sorry, what? Has been "accepted"? I didn’t know I was undergoing a vetting process. Thank you. I’m deeply grateful.

Maybe I am being overly harsh. Perhaps I may have gone a bit overboard for the sake of some fizzy vitamins and a USB stick. Perhaps.

But I simply think that what was a really good idea to connect with a potentially target audience has turned into an impersonal marketing exercise.

Perhaps that was the aim at the outset. But if it wasn’t, then I really feel Berocca have missed a good opportunity for quality online engagement and the opportunity to build some long-term relationships with their consumers.

Still, I’m not complaining about the fizzy sweets though!

Technorati tags: Berocca, blogger relations, PR fail

Berocca’s Blogger Relief – #PRFail?


Last month all round pick-me-up product Berocca generated a nice bit of online buzz among bloggers by giving away ‘Blogger Relief Packs’.

The packs contained a tube Berocca and other neat giveaways and to get one you had to register by entering a set of personal details. But as Stephen Davies pointed out at the time:

"it seems there are no guarantees of receiving one [pack] and reading
the Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) they’re only giving the pack away
to the first 50 applications. Another caveat in the T&Cs is that
they may use my details for future marketing activity and potentially
share them with third parties in relation to Bayer plc, the company behind Berocca."

Standard T&Cs perhaps or a underhand way to spam bloggers? Either way I signed up for a pack.

But a month on and no pack. I Twittered to see if others received their packs and Clashcityrocker she had indeed received her pack.

Now, I get that there were limited packs available, but why not a short email from Berocca to say they have run out and I’ve not been lucky. The whole affair seems a bit short-sighted, lazy blogger relations and a #PRFail if you ask me.

Technorati tags: Berocca, blogger relations

What’s better than mind-blowing originality?

I was discussing what makes a video or idea go ‘viral’ this evening at a colleague’s leaving do. We both agreed that any video or idea is pretty much guaranteed to go ‘viral’ providing it is mind-blowingly brilliant and original and compels anyone seeing it to share it with someone.

But on getting home and reading this week’s Popbitch I came across the new Weezer video which led me to discover that there is possibly one other type of content that is even more compelling than mind-blowing originality: ripping-off mind-blowingly original content.

The video to Pork and Beans crams in more internet memes that I could possibly digest in one watch. I was going to try to list as many as I found but then though ‘Sod it.’, I’ll just embed it.

Technorati tags: Weezer, Viral, meta, memes

Has PR heard the one about word-of-mouth?


Any PR strategist will tell you ‘horizon scanning’ and SWOT/PEST(E) analyses are vital for the creation for new PR programmes and should be repeated and reviewed at regular intervals.

But it looks like a lot of the industry didn’t see the rise of word-of-mouth coming as Alex Burmaster writes in PR Week: We need to catch-up to own word-of-mouth [paywalled] and James Cherkoff blogs about here: Is Word-of-Mouth Eating PR’s Breakfast?

Technorati tags: word-of-mouth, public relations, situation analysis