Archive for the ‘Weird but True’ Category


Facebook as a Customer Service Rep? Another Benefit of Good Social Media Marketing!

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

By Anne Carlantone

Most companies want their customers to be happy, right? A recent study revealed that 95% of companies (from consumer and beauty to OTC and healthcare) believe that satisfied customers are very or extremely important to their company. That’s not surprising. What IS surprising is that the same study revealed that while 48% have what they consider an active presence on Facebook, only an estimated 23% of companies are actively addressing customer service issues posted by fans on their brand’s Facebook wall!

As a social media marketing agency, our goal for a brand’s Facebook page is to do more than create another venue for marketing messaging. The goal is to create a brand community, one that fosters discussion, sharing and a brand identity. It also offers unprecedented direct access to consumers, and vice versa. And — as we know — in any community, not everyone is happy all the time. To imply otherwise on a Facebook page by ignoring, or worse, deleting dissension off the wall conveys a lack of transparency…one of the biggest no-nos in social media PR.

Complaints on your brand’s Facebook wall can be troubling. But handling them also presents opportunity. It provides important, real-time insight into what’s working and not working. Acknowledging someone on your wall and publicly assisting them in resolving their issue demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction that other fans can see…and makes your brand a pillar of its “community.”


Weird but True

Friday, September 18th, 2009

Here at RL&A, we’re so heavily entrenched in social media that we thought it would be fitting to share some eye-opening stats about the “coolest” forms of communication among the country’s young adults thanks to a new Harris Interactive survey developed on behalf of our client ROHTO eye drops.

The “Cool or Not Cool” survey revealed that the coolest form of communication is a near tie between Facebook and “face time.” Surprisingly, 24% of U.S. adults age 18-34 indicated that they consider face-to-face meetings the coolest form of communication, while 23% think the coolest way to communicate is via online social networks. 

Among respondents who selected a specific social networking Web site, we’re not surprised to learn that the choice is Facebook, with three-quarters (74%) choosing it as their favorite, trumping Twitter at 15% and MySpace at 11%.

The survey also revealed that email and instant messaging, once go-to methods of communication, are officially “out” while cell phone text messaging is “in.”  Texting is the coolest among 22% while only 3% of respondents indicated that e-mail is the coolest form of communication and 3% indicated that IM is the coolest.  The good old-fashioned phone call is best for 8% of those surveyed.

Check back with us again to see what “weird but true” stats we can open your eyes to next.


Weird but True

Friday, January 9th, 2009

The end of the year brings a lot of things, such as holidays, time together with family and of course, colder weather in much of the country. The colder weather also means that cold and flu season is in full force (actually January and February are typically peak flu months).

So in this month’s edition of Weird but True we decided to highlight a recent survey we had Harris Interactive conduct for our client Sambucol Black Elderberry dietary supplement that had to do with winter-time illness.

If you have not been sick recently you should consider yourself lucky, because just less than one quarter of adult respondents (23%) surveyed reported not getting sick over the past five years. Some viruses can be more severe than others and the symptoms can range from person to person, but 32% of those who responded said the last time they got the flu they were sick for more than a week. That is a lot of lost productivity! Furthermore, a quarter of adults reported being so sick they could hardly function and one out of 10 reported being so sick they thought they might die!

Flu shots might help, but more than half of adults (56%) say they don’t get them. The list of reasons for not getting one varied from those who don’t believe they work (23%), to flu shots are just for the elderly or immune-compromised (23%), to those who don’t have health insurance (11%), are afraid of needles (10 %), don’t have time (9%) and everything in between.

While a quarter of adults say health is a top priority in their lives and one out of 10 adults constantly worries about their health, many are not doing well when it comes to taking care. Americans are saying they don’t get enough exercise (50%), don’t get enough sleep (40%), are stressed out (38%), feel tired frequently (33%), often feel run down (25%) and get sick frequently (4%).

