Black Friday: Deals and Danger

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Thanksgiving is one of those holidays filled with food and family and very long naps. After all, we need to assemble our army and gather our strength for the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday. Retailers prepare weeks in advance for this day, requiring workers to begin their shifts at 2 a.m. and providing coffee as a small token of gratitude.

If you have never been to a Black Friday sale, consider yourself lucky! Although the deals are incredible, the crowds are vicious. For example, this year Target is advertising a 40″ LCD HDTV for an unbelievable price of $298.

Many people line up at midnight and are eager to get their hands on anything and everything, not hesitating to use force and harsh words if necessary.

So as a PR pro you are probably reading this and saying, “So why does this matter other than helping me decide if I’m crazy enough to fight off an elderly lady for a half priced Xbox?” Well, what if Target was your client and you had to prepare for the possible crisis that is a Black Friday injury?

A few years ago a customer was stomped to death after being knocked over as the doors to her favorite store opened. The backlash that follows is one that we must all be prepared for.

Encouraging safety during these sales is something that we as PR pros must think about. One of the most obvious ways is to take to the company twitter account and ask all customers to be aware of each other and make the shopping holiday a safe one.

If after all this reading you are weary of even driving by a mall on Black Friday why not do all your holiday shopping from your couch on the internet version of Black Friday, Cyber Monday. The promotions are comparable to those seen in stores on the Friday after Thanksgiving but much safer.

Companies hoping to make sizable profits because of holiday sales are wise to provide promotions during both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, PR pros, this is where you come in. Promoting your customers online offers can be simple, send out an email blast to those on your mailing list encouraging them to take advantage of the online sales and offer free shipping based on a code that will allow you to track the success of your online promotions. Twitter and Facebook are as valuable as ever, allowing you to direct traffic to your website and providing shipping codes as well.

So as you eat your turkey and listen to the same embarrassing stories this Thanksgiving, think about those companies offering insane deals and imagine they are your clients—how would you target your audience and what would be the most effective way to reach them?

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