Day 5: Creating Hype

Natalie Sams 2018

I love how brands connect people. A brand has the ability to bring people together no matter their background, and with social media coverage becoming more prominent, global connectivity is growing as well. That level of connectivity is electric and powerful. Sitting in my first integrated strategic communication class at the University of Kentucky four years ago, I knew I wanted to be a part of that energy.

Public relations amplifies that energy and brings brands to life. Thursday night, Team MSBA travelled to the Empire State Building to visit Taylor. Yes, you read that correctly, Taylor is on the 38th floor in the Empire State Building. Walking into the seating room, Bryan Harris, COO & Managing Director for Taylor, greeted us. Mr. Harris has talked to every MSBA group since 2012, and Taylor is always one of the first stops on the MSBA Office Field Trip schedule. We could see why; Taylor is a public relations company specializing in digital content that has worked with huge consumer brands like Diageo, P&G, and Nestle Purina. Pair that high caliber client base with Mr. Harris’ 30 years of experience at Taylor and you have yourself a winning combination.

“If you think about it, that’s why the 25 of us are here – we wanted to learn and further our understandings, not only of our careers but of ourselves as well.”

Do you remember the 2018 Super Bowl Tide ad from P&G? Taylor had a hand in its success. With the Super Bowl being the most competitive space for advertisers all year, how does a brand rise above the clutter for consumers? Create hype and engage. Taylor implemented interactive social media posts with last year’s Tide ad superstar, David Harbour (a.k.a. Jim Hopper of Stranger Things). The posts alluded to another huge spot for Tide during the Super Bowl, and influencers, like Betty White, got in on the action as well. By the time the ad aired, viewers were highly anticipating its release. But Taylor knew that the biggest battle would be keeping the ad trending throughout and after the game. Mr. Harris stressed that social media impressions, engagements, and share of voice are crucial to keeping the excitement after the ad airs. The Taylor Team brought the brand to life for consumers.

So what does it take to be a PR professional? First, Mr. Harris listed the three necessary skills: have good media relations and interpersonal skills, be a strong writer, and be able to create digital content and measure its impact like with the Tide ad. Then, Mr. Harris shared the “truth”, the single most important takeaway we have from our visit. “Have a curious mind,” he said. “How do you carry yourself? Bring value to the table.” Never stop being willing to learn and ask questions. If you think about it, that’s why the 25 of us are here – we wanted to learn and further our understandings, not only of our careers but of ourselves as well. By being here in Manhattan, we have already begun to heed Mr. Harris’ advice. Now, as we round out Week 1, we have to take that curiosity and run with it. Looking around at my peers, I have no doubt in this summer’s potential.