So what are people using as a defense against winter illness? The Sambucol survey found that more and more adults are turning to natural products to help defend their body. In fact, we found that 80% reported using some form of a natural product in the past 12 months for their potential health benefits. The most popular was a multi-vitamin with more than half of adults (56%) reporting taking them, followed by vitamin C (43%) and green tea (35%). Some berries, including cranberries/cranberry juice (33%) and blueberries (22%) are used for their health benefits, while just 2% report using elderberry (a good reason to start a PR campaign!). Now go take your supplements!


Weird But True

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Welcome to the fall edition of Weird but True where we highlight interesting surveys that we have done on behalf of our clients. This month we are using a survey from ROHTO eye drops about what makes people “see red” with regard to the holidays and dating.

We know is the holidays are supposed to be a happy time, but all the hustle and bustle, crowds at the stores and lack of parking spaces can be enough to send anyone over the edge. In fact, large crowds are the number one item during the holidays that causes people to “see red” with more than half of the respondents (53%), 60% of those in the  35-54 age bracket being the least tolerant of crowds.

Other items that ticked people off those embarrassing questions from Uncle Frank, (18%) knowing a gift was re-gifted, (17%) and of course holiday bills, travel and the dreaded time with the in-laws, which made about one in ten see red.  

One of the most interesting takeaways from the survey was that men, more than women (20% vs. 14%), dislike spending time away from their significant other. Since  John is the only guy in this office, perhaps  he can provide some insight into this weird-but-true statistic.

Dating, apparently, is also a time for “seeing red.” A date doing drugs was number one, with more than 62% of adults saying this would make them see red, followed by body odor and bad hygiene (55%),  being mean to a waiter/waitress is a turn-off for four in ten adults, and  getting “sloshed/drinking too much is a no-no for 43%.

We hope you enjoyed these fun stats from this edition and please check back next time to find out more wacky and weird-but-true facts.


Weird but True

Monday, April 28th, 2008

As we approach the summer when many of us go on vacation, a recent travel health survey RL&A developed with Harris Interactive® for client Biocodex, which sells Florastor®, the world’s top-selling probiotic, confirmed that few Americans – just 15% of us — are planning to vacation outside the U.S. – this is not so strange considering the value of the U.S. dollar right now.

While a lot of thought goes into vacation destinations, potential illnesses don’t even enter the minds of almost 44 % of those surveyed, yet nearly one out of five has experienced some type of travel-related illness. 5% say they usually experience intestinal upset when traveling to a new environment and a similar percentage say that while they would travel somewhere known for travel-related illnesses, they would not take their children with them.

The most common ailment experienced by travelers is traveler’s diarrhea, with 63% reporting a bout with this unsettling disease. Next in line was stomach cramping or nausea making up 34% each. Headaches were also fairly common, with more than one-quarter (28%) reporting this experience. Intestinal pain was also experienced by one-quarter of those surveyed.

Among those who say they ever travel (94% of U.S. adults), some 86% bring along OTC medications or supplements when going on a trip. Pain relievers were tops on the list of what to pack (53% take them along), while a quarter or more take along allergy medications, multi-vitamins, anti-diarrheals or heartburn/indigestion aids.

Many people around the world but especially Europeans also will use probiotics to help with traveler’s diarrhea and other ailments. The concept of probiotics, however, is just starting to catch on in the United States with more than three quarters (77%) of those surveyed saying they have never heard of using probiotics to help strengthen their digestive systems and 36 percent saying they have never even heard of probiotics at all.

Come back next month to see what “weird but true” statistics we can surprise you with next.


Weird but True

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Welcome to the next installment of “weird but true” – unusual facts and stats uncovered by RL&A staff in the course of research for our clients.

As we prepare for the warm months ahead, we start thinking about happily storing our boots away and getting our feet ready for their summer debut. Don’t think much about your how your feet look? Well many of us do, particularly women, who have lots of complaints about the appearance of their feet, according to our recent survey for Microplane Personal Care Products, a Russellville, Arkansas, company that hired RL&A to help launch its line of footcare products.

While a quarter of women are self-conscious and embarrassed by their dry, cracked heels, only 4% of men feel this way. But men take heed, since according to the survey, 37% of women think poorly maintained feet are a turn-off, and another 15% think dry, cracked heels are a sign of questionable grooming habits. And get this, one fifth of women and men prefer to keep their feet covered up!

