Social Media in PR

Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and blogs, are all examples of social media. Social media can benefit an organization in many ways but there are many things that they have to consider before beginning to use social media for Public Relation purposes. According to Ardath Albee, the five things that an organization should consider are prospect preferences, content, resources, long-term commitment, and connection points.

A company or organization has to be aware of what purpose and to whom they want to target.
Will the content be personal or professional? When using Facebook or Twitter there is a sense of having a personal connect with the subscriber, but the company has to know how to be professional about what they post on these social media websites. Content is the other thing that they must consider. Do the companies have a significant amount of information and is all the content related and focused to what they are trying to say? Resource is the third thing that they must consider. Does the company have a significant amount of people that will spend time working on these social media sites. Long-term commitment is very important. Social media is not something that you can start and then not continue with it and expect to see amazing results. The company needs to be able to follow up and put commitment and time in to the social media. The last thing is that a company has to have connection points. A company needs to be able to integrate what they post on social media sites with what they are trying to promote.

Many organizations and companies use social media well and follow all the five considerations. From what I have experienced on being a subscriber of Facebook, I have noticed that The Cheesecake Factory uses social media very well. The Cheesecake Factory has great coupons and does a great job at promoting their newest cheesecake on their Facebook page. And, the best thing is that they get many positive responses by the Facebook users. On the other hand, there are also many organizations that use social media poorly. For, example, in late 2009, the company, Skittles failed in its social media campaign. It didn’t provided any content of its own, the little content that they did provide was neither valuable nor engaging.

Social media can be extremely helpful for many organizations and companies as long as they do it right and consider the five things before beginning to use social media.  

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Good Job Toyota!!

Toyota, one of the largest car manufacturers in the world, had a huge crisis in the end of 2009, beginning of 2010. Many models, including, Corolla, Avalon, Camry, and many more were recalled. The first recall was on Nov 2009 for an incorrect or out of place front drivers side floor mats. The second recall was on January 2010, which began after some crashes were announced that showed to be caused by the sticking of the accelerator pedal.  According to ABC news, a total of 5.2 million vehicles were recalled for pedal and floor mat problems: 2.3 million vehicles had acceleration pedal problems, and 1.7 million vehicles had both problems.

Toyota had a very quick and smart response to this crisis. According to W.T. Coombs’ “9 Crisis Reputation Repair Strategies”, I think that Toyota used a combination of the 8th and 9th strategies. The 8th strategy, called “compensation”, involves the “crisis manager offer[ing] money or other gifts to victims.” The 9th strategy is “apology”, which states, “[a] crisis manger indicates the organization takes full responsibility for the crisis and asks stakeholders for forgiveness.”

In the press release from Toyota, they posted all the common questions that customers might ask. They explain how they will handle the situation. One of the things mentioned was that Toyota will cover all repair costs associated with all work related to the recall. This is a prime example of a mixture of the compensation strategy and the apology strategy; they took full responsibly and also offer to fix it themselves without letting the victims pay anything out-of-pocket.  Toyota also offered to replace all drivers and passengers side floor mats. They also provided significant information on how they would fix the issue so that it would not happen again in the future.

Toyota understands that this unfortunate crisis is their responsibly and tried their very best to fix the problem, promptly and maturely. In my opinion Toyota handled this unfortunate crisis very well. I think that they used the correct strategies. They are a big and successful company and were aware that they had to take full responsibly for the errors that occurred to their vehicles.  The correct thing to do was to satisfy their consumers, and in doing so they fixed their cars with no charge, thereby making it as stress-free as possible—for the owners and the family members involved. In this case, Toyota, through crisis management sifting through the various methods of the 9 crisis reputation repair strategies, and discovered that in this particular instance both the compensation and apologetic methods were the most appropriate and effective.

Say “No” to soda taxes!!

 How would you feel if Congress decided to add an extra tax to your favorite soft drinks? Just because certain drinks have a higher content of sugar than others, doesn’t mean that they should just put an extra tax on them. Where will congress put the limit on which drinks will have the added tax and which will not? Today it may be soda, but tomorrow it could be your favorite brands of chips, coffee, bacon and eggs, or even burgers!

