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Andy’s Answers: 3 tips from General Mills on connecting with key influencers

My company, GasPedal, recently hosted BlogWell: How Big Brands Use Social Media, in San Francisco. The fantastic event featured eight case studies on corporate social media from some of the world’s biggest companies. As we gear up for our next BlogWell in Minneapolis on Aug. 13 — featuring case studies from McDonald’s, H&R Block, Wal-Mart, CME Group, General Mills, Ford, and Progressive — I’m sharing some key lessons from San Francisco.

Here’s three key takeaways from General Mills’ public relations manager, David Witt, based on their outreach campaign for Yoplait Kids that resulted in the delivery of nearly 300,000 coupons:

  • For every product and category, there’s a community. Whether it’s dish soap or sports cars, there’s an online group you can find and reach out to with relevant, useful information.
  • Give talkers lots to share, test, and give away. When reaching out, General Mills provided influencers with product information, samples, coupons, and prize packs that they could give away to readers — all while encouraging them to be “overtly transparent.”
  • Maintain the relationship. Rather than a one-hit blast to a few big-name bloggers, General Mills develops relationships by regularly giving their talkers the first looks and sneak peeks, as well as recognizing and rewarding them as much as possible.