Taking Aim

Five Questions with Ellie Hodgkins

by Ellie Hodgkins

Ellie Hodgkins joined us just three weeks ago as a communications specialist and has already become an integral member of the team.  An experienced producer and supervisor for the Home Shopping Network and marketing consultant for Art & History Museums – Maitland, Ellie offers expertise in marketing communications, event planning, merchandising and business development.

Read on to learn more about Ellie, a passionate philanthropist and proud UCF Knight:

What motivated you to pursue a career in public relations?

As a born communicator, I’ve found that public relations is a perfect fit. Very often, I am an unwitting influencer to friends and family when products, actions and innovations excite me.  Why not do that professionally?  What interests me most about this industry is uncovering the underlying motivations behind communication and endorsing worthwhile community efforts.

Is this what you wanted to do when you were little?  If not, what did you want to do when you were little?

My first ambition was to be a mountain-climbing ballerina, but as fate would have it, I’m not very coordinated.  After that, I wanted to be a greeting card writer or product demonstrator.  The latter was realized when I worked for the Home Shopping Network and got to produce demonstration segments.  My foray into television led to an interest in documentary film-making, a passion I continue to pursue in my free time. Now, my career path has come full-circle; understanding what makes someone tick is at the heart of both documentaries and public relations.

What’s one fun fact about you that most people don’t know?

I am allergic to cold.  Yes, the temperature.  I guess that means I’m a Florida girl through and through!

If we looked in your office drawer, what would we find?

Notebooks, folders and snacks.  I’m extremely organized.  And hungry.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be?

There are so many feminist icons who would fit the bill, but at the end of the day, I’d have to say John Waters.  He is not only a director, comedian, author and artist whom I admire, but his work has pushed boundaries and opened the door to a more inclusive world.

Tide: A Swift and Clean Response to the #TidePodChallenge

by Bailey Morris

You know you have a PR crisis on your hands when the CEO of your organization has to talk about teenagers eating laundry pods on the weekly earnings call.

Nowadays when a brand faces a PR crisis, it’s regular procedure to take to their social media channels and address the issue head-on.  And before Tide tackled all of their competition in their quirky, bait-and-switch Super Bowl ads, they were keeping plenty busy tackling conversations about the “Tide Pod Challenge” on social media.

Like other daft internet challenges before its time, (“The Cinnamon Challenge,” “The Bath Salt Challenge,” etc.) the “Tide Pod Challenge” took the internet by storm, as teens began filming themselves biting into the brand’s laundry detergent pods and spewing soap everywhere – or worse, ingesting it.

We’re all about innovative solutions here at Curley & Pynn, and when we saw Tide’s creative response to the situation at hand, we had to write a blog post about it.

Instead of just posting a tweet that read, “Tide Pods are not meant for consumption.  If consumed please call poison control immediately,” Tide created a brief, funny PSA with New England Patriots’ tight-end Rob Gronkowski and posted it on their Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts.

Right now, the tweet has about 98,000 re-tweets and boasts about 10 million views – and that doesn’t even take into account the 286,000 views on YouTube and 164,000 views on Facebook!  They found a way to get their message across that it’s absurd to eat Tide Pods, but doing it in a comical way.

But why the larger amount of views on Twitter?  My theory is that it could be due to the Tide Pod Challenge originating on Twitter, and that’s where Tide knew most of their teen audience was posting about the challenge … but that’s another blog post for another time.

At the end of the day, it’s about remembering that public relations is “people relations.”  Tide can’t control what able-minded individuals do with their product – all they can do is tell them that it’s ludicrous, and that they shouldn’t do it.

So why not have a little fun with it?  After all, 10 million video views is nothing to sneeze at.  Unless you have laundry soap in your nose – then you might need to sneeze.