In May of 2013 I was hired by Edelman to be the creative lead for their newly established Creative Newsroom. What’s that, you ask? I had the same question. It turns out that Edelman had this great idea to up their game with their social media clients, and I was all in.
To break it down to its simplest terms, the Creative Newsroom is the combination of two worlds: Journalism and Creative. Partnered with Cybil Wallace, an award-winning journalist who specialized in breaking news for CNN.com & the AP, we work together to first spot trends and then react immediately (read: real-time) with original creative. What’s important to understand is that we’re not simply reporting the news, rather we are reacting to it creatively, in our client’s own voices and look & feel.
Still not have much meaning for you? The most over-used example, to get my point across, would be when Oreo reacted to the lights going out at the Super Bowl. They could never have planned for that — but their social media team was on-hand throughout the event and jumped on the opportunity. Rather than simply stating the fact that the lights went out, they came up with the cute graphic (using their product) and headline: You Can Still Dunk in the Dark.
So that’s what we do for our clients: react in real-time to whatever’s trending, be it a world event, a meme or any kind of breaking news. Here are a few examples:
When the cicadas came back for their annual swarming, Volkswagen’s Beetle was the best vehicle for a pun (sorry i had to). We came up with several executions around the concept of #BugvBug to run during the week the bugs took over the east coast. Not only were the posts themselves a success, but the hashtag caught on and we started getting users in on the action.
When Lady Gaga debuted her album ARTPOP in a hover dress, PayPal got in on the conversation with an original illustration in her honor. This post actually broke engagement records on PayPal’s twitter page.
When scientists found a frozen woolly mammoth and were debating whether or not it could be cloned, we saw a perfect opportunity for Adobe Photoshop to make some witty commentary. Take a look at the engagement on this one.
When #SFBatKid took over the streets of San Francisco, we had PayPal celebrate his awesomeness with a shout-out. Not only was the post itself successful, but it was even turned into a meme that reached #5 on Reddit.
Interested in seeing even more examples? Just ask! I’ve got plenty. I have, however, since been made the creative lead for PayPal at Edelman, so from now on all my examples will be of that variety.
Want to learn a little more about the Creative Newsroom? We got a write-up in PR week a little while ago: