Solis’ Conversation Prism has been around for a while, but it is still a useful tool. It gives you a whole view of the social media universe, categorized and organized by how people use each network. One channel that I think is picking up steam is the music conversation channel. Many users, especially young demographics are moving to streaming music services like Pandora and Last FM. With minimal advertising interuptions compared to radio and no monthly fees like Satalite they are an attractive alternative. I believe they will only increase in popularity as more TV’s and BlueRay players come with Internet connectivity built in.
The great thing about a campaign on Pandora and/or Last FM is you can really segment to your audience by format. Does your target like adult contemporary, hip hop or Barry Manilow? There’s a station for that! You can also geo target your buy by top markets or distribution regions and the nice thing about a Pandora ad is that it has both audio and visual elements.
Recently Toyota has struck a long term deal with Pandora for some of these very reasons. A company executive promised, “The campaign will be the largest in scope and span to ever run across all of the Pandora internet radio advertising platforms.” As part of a new, multi-year “Legends & Icons” advertising series, Pandora will brand stations and artists with Toyota models. The Highlander will be on the Top 40 station because the demographics of the care model match the listener demographic for the station. Different models will brand different stations with lots of customized channels, artist spotlights, exclusive releases, radio ‘mixtapes,’ and video integration. Toyota executives say they have a broad target demo of 18-49, but though different stations and content slivers they can be more segmented. Pandora now has 80 million registered users.
Has your company joined the digital media conversation? If not find the right channel and jump in!
Manufactured products are subject to defects, they occur at random. We know that the defect rate can never be zero so a higher defect rate doesn’t cause problems if you are purchasing the product in large quantities (large sample size). If I buy a pack of 100 straws for my kids, I am ok with some having holes in them – even up to 10 (10% defect rate). I bought them at the dollar store after all! As consumers we access the true cost of the product by including the defect rate in purchase.
Problems occur when the buyer purchases the product in small quantities (small sample size). We typically purchase cars one at a time. A manufacturer may sell cars with a 1% defect rate, but we buy one car and it either works or it doesn’t. When I buy my Prius and discover a brake defect, suddenly that 10% defect rate is not acceptable!
A 1% defect rate may not be statistically significant over the roughly 2 million cars sold by Toyota in the United States every year, but ask a Toyota marketer if it is practically significant. One percent is 20,000 unsatisfied complaining consumers. An article was written about the defective brakes on Prius Hybrids based on 100 complaints – only .005%! Toyota can improve their defect rate, but never get it to zero. That is when Public Relations becomes invaluable.
General Motors announced Tuesday that it was recalling about 1.5 million vehicles worldwide to address a problem with a heated windshield wiper fluid system that could lead to a fire. This seems like the latest in a rash of corporate blunders that calls for some serious crisis management. Other recent PR events include BP and Toyota.
Public Relations can have a big influence on a client’s public image. To illustrated I will bring up two cases where a crisis was handled properly and not properly. In 1989, Exxon faced a crisis when it spilled 11 million gallons of oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound. Exxon waited a long time before responding. An ad ran in the newspapers 10 days after the spill and Exxon’s chairman did not fly to Alaska until two weeks after the spill. Exxon’s spokesman first answered the press with “no comment” after the spill taking credibility away from the company and the company never took responsibility for what happened. Even 10 years after the spill people were still boycotting Exxon gas.
On the other hand Tylenol handled their crisis with good PR tactics. In 1982, Tylenol, the leading pain-killer medicine in the United States faced a tremendous crisis when seven people in Chicago were reported dead after taking extra-strength Tylenol capsules. Unlike Exxon, Johnson & Johnson immediately recalled its product and made public announcements about the suspension of its usage through various media outlets. Even though it was proven
that Tylenol was not associated with the tampering it still immediately assumed responsibility. Johnson & Johnson completely recovered its market share lost during the crisis and reestablish the Tylenol brand as one to the must trusted consumer products in American.
Which way will GM choose in this PR crisis?
Do you know how for years the big oil companies have been trying to tell us that they are not really oil companies? Through PR and corporate campaigns they’ve tried to convince us that they are in fact new energy companies. I think I was actually starting to buy it. BP with its earth friendly yellow and green sun logo and fun illustrated campaign had me convinced they were actually moving beyond petroleum – that is until they started dumping thousands of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Now the company can’t get away from being associated with oil. BPs website is now cluttered with response to the oil spill. Response in pictures. Response in video. Response in maps. It seems BP did learn something from it corporate giant friend Toyota. Response it key. Did BP executives read the USA Today/Gallop Poll that said a majority of Americans though Toyota failed to respond quickly enough to its own PR disaster?
Does anyone else feel duped by BPs ads? The “Beyond Petroleum” campaign was launched by Ogilvy & Mather almost 10 years ago. From the Ogilvy PR press release “The newly re-branded, global BP sought to position itself as transcending the oil sector, remaining innovative, progressive and environmentally responsible.” They wanted the world to know intended to go beyond petroleum. That PR battle was a success earning two 2001 PRWeek Campaign of the Year awards. But BP may end up losing the war.
BP can say the word response all they want, but it doesn’t change the fact that they weren’t ready for this. After almost two weeks the governor of Louisiana is still waiting for a contingency plan from BP. While the government is waiting for environmental plans BP was out with its own economic plan offering $5,000 settlements to residents if they waived their rights to sue for any damages.
Did BPs advertising work too well? Would they be better off in the this crisis if a lot of us didn’t start believing they were beyond petroleum?