Half Pepperoni, Half Twitter Strategy

Pizza Hut began advertising for a new job opening this week –a paid summer intern to tweet on the company’s behalf. According to Helen Legatt’s Biz Report article, this lucky college student will keep Pizza Hut fans in the know by capturing the “quirky” moments at the company’s corporate events.

David Teicher posted his reaction to the announcement on his blog, Legends of Aerocles, questioning the motives behind the announcement. Here’s his take, “This is an obvious response to last Domino’s Fiasco. Come on…It’s not just a coincidence; they’re clearly trying to capitalize on their primary competitor’s PR debacle.” While we agree with David, that the Twitter activity of these two pizza moguls are clearly related, it’s confusing to see Pizza Hut engaging in such “risky” PR tactics after watching Dominos get burned. No one wants to be left out, but placing the future of public opinion in the hands of a college student could be considered more of a risk than a benefit.

This openly publicized announcement was intended to create buzz for the company who had yet to establish a presence on Twitter. Despite the comical tone of this announcement, this “twinternship” is real and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Will other companies follow suit and outsource their Twitter streams to the most qualified college candidate? Will Pizza Hut’s intern fail to attract any attention or even worse, negative attention? As Twitter moves from being “the next big thing” to standard corporate activity, companies would be wise to choose the people behind the tweets carefully.

- Contributed by Allie O'Connell.