Posts Tagged ‘Coca-Cola’


Content and Corporate Storytelling: Lessons From Coca-Cola Part 2

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
Flickr User ReillyButler

Flickr User ReillyButler

Mapping the new territory of content marketing is an exciting challenge, and at this year’s PRSA International Conference, Mallory Perkins, social media analyst at Coca-Cola, shared how she and her team launched Coca-Cola Journey. In yesterday’s post we looked at the goals for the site and Coca-Cola’s approach. Today, we share Coca-Cola’s tips for crafting a great story.

Coca-Cola’s analytics showed that their consumers love stories about food, innovation, careers, and feel-good topics, so a bulk of the content is geared to one of those topics. Perkins and her team also answer a set of five questions when considering topics for stories, before the stories are written:

  • Does it answer the “Why should I care?” test? Think about what the story’s interesting nugget is, and picture whether you would actually pick up the phone and tell someone about this story if you read it.
  • Does it surprise? When you’re gathering content for the story, think about it as a person, not as an employee. Whatever it is that you react to is what’s worth pulling out and highlighting.
  • Does it reflect the company’s brand values and voice? Your content could be just one photo, or a song, or a video, not necessarily an entire story, that needs to come back to the brand values and the brand’s voice.
  • Is it compelling with universal appeal? What’s the heart of the story and what kind of insight does it offer? Perkins says that the best stories tend to be the ones in which the reader leaves knowing something they didn’t know before.
  • Is it being measured systematically? You must have a way to track your story’s performance and determine whether it was worth the time and whether you should create more content on a similar topic.

One question asked during the session was why Coca-Cola is creating all this content if it’s not about their products. Perkins pointed out that in fact, about 70 percent of all the content on the site relates to Coca-Cola in some way, in reflecting the brand’s values, promoting one of their campaigns, responding to media criticism, and sending out more narrative press releases for smaller promotions.

It all comes down to continuing to engage and connect with their audience and consumers, and it’s working. In the first year, the site has received 30.3 million page views, over 9,000 comments, and has expanded to international sites in five other countries. The company has seen an annual growth of 166 percent on Twitter, 190 percent on LinkedIn, 157 percent on Google Plus, and an 89 percent on YouTube.

Would you like to see your organization create more user-engagement-oriented content? How does your organization already work to engage users through content?

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

Monday, November 4th, 2013
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.

Being a Public Relations Mentor

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Mentoring is an opportunity to pay it forward. Seventy percent of jobs are found through networking, according to a BusinessWeek article.  Lori George Billingsley, director of issues communications at The Coca-Cola Company and past PRSA multicultural communications section chair, claims her mentor of 18 years has been instrumental in helping her secure all of the PR jobs she’s held.  PRSSA has gone as far as dedicating an entire month (October) as being PRSA-PRSSA Relationship Month to encourage mentor-protégé relationships between the professional and student societies.

In researching being a PR mentor, I found quite a bit of good information on how to find a public relations mentor, where to find a mentor, and finding the right mentor; however, I wasn’t able to find much on being a PR mentor. 

Let’s face it, we’re all doing twice as much with half as much time these days (or at least it seems that way). So why should you invest the time to mentor?  Here are my three reasons for becoming a mentor:

  • Good way to learn.  I’m not necessarily talking about “reverse mentoring,” but it may be as simple (and enlightening) as discovering a new slant on an old strategy, method, or practice. Furthermore, you’ll encounter your protégé’s world and take away that experience. You may even learn something about yourself in the process.
  • Expand your network. Many of us work in non-traditional work settings these days, participate in webinars versus group meetings, and generally have less face-time together. Whether you work in a traditional office setting or not, mentoring is a great way to expand your reach. Your protégé today may be a hiring manager or client tomorrow.
  • Return the favor. “Pay it forward.” “Share the wealth.” However you want to phrase it, it just plain feels good to help others. When you mentor, you leave a legacy of sorts – your work ethic, character, experience, and even your professional personality are instilled into your mentee. 

Still believe you don’t have time to be a mentor? Then, how about participating in social media conversations or participating in Twitter chats such as #PRStudChat, #u30pro, #journchat, or #solopr just to name a few. Arik Hanson thinks this sort of “virtual mentoring” is the wave of the future per his recent vlog post over at The Spinks blog.  BurrelleLuce’s own Valerie Simon agrees, commenting “While there is certainly an important value in that old school (one-to-one, face-to-face) mentor/mentee relationship, virtual mentoring offers an important opportunity to gain access to a broad gamut of leaders.”

