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Church’s Chicken Links Cash Giveaway to Twitter

By Apr 30, 2009

With the official launch of its brand on the Twitter microblogging service, Church’s Chicken has announced the addition of a community-benefit element to its newly beefed-up interactive marketing efforts.

For the next 30 days the Atlanta-based chain will run a “Random Acts of Goodness” campaign in which the company will give away $1,000 to in-store customers in 10 markets. Those customers will be able to use that windfall money to pay bills or to make charitable donations that further benefit their community.

The “Random Acts” initiative will be linked to Church’s new Twitter page. Over the coming month the company will put $1 into the “Goodness” fund for each follower on Twitter, up to a $10,000 limit. Those followers can also upload news about their own random acts to the @ChurchsChicken Twitter page as video, photos, tweets or podcasts.

They will also be able to use Twitter to find out which markets Church’s is looking at for future $1,000 payouts.

The chain is pledging a minimum of $10,000 to the effort but says the ultimate total payout could be higher. Yesterday Church’s president and CEO Harsha Agadi announced in a conference call that he would make the first Goodness payout at an undisclosed outlet on May 14.

“Church’s Chicken is committed to making a real impact in the lives of our customers,” Agadi said in a statement. “One way is to take a leadership stance with our six consecutive [quarters of] positive same-store sales in this gloomy economy and pay it forward, encouraging others to follow our lead in giving back to the community.”

In mid-April Church’s announced that the nationwide introduction of a 99-cent value meal in January accounted largely for a 2.6% increase in domestic sales so far this year. Items from that value meal made up about 8% of overall sales, the company said.

Pointing out that Church’s has retained ties with its primary market—cross-generational multicultural families—executive vice president and CMO Farnaz Wallace said in a statement that the company’s migration to Twitter was a sign of a second marketing front. “Our brand strategy now translates digitally through popular social media platforms where our secondary and growing customer base, multicultural urban youth, works and plays,” Wallace said. “Word of mouth, a great form of communication and ‘real’ endorsement, has not only gone electronic but truly global, with techno-savvy customers leading the charge.”

Rival chicken chains KFC and Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits [http://twitter.com/PopeyesChicken] already have Twitter pages to communicate with their fans.