The contemporary challenges of managing a Multi-National Corporation (MNC)

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The purpose of this essay is to analyse the contemporary challenges facing the management of a Multi-National Corporation. A multinational corporation (MNC) is a company engaged in producing and selling goods or services in more than one country. (Shapiro, A; 2010) Besides that, multinational corporation can be defined as a company or group that derives a quarter of its revenue from operations outside of its home country. (Business dictionary, 2013) It generally consists of a parent company situated in the home country and approximately five or six foreign subsidiaries, usually with a high degree of strategic interaction amongst the units. The largest MNCs are oil companies such as BP and Exxon (Esso) and car companies such as Ford, Toyota and Volkswagen. Other famous companies such as Sony, IBM and Coca-Cola are also defined as being multinational. Lots of MNCs have about 100 foreign subsidiaries strewn around the world, and all of them face a number of challenges, which they need to deal with. This essay will discuss these issues providing different writers’ opinions and giving examples.

There is no company without problems it is facing. Whether a corporation is big or small, there will certainly be some kind of issues preventing against its continuity. Despite the fact that multi-national corporations effectively organise the production and marketing around the world and also increase global output and improve well-being, they can also cause some serious problems for its own and other countries. For instance, problems with human resources operations. Human resource managers might have to overcome some cultural barriers to find well qualified specialist for the needed positions in a foreign country. Besides, management professionals may face a lack of skilled abilities to fill the main positions that also require a higher degree and experience. Finding workers at home country who are skilled or enthusiastic to get involved and fill such positions outside of their home may also be challenging. Some employees probably might not want to work and live in certain parts of the world due to the different personal reasons.

Another problem that multinational companies may face is communication and culture differences. It is especially essential that managers understand the traditions and ethical norms of other countries so that they can avoid any misunderstandings or conflicts between them. In some Asian countries, bowing, rather than shaking hands, is a more suitable form of greeting. Also, sending a woman to business negotiations may be considered as disrespect or even facetiousness.  A Bata Shoe Company executive tells the story of a subsidiary in which women workers who came to talk to their male supervisors would sit on the floor, facing the wall, with their backs to supervisor. (Punnet, B.J. et al 1997) It was obvious that the question of how to communicate successfully can no longer be answered in traditional Western terms. Besides, language seems to be important in people’s socialisation. Language teaching courses can be rather expensive and time consuming; and some people find it difficult to learn a new language. A corporation might employ translators to go from one language to another but very often managers face problems with misleading and wrong meaning in the foreign language. For example, the Coca-Cola Company planned to set up in China in the 1920s and wanted to introduce its product with English pronunciation. Naturally, it was complicated and had a completely different meaning.

MNCs always face with a range of financial problems. The set of risks is larger for multinational corporations rather than for home country companies. Multinational managers face extra risks, for instance, currency value changes in the market (cost for traders can suddenly raise far more than expected and the company may have no earnings; also, foreign debt obligations can become more high-priced), additional licenses and other documents are frequently required because of the discrimination between foreign and local firms, besides, the risk of expropriation also exists. A foreign exchange rate risk is one of the most difficult. It is a rate at which firm might exchange one currency for another. (Punnet, B.J. et al 1997) There is always an amount of risk when it comes to selling the product will it be a success and how much money customer will pay for that. A planning process of selling goods the price is important. For example, the prices for Apple Company’s products are always varying depending on where they are selling. Foreign currency fluctuation is one of the key sources of risk in multinational operations. (Shapiro, A; 2010). Many of the transactions are so large that even the banks require professional. For example, 10 million Belarusian rubles are 760 British pounds. “One of the largest British banks HSBC agreed to a record $1.92 billion settlement with authorities. The bank faced prosecution that it transferred billions of dollars for nations like Iran and enabled Mexican drug cartels to move money illegally through its American subsidiaries.” (NY times, 2012) This incident could put at risk one of the world’s largest banks and ultimately destabilised the worldwide financial structure.

Foreign investment has both benefits and a negative side. Firstly, the most significant disadvantage is that foreign investment can cause a high dependence on the world. E.g. the provision of needed resources like technology, capital, etc. Secondly, inappropriate technology provided by MNCs to the host sometimes is out of date or too advanced. In many cases, the host does not have enough knowledge about how to use it properly. This can make them believe that many multinational corporations do not pay plenty attention to the real requirements of the country. (Punnet, B.J. et al 1997) Thirdly, the exploitation can increase. Sometimes multinational corporations are using non-renewable resources. Surely, MNCs might take new services and products existing locally. By doing this, consumption can increase, as well as local funds and investment can decrease.

