Pizza Hut will interview people for its next manager of digital marketing, or "Manager of Digital Greatness," at perhaps the most target-rich environment for social media experts, the South by Southwest Interactive Festival.
However, calling the search exhaustive might be inaccurate — because candidates will have only 140 seconds to get the job.
The Dallas-based pizza chain will hold interviews March 10 during South By Southwest (SXSW) at the Hilton Austin in Austin, Texas, the site of the annual conference that brings together the music, film and technology industries.
Caroline Masullo, Pizza Hut’s director of digital and social marketing, noted that the 140-second interview format combines the old-school “elevator speech” and the Twitter-era importance of brevity. She said the intention is to find “somebody quick on their feet and knowledgeable in the digital space” to engage daily with Pizza Hut’s social fan base.
Flyers located throughout the conference will advertise Pizza Hut’s job search with a special QR code and a “#BecauseImGreat ” hash tag.
Candidates must apply for the position online before scheduling an interview on Pizza Hut's website. The chain is requiring a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of experience in digital advertising, marketing or a related field.
A second round of interviews will take place via Skype on March 14, brand officials said.
Aside from finding its next manager of digital media, Pizza Hut also will look for ways to build upon its investments in social-media management and digital ordering and marketing, Masullo added.
“South by Southwest is important for us and our agency partners because it’s where the best of the best in the digital space come together to talk about what’s coming in 2013 and 2014,” she said. “If we want to be first and foremost in this space, South by Southwest is the conference where we need to be. We’re letting anybody there who wants to talk to us to walk right up and talk to us.”
Pizza Hut’s director of public relations Doug Terfehr said the brand produces more than $1 billion in sales through digital-ordering channels like PizzaHut.com  and its smartphone and tablet apps. When it comes to finding new digital innovations, the chain is taking an open-ended approach at SXSW.
“Some of the greatest unveilings from past years have happened in these tiny little breakout sessions, so we’re pretty much going into the whole weekend open-minded about what we hope to bring back to the broader marketing team,” Terfehr said. “We’re not saying, ‘We need to grow mobile, so it’s only mobile-related sessions for us.’ It typically ends up that where you least expect something from the interactive part of the conference is where the biggest ideas come from.”
Sibling brand Taco Bell, also part of Louisville, Ky.-based Yum! Brands Inc.’s portfolio with Pizza Hut and KFC, also will have a large presence at this year’s SXSW conference. Its “Feed the Beat” promotion  intends to gather user-generated video during the whole conference for an upcoming documentary and to support a concert by Passion Pit.
Pizza Hut has about 10,000 restaurants in more than 90 countries.
Contact Mark Brandau at [email protected] .
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