Ever worry about the hygiene of the salon when you get a pedicure? If so, you are in agreement with the one quarter of all women who feel this way. Instead do your own pedicure at home with the new Microplane XL Pro Foot File – your heels and your wallet will thank you.


Weird but True

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Welcome to the next installment of “weird but true” – unusual facts and stats uncovered by RL&A staff in the course of research for our clients.

As many of you know, RL&A specializes in OTC brand health and beauty PR, which means that we know a lot about some very sensitive topics of a personal nature. This month we are highlighting statistics from a survey conducted with Harris Interactive for Cystex that focuses on public restrooms – something that women with UTIs know a lot about!

Have you ever thought twice about answering nature’s call while out? If so, don’t worry, as you are not alone, since 99% of Americans say they use public restrooms, and nearly half (48%) of us use them without hesitation. The rest of the cautionary members of the public only use them in dire emergencies (30%), while 25% only use ones that they know are safe and clean because they have tried them before.

Cleanliness matters when using public restrooms: 62% have reported walking in and walking right back out because they thought it was too dirty. Women (70%) are much more likely to do this than men (54%). And once you are inside the decisions don’t stop there, as we have all experienced walking into a stall where the person before us has left a gift. What to do on these occasions is pretty well a split decision, as slightly more than half (54%) will turn around and leave, while the rest of us give in to nature’s call and stay put.

So where are the worst public restrooms? Topping the list according to the Cystex survey, is the highway gas station with more than a third of all people saying they will just drive on by, preferring to not use them. Others – more than half of adults — say they like to sneak into restaurants or other establishments to use the restroom. The moral of this effort: prepare wisely next time you leave home and map out your bathroom route in advance – just in case, or, if of course you have a UTI. And for those of us whose bathroom “issues” go beyond what we covered in our survey, just join the other 16% who simply go home when nature calls.

Come back next month as we expand your mind with more weird but true facts.


Weird But True

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Pass the Gas Survey Results–Welcome to the next installment of “weird but true” – unusual facts and stats uncovered by RL&A staff in the course of research for our clients.

As many of you know, RL&A specializes in personal health and beauty PR, which means that we know a lot about some very sensitive topics of a personal nature – if you get my drift. This month’s facts are from a recent survey that we conducted with Harris Interactive for our client W.F. Young’s CharcoCaps® Antigas Formula.

In case you were wondering about that strange smell in the elevator, some 72 percent of adults report they’ve passed gas in public or in front of someone else. The worst places to “let it rip” include during a work meeting (24 percent), a restaurant (19 percent), on public transportation (16 percent) and, oops, while having sexual relations (15 percent) – sorry folks – we don’t make this stuff up!

And just in case you haven’t heard enough about gas – more than two thirds of adults (68 percent) refer to their flatulence as “farts”, while 41 percent refer to it as “cutting the cheese.”

You can just imagine what our conference room brainstorming sessions are like!


Weird but true research findings

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Are RL&A staffers obsessed with kissing?

Not really, but for two different clients, we learned some weird but true tidbits about locking lips. According to a national survey conducted for new Murine Earigate Ear Cleansing System, 23 percent of men reported they like to have their ears kissed, while 21 percent of women agree.

Don’t like to have your ears kissed? Well, what about kissing a stranger? According to a Harris survey conducted for Soft Lips, some 40 percent of Americans are uncomfortable when someone they’ve just met tries to kiss them hello or goodbye. But more women than men are kiss adverse to acquaintances – 49 percent of women vs. 30 percent of men. That figures!

And they say Northeasterners are unfriendly?? Not so, according to the same Softlips survey that found us Northeasterners are the most likely to greet very close friends with a kiss (42 percent) compared to those in the South (32 percent), West (29 percent) and Midwest (23 percent).

One last word on kissing: almost half of women (45 percent) and a quarter of men (27 percent) admit to kissing their pets. Maybe this isn’t so weird??