I’m eager to hear about your mentor relationships and thoughts.

Learning How-To Be Successful and Social By Listening

Monday, December 7th, 2009
Flickr Image: Beverly & Pack

Flickr Image: Beverly & Pack

Last week I attended the PR News How-To Conference and PR People Awards, which were both sponsored by BurrellesLuce. And on Friday, Sally Falkow, social media strategist at Expansion+ and PR News Trainer of the Year, gave a presentation for PRSA-NCC.

Most of the speakers at these three events, although sometimes reviewing traditional PR tactics, often seemed to switch their focus to new social media tools.  

In this post, I’m focusing on one basic tactic that seemed to be common to all: the universal recommendation of listening first (and often) to find-out where your audience and advocates are talking. Simply stated, “You need to know where the community is congregating if you want to engage them.” Although it will seem daunting at first, a 360 overview using several tools, will help you know where to focus for continued monitoring evaluation.

Sam Ford, Peppercom, said listening is important for—

  • Product research
  • Customer service
  • Solidifying/adapting messages
  • Crisis preparation
  • Outreach
  • New business opportunities
  • Target audiences

Falkow, at a separate event, seemed to expand upon this point by saying that, “Listening helps you with your plan by generating ideas and showing you what the community is interested in discussing.”

Wendy Harmon, American Red Cross, gave a great tip: Learn to tie in your PR campaigns to what the community is talking about. By monitoring the discussions, you can make your campaigns relevant.

Both Falkow and Anne Carelli, Coca-Cola, emphasized you should “fish where the fish are.” This means you should use listening to find communities, and then start conversing in them. You don’t need to go out and create a new community if one already exists. There are several examples of companies trying to create a new community, only to fail, because it is competing with an existing one.

Colin Moffett, Weber Shandwick, and Falkow both talked about using your listening tools to understand influencers. You need to do your homework and understand what a blogger is writing about before you engage them in a conversation. Bloggers are often pickier about how and when you communicate with them then are traditional reporters.

Lastly, as listening moves into monitoring, you should use it for media content analysis. Your analysis needs to be based on your campaign goals. Most of the speakers felt “favorability” or “sentiment” should be consistently illustrated in most measurement plans. Falkow and BurrellesLuce’s Johna Burke both emphasized doing human review of the sentiment, because a computer can not understand nuances or sarcasm.

The take away for these recent industry events: listening needs be a part of your strategy from beginning to end of your campaign.

What are your “how-to” tips? Do you have any listening tips?

From Breaking News to Break-ins: Public Relations, Marketing, Crime & More on Twitter

Monday, June 8th, 2009

flickr_brokenglass_2490896753_fabc3ffd43_m.jpgGail Nelson
With millions of users, Twitter reflects the more of the real world with every passing day. Among last week’s naughty and nice Twitter surprises:

  1. A celebrity baby arrival: Lance Armstrong broke the news of his son’s birth and included a Twitpic (photo).
  2. A big consumer brand comes very late to the Twitter party: Coca-Cola, one of the world’s best-loved brands, has finally launched an official Twitter site. 
  3. A house was burglarized:  A criminal (probably) used Twitter  to find out when the homeowners are out of town.
  4. Intellectual property attorneys have a new place to look for business: Twitter handles may violate trademark law.
  5. The spread of human kindness: See this Mashable link for a roundup of how Twitter is saving the day, all over the globe. My favorite warm and cuddly story of the week is a dog tale. Using Twitter (among other media) Shonali Burke helped Darby, a German Sheppard left homeless upon the death of his owner, find a new family.

And there’s a lot more. Did anyone see this dust-up on tweeting in church

All this innovation has inspired the BurrellesLuce Marketing team to try something new, too. Bypassing our customary wire and paid online distribution services, we used Twitter to distribute our latest news. (Twitter isn’t all we did, of course. We sent our release to our list of journalists and bloggers – something our Media Contacts service helps with. And we published the release to our website.) So far, given the audience for this type of release, BurrellesLuce Vice President Johna Burke will speak at the AMEC media measurement conference in Berlin, Germany – it appears this economical method of Twitter the release is effective. 

Have you seen other remarkable uses for Twitter lately? What can you share about your new Twitter frontiers?