The following article from PR Week, shows the way in which communication is changing. The big name brands are allowing and some are indeed encouraging their customers to build content and community. Coke is a major brand and realises the importance of the change from above the line to more on line media. The effects of this are far reaching for companies, customers and indeed the media business. Those who see the advantages of using Facebook and Twitter will be seen as first mover in the market.
Enjoy the article
Rose Gordon, News Editor of PRWEEK, believes Coke is the “latest thing” in the social media realm. Having just recently spoken with Coca-Cola, the top SVP of Coke Corporate Affairs believes interactivity will drive business. When introducing the new department in a memo to staff, which the beverage manufacturer shared with PRWeek. “ Above the line advertising is declining. Our future success depends on our continued ability to connect people to our brands and our company all around the world, one person at a time,” Tuggle wrote. “Our new office of digital communications and social media will help us become even more comfortable and effective in these new spaces.”
In a recent interview with dna13, Phil Mooney, Director of Heritage Communications (otherwise known as “keeper of the brand”) for Coke shared: “Don’t be afraid to let your community, not the corporation, take ownership of your brand identity. They can be the customers who form more naturally to develop brand attributes.”
Mooney cited the example of the Coca-Cola Facebook community that spawned virally, a result of “two guys in LA who created a fan page.” Facebook asked Coke to take-over and manage the Facebook group — as per its policy that brands own their named real estate. Instead, Coke contacted the two group creators and let the fans decide where to take that conversation.
“This Facebook effort was in pure viral form,” said Mooney. “Today, our Coke Facebook community has 3 million members. The only larger community out there on Facebook is for Obama for President,” he added. Consequently Coke made the decision to “not go corporate” and let the group remain in the fans’ hands.
Mooney also cited Coke’s social media outreach during the NCAA basketball tournament and its “March Madness” sponsorship as another integrated Coke campaign that harnessed social media networks.