Joint ventures or partnership have become reasonably common in multinational business. It has both advantages and disadvantages. Joint ventures provide a means to spread large capital needs over a number of parties; most important projects are possible only if a partnership exists. This spreading of the initial investment spreads the risk between the business colleagues. It takes time and effort to build the trustworthy relationship and partnership with another business can be challenging. Problems are likely to arise if there is instability in a level of knowledge or resources brought into the project by the different partners. Also, different cultures and management methods lead to low co-operation and integration. It is highly important to re-evaluate the business strategy before committing to a joint venture.

 

The last but not the least important issue in managing MNC is environmental damage. It is worth pointing out that the transportation of almost all goods in the world depends on the use of fossil fuels. Multinational corporations often produce goods in countries such as Thailand, China and Japan where earnings are quite low, and import them to Europe countries or America by means of large cargo ships. This extensive use of transport leads to sizable environmental damage. The damage becomes even worse due to the lack of strict environmental rules which obviously can lead to pollution, waste and release of toxic substances. The Guardian Newspaper article states that the United Kingdom air pollution causes 50,000 deaths a year and short people’s lives by as much as nine years. (Guardian, 2010) It is argued that people would not survive long if they ignored their impact on the environment.

All in all, this essay discussed the importance of management and what role it plays in multinational business. MNCs face a number of different challenges such as cultural differences between the partners and co-workers, financial problems, double taxation, negative aspects of foreign investment and joint ventures as well as global environmental contamination because of the use of fossil fuels. There are many things that could go seriously wrong. (Sauvant, P ;2008) The introduction of various nations into the business process means introducing different methods to run the business.  To be effective in a multinational business, corporations need to understand these management challenges and be able to use this knowledge to their advantage.

References & Bibliography

Business Dictionary. (2013). Multinational Corporation. Available: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/business-english/multinational-corporation?q=multinational+corporations. [Last accessed 22nd April 2013.]

Lewis, J. (-). What Are the Cultural Problems Encountered by Multinational Companies? Read more: What Are the Cultural Problems Encountered by Multinational Companies?. Available: http://www.ehow.com/info_12199203_cultural-problems-encountered-multinational-companies.html. [Last accessed 21st April.]

Protess, B;Silver-Greenberg,J.. (2012). HSBC to Pay $1.92 Billion to Settle Charges of Money Laundering. Available: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/12/10/hsbc-said-to-near-1-9-billion-settlement-over-money-laundering/. [Last accessed 23rd April 2013.]

Punnet, B.J.; Ricks, D.A (1997). International business. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. p380.

Sauvant, P (2008). The rise of transnational corporations from emerging markets. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. P.18.

Shapiro, A (2010). Multinational Financial Management. 9th ed. Danvers: John Wiley & Sons Pte Ltd.p. 4.

Vidal, J. (2010). UK air pollution causes 50,000 early deaths a year, say MPs. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/22/air-pollution-deaths.%5BLast accessed 25th April 2013.]

Blogs and Blogging. Many organisations suffer from criticism in online blogs and how they manage it.

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BLOGS AND BLOGGING

Some of the biggest threats to organisations arise from blogs. These are in effect online diaries or articles. The vast majority-and there are now an estimated 126 million blogs according to BlogPulse-and little more than gossip and chat amongst friends or like-minded people and pose no threat, other than extreme boredom, to those who chance upon them. However, there are a relatively  small but influential group of blogs written by people who see themselves as ‘citizen journalists’ and either wish their views to be widely known or want to punish an organisation.

Many writers of bogs care passionately about  publicise activity that mainstream media have yet to pick up on, or have  chosen  not to cover. Overnight, and without warning, an organisation can find itself discussed all over cyberspace and, with only a short delay, the subject of scrutiny by more conventional print and broadcast media.

Some blogs are set up specifically to attack particular organisation. Dell, the direct-selling American computer company, was attacked for its poor service under the title ‘Dell Hell’. Within no time at all awareness of the phrase mushroomed until ‘Dell Hell’ started ranking higher in search engines that ‘Dell’ alone. Dell had to launch its own corporate blog to counter the criticism.

MacDonald’s, the fast food eatery, continues to be the victim of blogs attacking it for everything from its environmental record to its treatment of animals and its working conditions.

However, it is important to keep a sense of perspective. As it was mentioned, almost all organisations of any size face online criticism, and most survive and thrive. Individual postings online do not always resonate as effectively at the examples above which does not mean that one should not be vigilant, only that one should not overreact and perhaps even draw attention to what might be a very small problem.

