Pizza Hut 'Twintern' to advance PR in digital strategy

DALLAS: For the first time, Pizza Hut is looking to hire a twintern, or summer intern to focus on Twitter and other PR responsibilities.

DALLAS: For the first time, Pizza Hut is looking to hire a twintern, or summer intern to focus on Twitter and other PR responsibilities. The position is intended to help the company assess both its broader online strategy and connect with its key college student demographic, according to Chris Fuller, senior PR manager at Pizza Hut.

In development before the Domino's Pizza's YouTube fiasco, the company will utilize the twinternship to determine whether the company should turn the position into a full-time job or assign the role to its AOR, Zeno Group. To reach applicants, Pizza Hut launched its search in The New York Times on April 19. In addition to utilizing its digital tools such as its Facebook page for the effort, the company has reached out to bloggers, who write about the work environment, tech, and marketing.

While Fuller is currently tweeting on behalf of the brand at its new @PizzaHutTwitter account, the twintern will begin June 1 and “bring an outside perspective” to promotions, tweet about pop-culture news of interest to Pizza Hut consumers, and monitor Twitter for negative communications.

“This is definitely a hybrid position and is part of a larger discussion as to where does social media belong within a marketing group," Fuller said. "For us, right now, it's really PR, and that's who's taking the lead on this.”

The twintern role, initially pitched by the Zeno Group, will also be used to create an authentic voice, which college students can identify with, and to provide an outsider's perspective of how the company works.

“Right now, there may be emerging media, [college students are using], we're not aware of,” said Fuller, “That's why we want someone from that age group to fill that role and keep an eye on what's coming up as well as what's popular right now.”

One twintern project will be to tweet about the company's partnership with the upcoming summer blockbuster Terminator Salvation, including the exclusive film footage that will be featured on the Pizza Hut Web site, as well as free pizza giveaways that will be available to consumers named "John Connor" or "Sarah Connor."

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