At #BlogHer16, I had been invited to an exclusive McDonalds sponsor event. It’s an event that allowed attendees to sign up, but only so many were selected to participate. The McDonalds sponsor event was interesting in the fact that I actually learned more about the company than I had ever known. I had actually worked for McDonalds when I was in high school. So, this opportunity was really interesting to attend.
Before I signed up, I decided to approach it from the “how a brand connects with bloggers” angle, observe, and then recap it here at Blondish.net.
#BlogHer16: How McDonalds Connects With Bloggers at Conferences
McDonalds is a brand that is well known internationally. It’s a leader in the fast food industry, so in order to keep on top of it, they have to reach out to their consumers. Conferences like #BlogHer16 allow them develop information and deliver it in order to get that connection they need. The outreach party is how they chose to do it. They selected social media influencers to attend.
At the sponsor event, they gave out samples, provided a presentation, and then encouraged bloggers to connect by offering a hands on activity.
McDonalds provided samples like their smoothies, coffee, Chicken McNuggets, as well as dipping sauces, and even their pico de gallo with guacamole.
The event was outside, and it was kind of hot under the Los Angeles sun, so they did provide water and other beverages too.
The presentation that was given, was on how McDonalds is making a better effort with food and letting their customers know what’s in it, where it comes from, and how it’s prepared. For example, the Chicken McNuggets are not treated. They now have 100% no perservatives, no artificial flavors, and no artificial colors.
Many of the attendees were moms or were food bloggers, so this was definitely a great message to share. I love Chicken McNuggets. It’s one of the first fast food items I’ve ever had, and my son, he usually orders it when we go. To know that McDonalds has improved the quality of the chicken is a big win.
McDonalds staff like Molly McKenna (Directory of PR), Marion Gross (oversees supply in North America), and Chef Jessica Faust came together to let #BlogHer16 attendees know of McDonalds current progress, and their plans for the future.
They also talked about the process in which determines what customers will enjoy, which is asking customers for ideas and feedback. They try the recipe suggestion, adjust it, and then test it in a few stores. If there’s any feedback on the taste, they tweak it, and then expand to more stores, market it before deciding if the idea is for regional, national, or more. Chef Jessica added, “Our menu is part chef recipe, and part customer recipe.”
The Hands on Activity
Once the presentation was complete, McDonalds staff invited food blogger, Julie Lee of Julie’s Kitchen to share some food photography tips with bloggers.
Once she was done with demonstrating, attendees were invited to take part in a giveaway content that used the food pic taking tips that Julie had shared.
I didn’t participate, but as you can see, I had a lot of fun taking pics of other attendees having fun with arranging the food and taking pics.
In summary, I think McDonalds did a fantastic job putting together such an event. It was well thought out, and reminded me that even for a huge company like McDonalds, they try their best to engage and listen to their customers. As bloggers, we also have to try doing that too. When you start blogging, it’s often for yourself, but it’s your reader that has happened upon your website either by social media or by search engine, and usually by chance.
McDonalds has had loyal customers for decades because they have listened to suggestions, and improved where they could.
Are you engaging and listening to your readers? Has it helped with your website?