The holiday season is undoubtedly the most vigorous time of the year for package delivery companies such as USPS, FedEx ,and UPS. Nearly every year, the media runs a story about shipping times, and how much of a load these companies have to manage.
For a few years, that worked in the companies’ favor. But now, it comes across as a bit whiny. Consumers are fatigued with the story. They know the companies have to work harder. Doesn’t everyone in the marketplace deal with added stress, and responsibility this time of year?
Of course, there is nothing the companies are doing to create this problem. It just gets dumped on them by the 24-hour news cycle, and the public’s constant need for new (and familiar) content during the holidays.
So, what can a company that is receiving the unwanted attention do about it? Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, has one answer to this problem that is working wonders for UPS.
During this time of year, all the package shipping companies have to hire temporary workers to help meet demand. Usually, these stories get twisted into negative stories about part time workers getting canned after the new year. But, Brown turned this premise on it’s head by inserting a clever, and heartwarming story about an entertaining, and indomitable father-daughter team into the mix.
Bruce MacNeel is a UPS veteran driver with nearly three decades on the job. During the holidays, his now 21-year-old daughter joins him on the route as an official, albeit temporary, UPS employee. She gets the extra paychecks she needs for holiday shopping, and UPS gets the image of a dynamic father-daughter duo working Dad’s route, like a Lifetime Channel movie about a Christmas-themed take your daughter to work day.
It’s heartwarming, happy, and best of all, entirely true, and unforced. That’s what makes this story work so well, Torossian says. It’s not cooked up by some advertising department. It’s a situation that the media is instinctively drawn to that just happened.
According to Torossian that sort of scenario can make for the absolute best possible PR. “Yes, the manufactured commercials can be amazing, but too often, companies have solid gold like this right under their noses, and completely miss it.”
The lesson here for brands? Look around a little bit, you might be missing a prime chance to work a little bit of holiday PR magic.
“PR is a mix of journalism,
psychology, and lawyering - it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape.”
Ronn is the CEO of 5WPR and author of best selling PR book, For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations, and a regular contributor to Fox News, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Insights Wired, Everything-PR and more.