Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No–It’s a PR Hero!
Lidl is a German global discount supermarket chain turned beloved Irish food shop. It has become one of the most recognized food stores in Ireland today. The first Lidl was introduced to Ireland in July 2000. Since then it has changed the way people food shop in Ireland. With its top-quality products made available at the lowest possible prices, Lidl has quickly moved from discount retailer to mainstream supermarket brand over its lifetime in Ireland.
Today, Irish consumers are much more price conscious than they’ve ever been, but do not want to compromise on the quality of food that they’re purchasing. Consumers now have less brand loyalty to products and are more willing and wanting to buy own-brand products. Because of this, Lidl puts a huge emphasis on Irish products, bringing in the value that their customers are seeking and at cheaper prices. Lidl is bringing in 1.5 million weekly customers around Ireland. This puts them in serious competition with big brand supermarkets like Tesco, SuperValu, and Dunnes store.
Public Relations Gurus
Aside from its quality products and discounted prices, Lidl is also notorious for its excellent public relations team. These group of talented PR pros flawlessly maintain the relationship between the company and its consumers. By impeccable use of PR and social media, the Lidl communications team is a perfect example of how to build a positive customer relationship that benefits both the company and its public. They are aware of their influence in the public eye and take full advantage of it when communicating.
Lidl Ireland practices good PR through its Sponsorship with Women’s Gaelic football. This shows their appreciation and support for Irish culture. Another way they practice good PR is through their strong corporate social responsibility by positively contributing to the communities that they are apart of. Through responsible sourcing and protecting the environment with efforts on energy efficiency, renewables and waste reduction across their businesses, they have a created an opportunity to do good through their profits.
Social Media Superstars
Lidl’s strong social media presence is essential in building and maintaining a relationship with their publics. Aoife Clarke is Head of Communications at Lidl Ireland and leads all public relations, social media, internal communications within the company. She started the first Lidl Facebook page in 2010. Today, the page has one of the largest followings for a retail brand in Ireland. Lidl Ireland sees their social media accounts as a fun and creative way to inform their publics and complement their recent business activities.
With the success of their Facebook, Lidl Ireland went on to create other social media pages including their infamous Twitter account. This account has most recently gained attention after Storm Emma. When the Lidl Ireland, Tallaght branch was destroyed by a digger and looted during the storm, the Lidl Ireland PR took to Twitter. The team used their account to respond to the massive crisis they had on their hands. Instead of letting the situation spiral out of control, Lidl used its social media accounts as a platform for good crisis management and control. Lidl’s Twitter account began posting witty comments regarding the incident. These proved successful and had people in tears of laughter and resulted in numerous shares, comments and retweets.
Okay, we've seen some very 'creative' floats in the #StPatricksDay parades today… but which is the best? 😂 pic.twitter.com/TR0WlXAih7
— Lidl Ireland (@lidl_ireland) March 17, 2018
Instead of being publicly upset about a blatantly bad situation, Lidl chose a different route. Their communications team were able to create a sense of lightheartedness within its public and let the positive overpower the negative. Their crisis response via social media distracted people from the bad situation at hand. It left people impressed by their consistent positive attitude throughout the incident. By staying calm and collected, Lidl Ireland was able to focus public attention on their amusing tweets, while they worked hard internally to repair the damages.
Why they are heroes
The Lidl Ireland communications team didn’t want to create worry and panic within its public. They know it would only hurt their efforts to move forward and manage this crisis. By use of good PR and social media presence, they were able to manage this crisis one step at a time. Starting with the support of its public through emotional management. Lidl Ireland’s excellent PR practice and good use of social media to help maintain a good relationship with its consumers is what PR Heroes are made of.