What started as a joke, turned into a world record and also a valuable lesson in PR.

You may have seen this tweet floating around the Twittersphere:

Or maybe you saw this on the Ellen DeGeneres Show:



It was announced recently that Carter Wilkerson’s tweet is officially the most retweeted post on Twitter. Brands like Apple Music, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon even jumped on board to retweet this 16-year-old boy from Reno, Nevada.
How did this all start? And how does PR fit in?


It started when the 16-year-old, Carter Wilkerson asked Wendy’s how many retweets he would need for a year of free chicken nuggets. Wendy’s replied within a minute with “18 Million.” While this goal seemed unattainable, Wilkerson’s response was, “Consider it done.” He then posted a screenshot (seen above) of the tweets with a call for action, “HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS.”


For any brand, being present on social media is crucial. This doesn’t just involve making several posts a week, hoping to receive some likes and gain new followers quickly. Posts can get lost in feeds and be easily forgotten. In order to get noticed more, you need to engage with your followers. This world record was broken because Wendy’s responded to Carter Wilkerson’s tweet. Not only did they respond, they responded quickly. Actually, if you take a look at Wendy’s social pages, you can see that the company often responds to many of its followers. They respond to everything from people’s questions and comments to complaints. Social media allows a brand to interact with its customers in a way that was never possible before.



Not only was this great PR for Wendy’s, Carter Wilkerson took this as an opportunity to raise money for charity. He is using the money raised to assist families with members who have breast cancer and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. He is doing this by selling T-shirts with #NuggsforCarter on it.



Although Wilkerson did not get the 18 Million retweets, Wendy’s is giving him a year of nuggets plus a donation towards the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption in his name.


A PR lesson to take away from this is that it is vital to interact with your consumers, respond quickly, and relate/do so on their level. Because Wendy’s practiced this, they received a lot of praise and positive PR.


Were you a part of this? What were your thoughts?