According to TNS Media Intelligence only 3.5% of news actually breaks in the blogsphere. Instead blog news content is still overwhelmingly drawn from mainstream media. But it would be foolish to dismiss blogs altogether. A recent piece of research in America showed that 59% of journalists regularly use blogs for story ideas.
What blogs can do is to keep an issue going long after conventional media have moved on. In essence, what the online worlds has meant is that it is easier than ever to complain, and once it is on the internet a complaint or an attack can linger, be found quickly by search engines and hence come up again and again. It is easy for others to research an issue, add fresh comments, email or blog post is not only faster and less trouble to execute than a letter or phone call but also, once posted online, can be viewed globally.
Organisations have 3 options when it comes to deciding how to respond to online complaints and criticism:
1. Listen in

2. Take part

3. Take Cover

To listen in organisation need to monitor what is being said. Fortunately online resources make this is easier than one might expect. Not only are there devices such as Google blog search and Technorati, Blogpulse and Feedburner but, for bigger volumes, there is also specialist software. Media evaluation companies will also monitor online comment about an organisation and its competitors and the issues that concern them in chat-rooms, and examine those blogs with the most links, comments, ratings and bookmarks. FInally, there are specialist consultancies such as SIGWatch who will monitor pressure groups that may impact on the organisation.

Having listened in and found things it does not like on the blog or critic’s web-site, an organisation needs to decide whether to take part or taker cover. As a general rule it is probably better not to respond. There is a danger of fanning the flames and making the story bigger than it might otherwise have been. Many bloggers are naturally anti anything they see as ‘the establishment’, such as business and government, and will take a response as an admission of guilt and weakness and step up their criticism.
However, if the criticism are valid the best response is first to correct the shortcomings, and second to apologise. A greater difficulty is when a complete untruth is published in a blog or on a critical website. Uncorrected the untruth may gain popular currency-there have, for instance, been allegations of products being carcinogenic when they are not. But trying to correct the untruth may just amplify the rumour and increase the damage caused by what might otherwise have been a story of limited interest. There can be no hard and fast advice in situations like these: you just have to weigh up the risks and make a judgement.
One way of handling persistent detractors is try to get them onside. This can be done by a mixture of flattery and dialogue. For example, an organisation can offer to meet with a critic which will make them feel important. Detractors can be consulted about new products or future plans and even offered new products to review. The difficulty is that some bloggers love such approaches while others feel insulted and believe that you are trying to corrupt them. Microsoft came under fire in 2006 when its PR agency in America, Edelman, sent laptop computers with the  Windows Vista operating system to influential bloggers. Some protested at what they saw as an attempt at bribery. This sort of problem may lessen as the whole blogging culture become better established and more similar to traditional media.Indeed, some successful blogs are already turning themselves into money-making enterprises, though this raises the question of whether blogs will lose their special impact when they start to behave and be seen like other mainstream media.
As an extension of trying to get blog critics onside some organisations have tried to join the blogsphere, This is usually done in one of two ways.
The first technique is to post a rebuttal or correction on the offending blog. At the best you may correct serious errors and at least communicate your point of view. At worst the posing may stir further controversy and attacks. Some firms, or their PR consultants, have attempted ‘disguised’ postings whereby they try to hide their real identity. It is possible to say how often this ethically dubious and potentially illegal approach works. What is certain is that those who have been discovered doing this have usually found themselves in a worse situation than one from which they started.
The other technique is to create a corporate blog. One big advantage of a corporate blog is that it can greatly increase you search engine optimisation (SEO). However, the danger with corporate blogs is that they end up looking like a boring corporate website rather than a real, personalised blog. This is more likely to offend critics still further rather than win people over.  The essence of the blogsphere is its informality, frankness and openness. Running an effective corporate blog takes time frequent updates are usually necessary-and a willingness to show the skeletons in the company’s cupboards. If you write a corporate blog you must be serious and honest about it.
As mentioned at the start, the giant American retailer WalMart ran into trouble when it emerged that a pro-Wal-Mart blog was in fact funded by ‘Working Families for Wal’Mart’ (WFWM), a front group or organisation set up to show Wal-Mart in a good light. Transparency is paramount for corporations trying to go head on with critics in cyberspace.

At their best corporate blogs can be an extension of customer service, provide consumer insights, and even open up new areas of business. At their worst they can do far more harm than good. So before creating a corporate blog make sure you have a first-rate online press office.