The public relations agency that is representing the soft drink industry would have to have a quick reaction to this situation to not let the law of taxing sugary soft drinks to ever be passed. The customers of the soft drinks industry are the most important focus i I n the eyes of the public relations ps people. They have to look out for the industry that they are representing in order to have a successful industry. A good way for the public relation agency  to approach this situation is target the consumers’ as much as possible. The most responsible and respected way to counter-act this issue is to announce to each public that “yes, these soft drinks do contain a high level of sugar, but as long as consumers use the product responsibly and do not abuse it, then everything should be ok.” The public relation agency should stress the importance of a daily exercise.

This is definitely a problem that the public relation agency can solve more successfully. Advertising and marketing could help by promoting the soft drinks as a product and coming out with more appealing commercials. There is a slight difference between public relation and advertising and marketing. The role of public relations is to be a reputation protector, while marketing and advertising deals more with products.  

If the law of taxing sugary soft drinks were to ever pass, there would be many other organizations and industries ts hat would be affected by it. For example, the fast food industry might form a coalition with the soft drink industry to fight this issue, because it would affect its business tremendously. Many fast food restaurants rely on soft drinks. They would have to pay more for their soft drinks, and in order to keep their profits high, they would have to increase the prices of their meals, which in the long run will not help the consumers.

Many people argue against the fact to add higher taxes on sugary soft drinks. Mr. Keane announced in the “New York Times” that, “when it comes to losing weight, all calories count regardless of the food source.” ( He makes a very good point because sodas are not the only things Americans consume that are not good for them. Another good point from Mr. Keane is, “tthe bottom line is that taxes aren’t going to make anybody healthier. It’s not going to make a dent in a problem as complex and serious as obesity, and we’re certainly not going to solve the complexities of the health care system with a tax on soda pop.”

Taxing Sugary Soft Drinks!!

            How would you feel if Congress decided to add an extra tax to your favorite soft drinks? Just because certain drinks have a higher context of sugar then others, doesn’t mean that they should just put an extra tax on them.  Where will congress put the limit on which drinks will have the added tax and which will not?  Today it may be soda, but tomorrow it could be your favorite brands of chips, coffee, bacon and eggs, or even burgers!

            The public relation agency that is representing the soft drinks industry would have to have a quick reaction to this situation if the law of taxing sugary soft drinks were to pass. The taxpayer/costumers are the most important focus in the eyes of the public relation person. They have to look out for the industry that they are representing in order to have a successful company. A good way for the public relation to approach this situation is target the taxpayers as much as possible. The most responsible and respected way to counter-act to this issue is to announce to the public that “yes, these soft drinks do contain a high level of sugar, but as long as consumers consume the product responsibly and do not abuse the use of it, then everything should be ok.” The public relation department should stress the importance of a daily exercise.

This is definitely a problem that the public relation agency can solve more successfully. Advertising and marketing could help by promoting their product and coming out with more appealing commercials. There is a slight difference between public relation and advertising and marketing. The role of a public relations department is to seen as a reputation protector of the company, while marketing and advertising deals more with the product itself.  

If the law of taxing sugary soft drinks were to ever pass, there would be many other organizations and industry that would be affected by it. For example, fast food industry might form a coalition with the soft drink industry to fight this issue, because it would affect their business tremendously. Many fast food restaurants rely on many of their sales on soft drinks. They would have to pay more for their bundles of soft drink, and in order to keep their profit high, they would have to up their prices of their meals, which in a long run will not help the consumers.

Many people argue against the fact to add higher taxes on sugary soft drinks. Mr. Keane announced that “when it comes to losing weight, all calories count regardless of the food source”. He makes a very good point because sodas are not the only things Americans consume that are not good for them. Another good point from Mr. Keane is, “ the bottom line is that taxes aren’t going to make anybody healthier. It’s not going to make a dent in a problem as complex and serious as obesity, and we’re certainly not going to solve the complexities of the health care system with a tax on soda pop.”

Sources: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/17/business/17soda.html

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