By: Rebeka Dickerson
Public relations is often confused by the general public with many other industries, but specifically marketing and advertising. The three are so similar that they are even commonly integrated these days. And then there is journalism which is frequently mentioned in the PR world as well. So, to help provide a better understanding of these four important communication mediums, I am providing some information below about what makes each unique.
Public relations is all about awareness and reputation. Awareness and reputation can in turn help a company sell products or become successful. PR deals with the long game; keeping customers coming back and obtaining new loyal customers.
An example of PR is the #IceBucketChallenge. The 2014 viral campaign raised awareness for ALS by inspiring people to post videos of themselves being drenched by a bucket of ice water and/or donating for ALS research. Many celebrities participated and over $115 million dollars was raised for the ALS Association.
Marketing is a technique for stimulating a demand for a specific product or service. The main goals are to make a product or service widely known and to increase sales. The transaction of something in the moment matters more than what will happen with the company in two or three years. Professionals in this industry often refer to product, price, place, and promotion as the four Ps of marketing needed to sell goods or services.
An example of marketing is Spotify and how it is is marketed differently than other music applications. Spotify assists users in finding music they have never heard before. Users can click any category of music and explore a multitude of artists. Spotify also sorts music options by music someone may want to workout to, sleep to, or even play video games to.
Advertising is a paid message. It is a part of marketing (promotion). It can also be part of a public relations campaign. An advertisement could be a television commercial, but it could also be a print ad, digital ad, radio ad, billboard, and so on.
Examples of companies that are known to continuously use ads to their advantage are Geico, Ford, and Nike.
While public relations has a target audience, journalism does (or should) not. Journalism’s purpose is to simply inform the general public in an objective way. A PR professional’s job is to advocate for a specific company or individual, while a journalist is traditionally meant to remain unbiased.
Examples of Journalism can vary. The many types include broadcast, investigative, opinion, entertainment, political, and sports.
A Couple Examples of Integration
As part of its brand awareness strategy, Coca-Cola has combined PR and journalism by utilizing storytelling on its website (https://www.coca-colacompany.com/). This is also known as brand journalism. Stories on the website detail how the company supports the community, how they promote diversity and inclusion, and how they help the environment.
The brand Always has an ongoing PR campaign #LikeAGirl, which encourages people to change the meaning of the phrase and how society views girls and women. A popular Super Bowl advertisement was created to promote the campaign in 2015 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_Ep0O5fWN4).
So although similar, all four of these industries definitely have their own place. They each have their own distinct objectives. Yet they all work with the public in mind, and any of them can be combined strategically to create even greater success.
By Elissa Huck
The problem: Social media addiction
In our technology-driven world, we are connected through Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and more on a daily basis. Sharing photos and updates with people at the touch of a button seems convenient, but what happens when we’re more engaged with our cyber connections than our real relationships? Have you ever been caught trying to subtly Snapchat a selfie in public? Are you a chronic “subtweeter?” Do you find yourself obsessing over the best filter for your Instagram post? All evidence considered, you are more than likely addicted to social media.
The solution: The “social media guard”
Fortunately, Coca-Cola has the solution to breaking our social media addiction. It’s a Coke-themed cone that fits around your head and intervenes your 24-hour connection with all social media. The company unveiled its spoof product (ironically) through a YouTube video that went viral. An E Online article summarizes how the short video “mocks people who Instagram photos of their meals instead of talking to their friends over dinner, dads who ignore their kids because they’re on their phone and children who are too busy looking at cat videos to notice their actual pet cat.” The social media guard is applied in each scenario, and the people can miraculously enjoy spending quality time with their friends and family. The faux product promises, “It takes the social out of media and puts it back into your life.”
Enjoy a real moment…and a Coke
In the past week, the video has reached nearly 4 million views. Coca-Cola commented, “We have just started a conversation on a light-hearted look at how social media can dominate our daily lives and how it has changed the way that we ‘share’ moments with each other. This is not to downplay the value that technology brings to our lives, rather an invitation to enjoy every day’s uplifting moments as they happen.” Coke’s witty video encourages us to put down our phones, tablets and laptops in order to fully acknowledge the world around us. Instead of “liking” a post, compliment people for their achievements. Rather than “sharing” a video, get together and have a conversation with friends. It’s important to get back to basics and foster real, meaningful relationships because sometimes being social doesn’t require any media at all.
Photo courtesy of: adweek
by Amanda Moore
Every time the Super Bowl comes around I begin to mentally prepare myself for the commercials. I love watching them and deciding with my friends and family who had the funniest, most creative and inspiring. My personal favorites are usually the Doritos commercials, with their fan-made ads, but this year another company caught my attention. Coca-Cola’s ad was different than anything I had seen before.
Coca-Cola aired their new ad, “It’s Beautiful”. The 90-second ad featured a diverse group of people and families enjoying themselves while “America the Beautiful” was sung in the background in nine different languages: English, Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Keres, Mandarin, Sengaslese-French, Spanish and Tagalog. What seemed to be a heartfelt ad about America’s citizens was interpreted in many different ways. Watching the ad, I knew that there was a potential for backlash, so I immediately went on Twitter to see what the overall reaction was. I was shocked to say the least. Thousands of people were attacking Coca-Cola via Twitter. Many of the tweets were about how if you live in America you should speak English. Some went as far as saying that “America the Beautiful” was sung in “terrorist languages.” Here are a few examples of the tweets that were sent to Coca-Cola’s twitter.
What I was most surprised with was Coca-Cola’s response, or lack thereof. With many negative tweets, Facebook posts and threats to not buy their products, Coca-Cola has not responded to any of it. They have continued to promote their #AmericaIsBeautiful tag and have posted more tweets and Facebook articles featuring behind-the-scenes videos of the ad. I was wondering to myself, “Why are they not responding to all of these negative things?”
That’s when it hit me. Coca-Cola is promoting love in their ad; love for our country and for one another. It wouldn’t make sense for them to put out an ad filled with love and pride for our country and its citizens to then respond to the negativity. It says a lot to me about Coca-Cola as a company to promote such a positive message and to ignore the hate they arereceiving. It takes a lot to stand by something when so many people disagree with it, but to me it shows that Coca-Cola really means what they say.
Photo credit: Coca-Cola Twitter
by Jonathan Haile
Perhaps the most idealistic take on social media would be its ability to make the world a better place by connecting those who normally wouldn’t be connected. What the Coca-Cola Company has done in India and Pakistan isn’t exactly social media, but they have utilized technology to connect people in a very unique and peace-promoting way.
The message is simple: When your countries are at political and religious odds, a can of Coke will make things a little bit better. Coca-Cola placed one interactive vending machine in Pakistan and another in India. Using cameras and 3D touchscreen technology, the customers in opposite countries could see each other, place theirs hands on the machine, trace a shape (a heart or a peace sign) on the screen and each person would get a can of Coke. For all the magic, check out the video below:
Pretty neat stuff, wouldn’t you agree? It’s not every day we hear about a big company creating this kind of experience. It’s an extremely unique and daring way to build relationships with customers that certainly could have ended badly for Coca-Cola. At Innovative Public Relations, we’re big fans of new ideas. This certainly meets the criteria.
Coca-Cola’s vending machines, like everything else, keep evolving. The continue offering different types of “soda buying” experiences. Making vending machines a social experience doesn’t seem too far off. While we wait for the next wave of vending machines in the United States, we’ll be eager to see what other countries Coca-Cola will be connecting.