Content and Corporate Storytelling: Lessons From Coca-Cola Part 1

November 4th, 2013
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By Flickr user Bev Goodwin

By Flickr user Bev Goodwin

In the dawning age of content marketing, it’s up to PR professionals to make that content work for them, but leveraging that content and making it work for your organization is an unmapped challenge.  At last month’s PRSA International Conference, Mallory Perkins, a social media analyst at Coca-Cola, shared how she and her team launched Coca-Cola Journey, the organization’s content blog, grew a massive following and created an online community.

Coca-Cola Journey launched in November, 2012, as Coca-Cola’s response to the recent heavy shift in communications. The organization realized that digital consumers are strong influencers with the ability to respond, shape, and take part in conversations with companies and the products they value, using tools like social media, video, and online forums. Coca-Cola seized the opportunity for consumers and companies to have one-on-one conversations in a meaningful way, which Perkins stressed was key to earning relevance and success in business and digital arenas.

Coca-Cola Journey was launched with several goals in mind: to be a hub for the company’s content; to share stories and connect with consumers; to provoke, inspire, and engage the Coca-Cola community; to prompt action of some kind, and to cultivate a deeper level of brand loyalty, ultimately supporting business growth.

The site was imagined not as a website or blog, but as an e-magazine. Its goal was to be the digital heart and soul of the company, and reflect in each story the brand’s values. Stories are targeted to be consumer-facing stories with a “behind-the-bottle feel.”

The key behind the site’s success? Great content, says Perkins. Coca-Cola created an internal editorial team and a group of freelancers solely focused on creating original stories. How does one create great content? Start by knowing your audience. Coca-Cola prioritized their audience thusly: existing consumers and fans, potential customers, investors, partners, media, and critics.

“Make sure your content captures the essence of your brand,” advises Perkins, and ensure the type of content you create and how you communicate with your audience varies with company values and different product lines. The reason for Coca-Cola Journey’s launch was to engage with consumers and target content to what the data shows they like. Investors and media are still important audiences to consider, so ensure they have the information they need, but craft a separate section for their content that’s easily accessible.

Check back tomorrow for the guidelines Perkins and her team folloow to ensure they’re crafting the most relevant, reader- and brand-friendly content.

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