WorkPOSTED November 26, 2015

Recap: Walmart #BacktoSchool with #CPRSTO

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Jen Walmart back to school

PR practitioners are constantly looking to campaigns put on by others in the industry for best-practices and inspiration.

Last night I had the pleasure of hearing my colleague, Jennifer Stein present Walmart’s 2015 back-to-school campaign as a best practice case study to the Toronto chapter of CPRS’ professional development event.

The campaign in a nut shell

In order to cut through the clutter of parents being bombarded by retailers about back-to-school necessities, Walmart focused on providing time-saving, budget-friendly solutions for families.  In addition to highlighting Walmart as a one-stop-shop for affordable tech, apparel, stationery and home goods, APEX PR’s campaign addressed the common concern parents face, such as healthy lunch ideas and dorm room necessities.

By partnering with the research intelligence group Leger, Walmart and APEX were able to discover that

  • 75 per cent of children experience snack envy amongst their peers, and,
  • 80 per cent of moms feel like they are running out of tasty and healthy snack choices for their children.

APEX and Walmart worked together to gather new recipes that incorporated fresh fruits and vegetables into snacks for kids for the Snack Report. This report was then syndicated through various channels including, flyer promotions, Walmart Live Better magazine and the leveraging of targeted media relations.

The campaign also included Snack Report recipe matte stories, targeted media relations to lifestyle media on back to school/campus goods, a national media tour with a spokesperson promoting Snack Report survey results and the creation of an apparel lookbook and promotional video for affordable and fashionable finds at Walmart.

Major Takeaways

The major takeaways from the evening’s case study were:

  • Planning: Like any successful campaign, a well-thought out and developed PR program involves attentive planning.  Thinking of all possible details and perspectives of the target audience helped Walmart’s back-to-school campaign cut through the clutter of a busy retail season.
  • Content is king: At the end of the day creating killer content is what will make or break a PR campaign.  Walmart has everything from fresh produce, to kids’ school supplies to dorm room décor. APEX PR had an array of pitch content so that they could be invaluable to any reporter looking for specific products or story angles.
  • Partner collaboration:  By properly working with Walmart’s media buying, advertising and creative agencies, APEX was able to pool resources and accomplish incredible results without blowing the budget.

The evening was an incredible success with everyone being able to take home some best-case industry learnings.

If you weren’t able to make it out take a look at the evening’s activity on Twitter here:

Cole Douglas recently rejoined the APEX PR team after interning in our office last year. Follow him on Twitter @coledouglas7. Does your brand need a strategy? Drop us a line.