Public relations are vital for any company in sprucing up its image. Companies invest heavily in it so as to have their voice heard and appearance felt. Zappos is one of the corporations that have handled the issue of public relations well in the past. Under the leadership of an innovative and creative chief executive officer, the company navigated through difficult times and emerged the winner. The organization managed to handle its ethics and social responsibility, communications and trust conflicts, as well as negotiations.
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Zappos employs effective communication strategies in improving its public relations. This initiative began as early as in 2012 when the company became active on social media. On Twitter, the corporation usually posts short tweets that show the images of people wearing shoes. The strategy is to attract customers to its online shoe retailing platform and make purchases. When the brand was listed on Facebook as “a clothing store in Las Vegas, Nevada,” it did not show any bravado in the content (Kumar & Mukherjee, 2018). This move goes against the status quo where people expect it to brag about its store and standing in the retail industry. The store is also on YouTube, where it posts quirky content that no one would expect, such as “How to make a Cat bed from a cardboard box” (Heinitz et al., 2018). This video features a Zappos’ branded shipping box in a short pictorial.
In 2017, the company introduced a department called Zappos for Good. Its mission was to foster the Zappos’ community and charitable causes. The initiative was intended to spread happiness and celebrate good in every person. This move would also require employees to be the best they wished to see in the world (Eva et al., 2019). It was an initiative by Zappos regarding its ethics and social responsibility. Being a company that was in the limelight, it needed a way to give back to the community through charitable donations, sustainability, environmentalism, advocacy, and adoption for animals. The company allowed its employees to come to work with their dogs that would be kept at the pet-friendly Zappos campus. It also sponsors an adoption fee through the Home for the Pawlidays campaign. The company also participated in beach clean-up exercises and achieving carbon neutral status for their travel activities (Dur & Schmittdiel, 2019). This move also had a positive effect on the public image of the company.
In 2015, Zappos waged war on managers when it introduced holacracy. This initiative involved empowering every employee and making everyone a manager. This decision meant that some workers were demoted while other employees were promoted. There was go-low among the managers who protested the move. The CEO, Tony Hsieh, tried to intervene by giving reasons in support of the model, but many of the managers did not agree. The move left Zappos in a bad light, making it quietly back away from the initiative (Alhidari, 2017). It, therefore, had a negative effect on its public relations.
In conclusion, the company is excellent in matters of dealing with public perception. It has maintained a significant following on social media. Its creativity also places among its peers to the extent of surpassing its parent company, Amazon. It also has perfect ethics and corporate social responsibility that assists it in giving back to society. It ethically handles these issues, thus, endearing them to the customers. However, the issue of holacracy was not handled ethically as it is not moral to place a manager and a worker at the same ranks to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.
Alhidari, A. (2017). Proactive communication mode (PMC) of Zappos: The success of consumer engagement. British Journal of Economics, Management & Trade, 16(2), 1-9. Web.
Dur, R., & Schmittdiel, H. (2019). Paid to quit. De Economist, 167(4), 387-406. Web.
Eva, N., Robin, M., Sendjaya, S., Van Dierendonck, D., & Liden, R. C. (2019). Servant leadership: A systematic review and call for future research. The Leadership Quarterly, 30(1), 111-132. Web.
Heinitz, K., Lorenz, T., Schulze, D., & Schorlemmer, J. (2018). Positive organizational behavior: Longitudinal effects on subjective well-being. PLoS ONE, 13(6), 18-24. Web.
Kumar S., V., & Mukherjee, S. (2018). Holacracy – the future of organizing? The case of Zappos. Human Resource Management International Digest, 26(7), 12-15. Web.