News and PR Insights from 5W Public Relations CEO Ronn Torossian

Coors Makes Good on an Opportunity

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced us to an unlikely media sensation. Olive Veronesi, a 93-year-old Pennsylvania resident charmed social media when she ran out of beer and took matters into her own hands. Stuck in her home due to social distancing, and hoping to offer a bit of a smile to friends online, Veronesi posted a photo of herself in the window of her home, looking bereft and holding a Coors Light can as well as a sign that read: “I need more beer!”

Shared countless times, the image – and Olive – became a social media viral hit. Thousands identified with what it feels like to be stuck inside, running out of things that we love. Social media users empathized, laughed, and spread the image far and wide. A local media station said many people reached out to Veronesi offering to bring her more beer. She says she appreciated the sentiment and hoped they got a smile from her post.

Eventually, someone at Molson Coors saw the photo and read the message. Then, a few days later, a refrigerated delivery truck showed up outside Veronesi’s home, dropping off 150 cans of Coors Light. Speaking to USA Today, Molson Coors confirmed the gift came from them, offering this message to their new fan: “When we saw Olive’s message, we knew we had to jump at the chance to not only connect with someone who brought a smile to our faces during this pandemic, but also gave us a special opportunity to say thanks for being a Coors Light fan…”

Cue another viral story. The images of a stack of beer cases, along with a smiling Veronesi hit social media like a wave of sunshine, with people spreading the fun story. Now… imagine what might have happened if the PR people at Coors had been asleep at the wheel. Sure, they could have allowed one of the many local well-wishers to fulfill Veronesi’s request, but what a missed opportunity.

By “jumping at the chance” to fulfill her wish, the company earned many more times the value of media coverage simply by being willing to take advantage of an opportunity. Sure, they can’t afford to do this for everybody, but smart digital PR means knowing when and how to tap into social media’s PR bullhorn to help amplify a message.

By preparing ahead of time to be nimble enough to take advantage of opportunities when they come, the PR team at Molson Coors bought massive consumer goodwill for the cost of a few cases of beer. An easy trade any day of the week.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States. Ronn is the author of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."

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