The New 2014 Campaign for Toyota Company. Assignment-Report.

1.0   Introduction

The purpose of this report is to demonstrate and critically analyse how my company “PR 4 U” has applied an innovative approach to a world’s well known Toyota Company, particularly Supra 2014 sport model, by launching new plastic products glowing in the dark.

The campaign’s overall objective is to provide a full safety for drivers while driving cars at nights and the ability to express the uniqueness and individuality.

Public relations is all about strategic communication process which creates positive and valuable relationships between organisations and their publics. This report covers a variety of different tactics, methods and strategies which help PR initiatives to achieve a success in Toyota new campaign.

 

2.0   History of brand

Toyota originally came from Japanese industry and was invented by Sakichi Toyoda. In 1924, he presented Toyoda Model G Automatic Loom which patent was sold to a British Company in 1929. By the end of 1975, Toyota sold over one million vehicle and surpassed Volkswagen to become number one import brand in the United States. In August 1982, the Celica Supra model became available in the European market for the first time, and with supply to the UK limited to just 100 cars per month it benefited from an additional air of exclusiveness. The new Celica was launched in 1999 and the design had radically changed. Toyota designed the Supra model to fill the upper end of the sporty subcompact market. During its 20-year history the Supra went through four generations, plus a special 15th anniversary edition. (Source: http://www.Toyota.com)

 

3.0 Evaluation of current market

Toyota is trying to develop cars that meet the needs and expectations of their customers while at the same time achieving an ideal balance between consideration for the environment, safety, drivability, comfort and reliability. Toyotas are not particularly exciting or rugged but consumers regard them as sincere and competent. J.D.Power, an organisation that surveys car owners to evaluate levels of satisfaction, annually reports that Toyota is at or near the top of satisfaction ratings. This, of course, is due to the brand’s overall success and reliability. (Shimp, 2007) The Company’s automobile segment is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of car products, including sedans, minivans, sport-utility vehicles ,2BOX cars and trucks, as well as the related car parts and accessories. According to “The Guardian” newspaper’s article, Toyota Company sold 9.7m cars and trucks worldwide in 2012, and it is still growing. Toyota kept its crown as the world’s best-selling auto maker for two years in a row in 2013, beating competitors like General Motors and Volkswagen after having sold 9.9m vehicles together with group companies Daihatsu and Hino Motors. However, Toyota Motor claimed that it would stop producing engines and cars in Australia by the end of 2017 due to the decreased sales rates by nearly half in the past decade. (NY Times, 2014) In the United Kingdom, the production has made Toyota a key player in the nation’s manufacturing business. In 2013, Toyota GB sold 84,563 vehicles which is up 14, 9%. (Hubbard, 2014) Toyota is planning to sell around 10.32m vehicles globally in 2014. (The guardian, 2014)

4.0  The Campaign

4.1  The new product description

The main idea of this new campaign is to produce a wide range of different plastic accessorises glowing in the dark such as number frame plates, bolts, side frames, caps on the nipple and arch liners. To start with, a number frame plate has a very useful and unusual feature, it is glowing in the dark without electricity, bulbs or LEDs. The principle is that during the day, the material from which the frame is made, collects daylight and then send accumulated lumens as a bright glow. Phosphorus, a non-metallic chemical element, has an ability to glow in the dark and is widely used in medicine, explosives, fireworks and toothpaste. While driving a car, the frame glows even more brightly due to the energy generated by friction with the air. Even with the fully dead battery, the car will be noticeable on unlit roads at night. Basically, the colours of plates are white or translucent during the daylight but it is possible to produce any frame colour. In this case, the brightness level is lower than the classic version. It is interesting to note that the brightest glow in the dark is green colour. The arch liners glowing in the dark will decorate any vehicle making in notable especially on sport cars like Toyota Supra. Also, the new phosphorescent caps for nipples will create a beautiful green halo around the wheels when driving more than 30 mph. Nowadays, there is no need to spend much money on painting the whole wheel with the professional glowing dye for automobiles.

 4.2  The SMART objectives

For objectives to be effective they should meet the criteria of being Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound which forms the acronym SMART. (Gordon, 2011) The SMART framework will help to identify what is needed to successfully implement new products for the Toyota brand and meet the deadlines on time.

 

  • Specific

By May 1, 2014, implement the new outside phosphorus-glowing car parts for the Toyota brand market and to raise awareness amongst age group of 22-35 middle and high income drivers by using clear marketing and PR structure. Also, to update the http://www.toyota.com web site stock with new accessorises and start communication with the audience in order to promote the “glowing” campaign and attract new potential customers to the Toyota market.

