Caught you Being Good: Uber Eats Takes an existential step in communication strategy

The PR Wars “Caught You Being Good” segment recognizes real world examples of best practices in public relations.

Uber does not have enormous amounts of equity in public goodwill. The brand has been involved in a steady stream of controversy and issues management. So when the marketing and communications teams develop new promotions and messaging, it is met with cynicism.

Case in point: Uber Eats’ “Eat Local” campaign. The company donated meals to essential workers and waived delivery fees for local non-chain restaurants. The campaign delivered good media coverage, but also skepticism on social media regarding the business model with restaurants.

As a communicator, I like the direction of the campaign. Too often, we take our companies too literally without seeing the greater good of its business purpose. It would be easy to market Uber Eats as delivering tasty food, fast… a literal translation of its service. By recognizing its role in helping keep local restaurants open, the company is taking an existential step in communication that recognizes the greater roles products and services can play in our society.

Despite the push back from naysayers, Uber Eats doubled down on its community awareness strategy during the Black Lives Matter protests. The company offered an opportunity for customers to filter and support black-owned businesses on its app without a delivery fee.

You may still be cynical to Uber Eats intentions. Like any consumer promotion, companies use marketing to increase sales. However from a communication standpoint, moving from a literal translation of your product or service to your broader community contribution is a step in the right direction.

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