Gap, Target create insider view with owned media

NEW YORK: Both Gap Inc. and Target are using owned media to give consumers an inside look into their companies, said Target PR VP Dustee Tucker Jenkins and chief editor and director of digital media at Gap Inc. Sue Kwon at the Arthur W. Page Society's Spring Seminar.

NEW YORK: Both Gap Inc. and Target are using owned media to give consumers an inside look into their companies, said Target PR VP Dustee Tucker Jenkins and chief editor and director of digital media at Gap Inc. Sue Kwon on Friday at the Arthur W. Page Society's Spring Seminar.

Gap “found that one-way marketing wasn't grabbing customers or employees,” said Kwon, and that “consumers crave two-way conversations.”

The company uses social media to communicate its value to consumers, she explained, but the corporate and brand sides differ in their use of content. Gap Inc.'s brands include Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, and Athleta.

On the corporate side, Gap Inc. uses its social platforms “to post leader messages, highlight corporate culture, and improve search-engine results for positive content,” said Kwon. For consumer-facing brands, like Gap and Old Navy, social channels are used more for pushing out pop culture and fashion news, she added.

Kwon explained that employee engagement through social media is very important at Gap Inc. She advised the communications executives in the audience to “treat your companies like newsrooms,” and find employees to tell brand stories. Owned media can include corporate websites, blogs, Twitter accounts, apps for smartphones, and publications.

“This social thing is a not a fad,” she said. “It's not going away.”

Jenkins and Kwon spoke Friday morning at the Page Society's Spring Seminar in New York. The day before, the organization released its new model for effective corporate communications focused on developing corporate character.

Jenkins said the key for Target's social media strategy is “seamless integration.”

She added that the company's online magazine “A Bullseye View” gives consumers a behind-the-scenes look at the brand, focusing on storytelling.

“People want to know what it takes to make up a company and who is at the heart of the business,” Jenkins said.

The content on the site, such as photos and recipes, is shared on Target's other social platforms. Jenkins explained that a company's social channels need to “talk to each other” to stand out and be successful.  

She added that all staffers who work on A Bullseye View have “clear roles and responsibilities.” Target also ensures the online magazine has a balance of topics to appeal to a wide range of audiences, and that the content being produced is managed through a company-wide effort, said Jenkins.

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