In marketing their products and services, firms in different economic sectors are faced with a challenge emanating from the business environment. In order to deal with these challenges, organizations have to be effective in their marketing communication.
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According to Moutinho and Chien (2008, p.179), incorporation of integrated marketing communication is one of the ways that firms can achieve this. There are diverse marketing communication techniques that firms can consider. One such technique entails using public relations.
Egan (2008, p.247), defines public relations as the process through which a firm develops the image of its products and services. Alternatively, public relations can be defined as the process through which a firm develops a strong relationship with the public. In an effort to understand public relations, this paper illustrates case studies of firms that incorporated public relations in their market communication effort.
Problem and situations
Over the years it has been in operation, Procter & Gamble Company has managed to acquire a substantial market share with regard to consumer goods.
One of the products that the firm produces is Dawn Dishwashing Liquid. Upon its introduction into the market, Dawn gained a substantial recognition and reputation within the market as being an effective detergent in the removal of grease. However, the company faced a challenge from the competitors who were luring customers.
Dawn’s competitors were imitating the value that the firm offers to its customers’ by offering dishwashing detergents in larger bottles and at a lower price. This had adverse effects on Dawn which lost a proportion of its market value (Business Consulting Buzz, 2009, para. 3).
Similarly, Johnson& Johnson has been effective in the provision of consumer goods around the world. The firm is committed at developing new products in order to meet the customer’s demands. The firm deals with diverse product categories such as adhesive bandages.
An example of adhesive bandage that the firm supplies to the market is the Band-Aid bandage. During the 20th century, Band-Aid became widely recognized amongst a large number of households. However, the firm experienced a challenge emanating from an increment in the intensity of competition.
Investors ventured the market with the objective of exploiting the presented market potential. To exploit the market opportunity, competitors developed cheaper generic bandages similar to Band-Aid. As a result, Band-Aid lost a significant proportion of its market value.
In an effort to improve the public image of their products, Proctor & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson integrated public relations. Proctor &Gamble contracted Marina Maher Communications (MMC) to conduct a public relations campaign on its behalf.
The objective of the public relations campaign was to communicate the value of Dawn to the customers as being a strong dishwasher. The message of the public relations campaign was that one 25oz bottle of Dawn dishwasher could clean more than 10,000 dishes.
For the campaign to be effective, the firm considered it necessary to incorporate an effective slogan which is ‘Dawn Goes The Distance’. Additionally, the firm considered it vital to integrate a strong visual which would communicate the message of power and value.
To achieve this, the firm contracted Robbie Knievel of the MMC. He was well known as a daredevil with regard to motorcycling being the son of the famous cyclist Evel Knievel. Robbie Knievel was to jump over 10,000 dishes which were then to be washed with only one 25oz bottle of Dawn.
The show was witnessed by over 1625 spectators. This public relations campaign was very successful. The story was carried in different media such as the radio and the print media. Within a period of one week, the campaign had appealed more than 67million consumers.
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Similarly, Johnson and Johnson contracted a public relations company known as Ogilvy Public Relations2 to undertake a public relations campaign on its behalf.
Ogilvy hired Emma Roberts a renowned Nickelodeon Star to endorse Band-Aid bandage. Emma Roberts conducted a comprehensive campaign on different mediums. For example, she conducted a campaign on stickwitawards.com by giving children an opportunity to win a trip to Nickelodeon studios located in Hollywood.
The campaign was very successful as evidenced by the 65 million impressions on Band-Aid it developed over the media. The public relations campaign contributed towards Band-Aid regaining its market. Additionally, the campaign contributed towards development of a stick-it-with attitude amongst parents and their kids.
Public relations campaign is a critical element that firms should consider in their effort to deal with marketing challenges. In their marketing communication, it is paramount for firms to integrate public relations campaign. From the case studies, the two firms effectively integrated public relations campaign. By contracting celebrities to endorse their products, both firms were able to improve the public image of their products. This led to the firms re-establishing their competitive advantage within their respective markets.
Prior to conducting a public relations campaigns organizations should consider the following.
- Developing a comprehensive understanding of the objective of the campaign. This will aid in developing an effective public relations campaign.
- Organizations should also formulate the most effective public relations campaign.
Business Consulting Buzz. (2009). The public relations campaign; two case studies. Web.
Egan, J. (2008). Marketing communications. London: Thomson.
Moutinho, L. & Chien, C. (2008). Problems in marketing. Los Angeles: Sage.