Event Marketing Buzz: Tillamook Cheese Company scores big with the Tillaphone #ComfortCall, delivers grilled cheese to #FeastPDX attendees at 2am

Much of Portland is still recovering from Feast Portland (#FeastPDX), last weekend’s festival of Oregon food and drink that has been called “the SXSW of food”. As reports trickle in on which events generated the most buzz, one clear winner emerged in using FeastPDX as a marketing tool: Tillamook Cheese.

Photo via @joancirillo on Twitter.www.twitter.com/joancirillo

Photo via TripStyler on Instagram

Their PR department targeted chefs and VIP attendees, journalists and bloggers, and gifted the ultimate in swag: a charged-up phone marked “Tillaphone” that the recipient could use to call for a hot grilled cheese delivery, at any time during the festival up to 3am. Attendees using the service were told to use the hashtag #ComfortCall when mentioning the benefit over social medial channels.

And did they mention it! A quick search of the #ComfortCall hashtag shows dozens, if not hundreds of happy, satisfied tweets from influential chefs and bloggers; alluring Instagrams of gooey grilled-cheese sandwiches, and jealous tweets from people who went to bed early and missed out.

How Tillamook Cheese will measure the ROI from this clever marketing stunt, I do not know. All I know is that Sunday afternoon as I was doing my weekly shopping, I bypassed my usual brands of cheese and butter, and almost as if in a trance, put the Tillamook versions in my cart.

Feast Portland benefits two important charities: Share Our Strength and Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon. To read more about the event, please visit the Feast Portland website.

To automate or not to automate?


(Image thanks to D’Arcy Norman via Flickr.com

With the escalating popularity of social media sites, I hear a lot of advice, especially in the wedding and event biz, about automating your social media feed.
This can consist of pre-scheduling tweets on Twitter, or scheduling blog posts in advance, or linking accounts with ping.fm or other services, so one status update can show across several services, just to name a very few. Many of these services are great timesavers and used wisely, can make the task of social media for business more of a pleasure.
However, I would caution business owners to remember the “social” aspect of social media. Those whose only contribution to Twitter is the RSS feed of their blog, for example, run the risk of looking like they’re only in it for themselves. Especially when said blog is simply a roster of products or services for sale and contains little real advice or education for prospective readers. If you’re wondering why you have few followers, no blog comments, low blog stats, and little interaction, take a hard look at what you’re putting out there and ask yourself, “Is this interesting to the type of people I’d like to interact with, and is it worth a response?”
Whether you choose to automate or not, make sure you keep the social in social media by interacting, reposting/retweeting, and assisting; the same as any good business owner would do in non-online life.