Thresher is no social media expert

reflects on Thresher’s public relations management of the online voucher promotion after the initial media frenzy has died down.  The language used in the latest press release shows no understanding of social media in the company at all.

Instead it delivers traditional press agentry waffle – the “outstanding success” meaning that “for our customers… it looks like being a very merry Christmas! For Thresher, we have won many thousands of new customers and, with so many more bottles selling at a positive margin, it is all making for an excellent end of the year for us too.”  This statement also clarified the company will not be “entering into any dialogue relating to this topic.” – so no desire to be leaders in social media then.

David Brain has a video interview with Hugh McLeod of Gaping Void fame and Jason Korman of the Stormhoek winery: “two pioneers of conversational marketing” .  This further shows Threshers as ignorant of social media.

Whether by chance or design, the Thresher voucher will be cited as an example of the power of social networking.  Clearly, any later rhetoric from Threshers in claiming credit can be easily dismissed by the evidence within the social media record itself. 

Published by

Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.

11 thoughts on “Thresher is no social media expert”

  1. Thanks for picking up on this Heather. Thresher’s press release also shows their poor communication skills. All we can assume is that it was bad news for them at the end of the day, there is no data to support their cheery statement, the fact that management has refused to elaborate or speak to journalists demonstrates how they closed ranks – and boundaries. It does not show them in a favourable light at the end of the day.

  2. P.S. the David Brain YouTube is fantastic, I’m so thrilled he posted it on my site. I wrote about the Thresher coupon after Neville Hobson picked up on it from Hugh McLeod, so I followed this story from the very beginning and had many leading bloggers pick up on it from my site. It demonstrates how powerful blogging is. I think you know why I am particularly thrilled with this information!

  3. I read in a newspaper, and argeed, that the Threshers issue was just a clever marketing trick as they’ve probably done very well, profits-wise, out of this whole thing. Wasn’t it dressed up to look like a mistake on their part?

  4. I do understand your excitement (and good fortune!!). Of course, this enthusiasm is underpinned by quality reading and robust theoretical PR concepts (including ethical issues).

    Clearly Threshers’ PRs are operating as communication technicians rather than in a strategic management role, and don’t seem to feel engaged in this initiative (so lack of integrated marketing communications too). Such a shame that they haven’t taken the opportunity to see “how ‘new’ media are changing corporate communications.”

  5. Jill, The interesting thing about analysing campaigns is that when something is a success, people generally claim to have been rational masterminds behind the ideas and implementation. In reality, no-one can be 100% certain what will really capture the imagination as a campaign – so how “clever” has this one been? Of course, there have been many voucher schemes (and there are many more now) which won’t be talked about in the same way. It will undoubtedly have brought in more business for Thresher this time – but I expect little of that trade will remain as new loyal customers without an offer (or perceived good deal). Some of the messages have been that Thresher is actually more expensive than the supermarkets. So what will be enlightening is when there are solid financial results available to show the outcome of this initiative – as Ellee found, the company isn’t giving hard data on sales or other key measures.

  6. Heather, They are a traditional retailer with a traditional retail view of the world. They never saw it coming and did the best they could given the four walls that they operate within. We are trying to help nudge them into the social software space. I left a copy of The Cluetrain at a meeting there yesterday 😉

    Jason Korman

  7. Jason – good luck, I hope that the excitement and interest this initiative has generated will encourage the company to get behind social media more strategically, and also enable them to see why PR needs to move beyond press agentry and be integrated into managing reputational issues as well.

Comments are closed.