The next wave in PR? Using emojis to communicate with your media audience

by | Jun 24, 2015 | Public Relations

Ivy Lee invented the press release in 1906. It hasn’t changed much in 110 years — until now.

OMG, have you seen what Chevy just did?! 😯

On June 22, the automotive giant took a genius step toward engaging the coveted Millennial and Generation Z demographics when it issued a press release written entirely in emojis.

Expanding on the idea of content marketing—creating content that is highly relevant and valuable to attract and retain engaged consumers—Chevy has created a release that not only sparks interest but, quite literally, speaks the language of its audience.

Chevrolet has taken a traditionally tedious medium (tedium?) and created a PR pro’s dream — something worth looking at, talking about, and sharing. When was the last time a media advisory about a car got anyone talking, anywhere, ever?

It seems Chevy has, after jumping headfirst into the emoji-for-brand-marketing wave. Right now, it’s making a serious splash.

The press release itself isn’t saying anything all that remarkable, even if you can figure it out (here, take this). But that’s not the point. What it has done is gotten attention, and what’s the point of a press release these days if not simply to get attention?

A release like this gets people talking, as evidenced by all the chatter on social about it (#ChevyGoesEmoji). There have also been 50+ online news stories published on it from June 23 to 24, according to our monitoring tool — and who ever publishes a story to talk about a press release?

Despite the difficulty of gleaning any tangible information from it, it’s doing a hugely impressive job of reaching (the right) people, much better than a typical press release going on about the usual tired car stuff.

It’s all about making it simple to ‘drive’ user engagement (sorry). And though it isn’t the first brand to employ emojis in a marketing effort (Oreo, GE, PETA, and IKEA already have, not to mention Hillary, Pepsi, and Durex), this one feels different. It just kind of feels 💡 ➡ 😀 .

Marcus Kaulback
Marcus is a content creator and marketer with a focus on branding and communications.