  • Measurable

The measurable objective in this campaign is to reach a high volume of noticeability. This includes five days a week advertisements in famous national newspapers such as “The Telegraph”, “The Guardian” and “The Times” which have millions of readers in the UK, also, in well-known auto journals and magazines, for example “Auto express” and “Car magazine”, three days a week radio ads will help to reach the audience’s ears while driving a car and some e-blogs publications will grab the attention of people who spend much time on the internet. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have a special influence on publics and their perception of the brand. For example, in 2013, Facebook reached 1.19 billion monthly active users. (Source: The Next Web, 2013)

  • Achievable

The overall business objective is to make the Toyota the best-selling car in the UK market with the help of a new glowing products, and to help achieve that the PR objectives are to get all the key monitoring journalists and bloggers to write a review of the Toyota sports car event show. The aim is to achieve at least 10,000 online readers and followers as well as 100,000 sales in the first 10 months.

 

  • Realistic

With the £1.5 million budget and a clear strategic business plan, the new innovative approach is more than realistic to implement. The major amount of the budget is going to be spend on the development of glowing car parts and its dyeing; around 1/3 of the rest budget is for the Toyota sports car open air race show which also includes rent fee, laser and music demonstration, catering facilities, glowing products exhibition and other equipment. Other amount of money is intended for advertising in press and TV channels, event leaflets, for reporters, journalists and photographers. The entrance fee to an event will be £5 per person; the money will go for charity organisations like “Save the Children” and “The Lullaby Trust” located in London.

  • Time-bound

The product development and all the organisational and promotional goals must be completed by May 1, 2014. The event will be held on 3nd May till 5th May which is Bank Holiday in the United Kingdom. The desired success is predicted within 6 months after the event days.

 

4.3  Target Audience

Knowledge of audience characteristics such as beliefs, attitudes, concerns, and lifestyles is an essential part of persuasion. It helps the communicator tailor messages that are salient, answer a felt need, and provide a logical course of action. (Wilcox, 2011)  The “glowing” campaign is mainly aimed at females and males drivers of age around 22-35. The intended target audience for these products are middle- and high-income people who take care of their cars and are more likely to try these new glowing accessorises. People in this age range tend to be graduated students with stable salary and people with quite high income who can afford such a “glowing” and unique privilege. Audience profiling also depends on hobbies/interests and social values. This campaign expects to see sports and travel lovers, who treat their cars as a family member or the best friend. The selection of target segments is a critical step toward effective and efficient marketing communication. (Shimp, 2007)

5.0  Tactics and Promotional tools

  • Advertising

Printed words can be kept indefinitely and can be reread. Messages delivered in that form through newspapers, magazines, and journals are fundamental elements in public relations work. (Wilcox, 2001) The new campaign advertisements are to appear in famous local newspapers and car journals. Magazines are also noted for their long life as kept around the home, salons, shops and offices for weeks. Magazines and journals provide both mass audience and highly selective vehicles to choose from. Newspapers have the value of natural timeliness and immediacy so important to achieving consumer response. (Parente, 2006) The new campaign also requires a television advertising. Television has the strongest emotional influence of all media. A 30 sec commercial video will be broadcasted on Eurosport, BBC, and ITV channels on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays as on these days people are more likely to spend their after-work-time watching TV. The billboards ads will be placed on the roads and streets. Eye-catching impact is the goal as the duration of viewing is short. (Appendix 4) The event leaflets will include the programme name, date and venue as well as entrance fee.

  • The internet and social networking

The Internet is an essential element of many people’s lives. The online media are usually used as a supplemental method of reaching a generally well-educated, relatively affluent audience interested in new ideas and fresh approaches.(Wilcox,2001) Firstly, online advertising must be on http://www.toyota.com website with the online shopping tool. Display or banner ads can also be publicised in automobiles online magazines or e-blogs. Secondly, the social networks greatly excite marketing and PR people as they are made up of defined communities of people with some shared interests. (Morris, 2012) The social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allows target audience to share photos and information with their friends and connect to the new people with the same interests or hobbies. This is the best way for Toyota to receive a direct feedback from customers about their experience or thoughts about glowing car parts. In addition, web sites can expand a relationship between a company and the customer on a one-to-one basis.

  • Promotional products

Promotional products, such as T-shirts, automobile sun protectors, key tags, calendars, iPhone cases and other stuff with company’s logo can help further the Toyota brand’s image if it is used strategically. All these products should appear during the event days. The visitors and intended target audience who like and drive Toyota automobiles will definitely purchase some of these products for themselves or their friends.

