Posted by: jenpul | May 3, 2009

Starbucks Revs Up and Revamps

Starbucks coffee has launched a multi-million dollar camplaign to focus on quality and the value of their coffee and products.  Since the economy has soured, Starbucks is having to compete with McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts that provide “gourmet coffee” for cheaper prices.  Starbucks is fighting back with mostly all-text ads that focus on their coffee.  For example, “Beware of a cheaper cup of coffee. It comes with a price.”

It is about time that Starbucks takes action in this economy.  Many people are choosing to brew their coffee at home or going to cheaper priced stores.  As a religious coffee drinker, I can say that Starbucks was a luxury that I enjoyed a lot, but with money being tight, I turned to my old coffee maker at home.  I get a similar taste, but saving money right now is more important.  I hope for Starbucks sake that this brand new campaign helps them in the long run.

Posted by: jenpul | April 29, 2009

Clear Channel says ‘bye-bye’ to marketing

Of all the companies affected by the economic slump, Clear Channel Communications is definitely feeling the blow.  The company announced that it will do away with the corporate marketing department in Clear Channel Radio.  The cuts are across the entire business, but marketing is hurting the most.  Employees affected by this decision include on-air radio personalities that will see their slots filled with syndicated content.

I have noticed a demise in the media business from failing newspapers to less money for graduates seeking jobs in the field, but now radio?  It is sad to say but the age of newspapers and radios is in the past, now everyone wants instant gratification whether it is from your television set or internet.  I wouldn’t know what to do if my favorite radio station in the mornings got the axe.  This is definitely something to keep your eyes on in the following year.

Posted by: jenpul | April 27, 2009

It is All in the Name

Most products that consumers buy have recognizable names that customers build brand loyalty towards.  Company branding expert, Elizabeth Kanna believes that a name can make or break a company.  She says that a company’s name should represent the overall picture and purpose of the company.  Even though I agree with many of Kanna’s ideas on brand-naming, I did not like that she believed it was alright to use the same name as another company, as long as the company does not provide the same services or products.  I think consumers would get confused and it is not as original.  The idea of coming up with a great brand is the orginality of the idea.

Posted by: jenpul | April 27, 2009

Food Companies Go Back to Basics

As the recession affects thousands of American’s piggy banks, many food companies are realizing that fancy products and branding are not what consumers want.  Many have taken the hint that Americans want and need simplicity in their products.  Real ingredients and easy preparation are on the minds of many because nobody has the time to cook an eight-course meal now a days.  Both Heinz’s Classico pasta sauces and Haagan-Dazs are filling their products with organic ingredients at a good price, but where are all the other companies?  The new trend is gaining momentum, but in order for other companies to keep their customers, they need to step up and realize what we as Americans want.  Kind of disappointed that there are not more apart of this trend.

Posted by: jenpul | April 26, 2009

Marble Slab gets a Facelift

Marble Slab Creamery is rebranding their looks and focusing on their gourmet ice cream.  With the economy affecting all aspects from cars to insurance to even ice cream, Marble Slab is making the right move.  Not only will the stores have a chocolate and pink color scheme, their online ordering process will be easier for customers.

I have always been a fan of Marble Slab and I will say the store closest to me could use a facelift and a little redecorating.  The ice cream speaks for itself, but I guess in these times it is better to focus on the big picture than let the product do the talking.  I am curious to see what the stores will look like in the end.

Posted by: jenpul | April 22, 2009

Want to be Pizza Hut’s “Twintern”?

Pizza Hut announced that it is going to launch a brand new intern position strictly for social media and focusing on Twitter this summer.  The new intern will be the voice of Pizza Hut on Twitter and will monitor both positive and negative feedback.  Marketers finally realize what a vital tool that social media is and a young, fresh face seems to be the key.

I was recently on an interview and they stressed how important social media is.  Thankfully I am well versed in the Facebook, MySpace and Twitter worlds because it only added to my resume.  Older adults are even caving in to the Twitter frenzy by taking classes at conventions on Twittering and “tweeting.”  It will be interesting to see how new and even bigger advertising will be in these social media worlds.

Posted by: jenpul | April 16, 2009

Southwest Airlines Helps Students

Southwest Airlines and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities are offering their annual education travel award program.  This is directed towards students from families with lower incomes and offers one to four tickets for the student and family members.  The tickets are for use in the fall for the recipients to travel to and from school.

This is a great example of what good PR can do for your company.  Not only are they helping others that would not otherwise have the opportunities to fly and travel, but they are promoting their company in a positive light.  I love seeing companies give back to the community because not only does that make you want to buy their product to help them help others, but it’s nice to see a huge company that actually cares.

Posted by: jenpul | April 13, 2009

AIG Wasting Money on PR Firms

AIG has not been enjoying its spotlight in the media lately with sketchy behavior and the souring economy affecting the huge company.  Congress has been very active in their efforts to help the corporation bail itself out, but what many are raising an eyebrow about is AIG’s wasteful spending on four major PR firms.  I understand using the knowledge of one or even two PR firms to help with the mess that AIG created, but four?  I completely agree with the members of Congress who are upset and outraged by the waste of money that AIG has spent on their strategic communications efforts.  They also have their personal, corporate communications department to help with the work, so why does a large company need the workforce of four agencies?  I think it is a waste of money, time and just makes them look ridiculous.  I am glad to know that government money is being spent/used so wisely.

Posted by: jenpul | April 9, 2009

PR firms notice slowdown; will it go back up?

It has always been a struggle to get hired at a PR or communications firm, but now more than ever getting hired at these companies is almost impossible.  With the economy on a downward spiral, PR firms have noticed not only a lack of job openings, but also a lack of business.  Corporate America is sticking to their own communications departments instead of turning any work or project over to the agency side of PR.  This is making it harder to PR firms to find talent outside of their networking circle

It is very alarming for a college student majoring in PR to find this information.  I am graduating in December and I am not going to lie that it is very intimidating.  Agency work has always been an interest of mine, but now that even these companies are suffering, it makes me unsure of my future in this field.   It is always good to have a back up, but by December hopefully there will be more of a turn around.

Posted by: jenpul | April 7, 2009

Coca-Cola Enters the Social Media World

To keep up with the fast-paced digital advertising world, Coca-Cola has added a new office of digital communication and social media.  The office is being added on to their public affairs and communications department that already exists.   The company believes that this will open more lines of communication between consumers and the corporation.

What better way to market to your consumer than online?  I think Coca-Cola is making a smart move entering into the digital world that millions of people are a part of already.  Since newspapers, magazines and other print news sources are on the decline, mass media is not the place to be anymore.

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