Meeting Recap: McDonald's and Golin

By Julia Cremin

Golin’s partnership with McDonald’s has been a staple of Chicago PR for years now and it was enlightening to bring four individuals working within this partnership to this week’s DePaul PRSSA meeting. Speakers included DePaul grads Camden Robertson, global communications manager at McDonald’s as well as MacKenzie Holland, Natalie Mayen, and Katie (Johnson) MacNicholas of Golin.


McDonald’s has had multiple big releases this year. Golin’s team walked PRSSA members through their Spicy McNuggets campaign launched earlier this year, and explained their in depth integrated marketing campaign for it. Phase one of the campaign included the initial announcement of spicy nuggets, generating media buzz well ahead of the product launch. Phase two brought the release of spicy nuggets and some clever creative executions. The concept of “Spice-surance” made it less of a risk for customers to try Spicy McNuggets—if they found the new recipe too spicy, they could get a free order of regular McNuggets at their next visit.

In addition, the McFlurry’s birthday included a launch of a new Chips Ahoy flavor around the same time as the Spicy McNuggets release. The launch of a 25th “Bday Suit” for the McFlurry and a new flavor brought a lot of attention from the media, and a collaboration with James Corden brought the noteworthy news to consumers in an amusing way.


All of these campaigns have very similar phases and execution, but if one thing is clear from this meeting, creativity is key. These campaigns both centered around unique ideas to get media buzz, and the results prove the team’s creative acumen.

Finally, the team introduced members to McDonald’s Brand Newsroom, a section of Golin’s team that examines viral trends in pop culture and translates them into McDonalds content. Viral moments are what inspires McDonald’s to keep with the times and compete with other quick service brands with intuitive social media.


With that, here is a parting word of wisdom from our speakers: Get comfortable with being flexible. Things in PR move fast, and move even faster on the McDonald’s team, be sure to keep with changing trends and adapt to rapid social change, because PR professionals have to be able to change too.


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Connect with our speakers!

Camden Robertson - Global comms manager, McDonald’s

MacKenzie Holland - Manager Catalyst (SAE), Golin

Natalie Mayen - Manager, Golin

Katie (Johnson) McNicholas - Manager, Golin


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