tea again

Fashionably late, but PR has finally arrived at the social media party

It’s a question that has been asked since the dark days of digital, where should social media sit in the communications mix? Should it be the responsibility of Public Relations or should it be looked after by the marketing guys? Every organisation seems to have taken a different approach, but most often it is has become the responsibility of the marketers. Often, because back in the early, fledgling days of digital, they were simply quicker to embrace it. Basically, they were already at the party tucking into canapes before the PR’s had even decided what shoes to wear.

Therefore, it was nice to see the other week Yorkshire Tea getting praise for the way in which they handled a customer service query that they received on Twitter. It all started when a Twitter user tweeted the brand asking which part of Yorkshire they grow their tea leaves, after several replies from Yorkshire Tea the unimpressed Tweeter claimed that ‘they were a company full of lies’. It was at this point that Yorkshire Tea took the decision to open the conversation up to the whole of Twittersphere, inviting others to discuss the issue with the user. Needless to say, hilarious comments flooded in thick and fast.

This was a bold move by Yorkshire Tea and they received an overwhelmingly positive response. They privately spoke with the angry tea tweeter who conceded he had made a mistake and subsequently began to champion the good work of the company. The tweet itself generated 2.6 thousand retweets, 3.6 thousand likes, nearly 400 replies, and a mass of online and print media coverage. As well as this, a number of Tweeters claimed that they would now start buying Yorkshire Tea as a result of the humorous exchange.

This was a reminder to me of the great opportunity social media can offer companies to build brand identity, brand loyalty and trust with their customers. Social media is so much more than advertising, page likes and conversion rates, it is about building real connections with real people. Social media, at its core, is social, it should be spontaneous and genuine and Public Relations folk are in a unique position to be proactive and creative and harness opportunities when they present themselves, as in the case of Yorkshire Tea.

Building genuine brand loyalty may take longer than growing page likes but by being human and authentic and by approaching your social media engagement in a personable way will build deeper relationships with followers and improve the perception of your brand in the long term.

Now, let’s have a brew!

If you’re looking to upgrade your PR or digital marketing activities or would like to pop in for a cuppa give us a call on 01926 832395 or email

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