NEW YORK: Lane Bryant, the plus-sized clothing retailer, recently used Twitter to build a new media strategy.
Specifically, the company hosted a wardrobe giveaway contest in its stores this past spring. Although it promoted the contest via fashion blogs, Lane Bryant's PR team, including MediaSource, which has worked with its corporate PR for the last 10 years, acknowledged that the selection of the winner, and her prizes – a trip to London to attend the premier of Mamma Mia! the movie, among others – lacked the story angle to attract media attention.
“Knowing full well that media doesn't cover who won contests, unless you won the power ball, it was not a story angle,” said Kristyn Wilson, media relations manager at MediaSource. “The premier in London could be a story but nothing the entertainment shows would pick up on.”
Instead, the team turned to Twitter in order to direct blogger attention, a strong media target for the brand, by tasking the contest winner with “tweeting” her journey overseas.
“[We're] interested in social media [and] supported by bloggers, so we thought hmm, this is a great way for other customers or people interested in the movie to have a first-person experience,” Wilson said.
Amy Vogt, VP of marketing, PR and communications for Lane Bryant, said, via e-mail, that the company has used new media in the past to reach customers but that, “This is the first time it was used purely for fun…We believe this is the first time Twitter was used in this fashion and our feedback has been nothing but positive.”
Within a week of the June 24 Twitter launch, the page had 80 consistent Followers, she noted.
“We plan to continue using new media to build a strong channel of communication between Lane Bryant and the customer,” Vogt said through e-mail. “Now that we have our customer's attention, we want to keep their attention.”
The team is already building on that success with a new MySpace page featuring a video of the winners' experience. “We thought it'd be a good way to quickly populate a [MySpace] page…and build an online network,” Wilson said.