  • E-Commerce

Shopping online has become a reality and a very popular B2B and B2C sales. The http://www.toyota.co.uk can provide online shopping tool which includes reservation, delivery and collection at your nearest Toyota salon. The convenience in implementing such a tool is that many car buyers shop online for information before they go to a dealership. (Parente, 2006) The items stock list will make the future customer aware about availability of glowing plate frames or arch liners, prices and other description can easily be accessed and understood by any client. The payment method will be through PayPal, Credit cards and Bank cheques.

6.0  Launch Event

Event hospitality is often seen as a part of the public relations’ information dissemination process. (Baines, 2004) The Toyota Sports Car Show will take place on Good Wood Motor Circuit in London on 3rd, 4th and 5th of May, 2014. The objective of the event is to raise awareness about glowing car accessorises among the target audience and to reach a high number of publications in press and word-of-mouth communications. Apart from the car show, the event will also include laser performance from Definitive Company, catering facilities and exhibition stand where visitors can make a professional photograph with races and body-art females. The massive decorations will greet the visitors and will show the directions to parking places. The money raised for the entrance (£5 per person) will be donated to charity organisations “Save the Children” and “The Lullaby Trust” in London. Photographers and journalists of different newspapers and TV channels are invited and welcomed to the event. The press will have special VIP seats in order to take the best photographs of the car race show. Some interviewing places will be provided for them so that the light and sound will match the high standard format. Lots of hospitality tents will meet potential clients with different snacks, hot food and drinks as well as entertain them of the Toyota’s promotional products.

The third day of the event will be announced as a public day where people can still have a look at the Toyota sports cars exhibition stand and glowing accessorises, enjoy BBQ and other catering food, different businesses companies can also come along to the exhibition and have a talk about future partnership or sponsorship with Toyota, the press can take interviews of top executives, managers, media gatekeepers and other influential persons in the industry. All the participants of various Toyota associations and clubs are welcomed to demonstration their sport cars and drift on the run. The image that the event portrays will have a direct effect on how visitors see the organisation regardless of the reality.

7.0  Media Timing/Scheduling

Timing is all about scheduling; decisions need to be made concerning when the ads appear to the publics, and the way these ads are scheduled over time. Timing is an important element of media strategy because when someone is exposed can affect that person’s receptiveness to the advertising message. (Parente, 2006) The Appendix 9 shows the frequency and time of using different media tools in order to achieve a high noticeability and raise awareness among target audiences. It is always important to integrate the marketing communication recommendations with the advertising plan so that the target audience gets a consistent message and “feel” from every contact it has with promotional activities. (Parente, 2006)

8.0 Conclusion

In conclusion, the new campaign for Toyota will definitely grab the attention of customers by its uniqueness and safety which phosphorus-glowing accessorises provide. Different tactics and promotional tools like advertising, social network and internet-commerce, PR, the event launch and word of mouth communication create a clear message for this campaign in order to meet all the SMART objectives.

My Company “PR 4 U” suggests this new campaign with a clear PR strategic plan for Toyota Company. Implementation of a public relations plan uses many different tactics applied in creative ways.

“PR is extremely important, and being able to use it in the right way means everything. You have to market your success.” – Lee Haney, bodybuilder and former Mr Olympia.

 

9.0 References

Baines, P et al. (2004). Public Relations: Contemporary issues and techniques. Oxford: Newgen Imaging System Ltd. p.199

Gordon, A.E. (2011). Public Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press Inc.. p.176.

Hubbard, C.J. (2013). UK car sales 2012 winners and losers. Available: http://cars.uk.msn.com/features/uk-car-sales-2012-winners-and-losers?page=4. Last accessed 17th Feb 2014.

Morris, T et al (2012). PR Today: The authoritative guide to PR. London: Palgrave Macmillan Publishers Ltd. p.151

NY Times by Reuters. (2014). Toyota to Stop Making Cars in Australia. Available: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/11/business/international/toyota-to-stop-making-cars-in-australia.html?ref=toyotamotorcorporation&_r=0. Last accessed 17th Feb 2014.

Parente, D.E (2006). Advertising Campaign Strategy. 4th ed. Mason USA: Thomson Higher Education. p.191,225,278

Protalinski, E. (2013).The Next Web. Facebook passes 1.19 billion monthly active users, 874 million mobile users, and 728 million daily users . Available: http://thenextweb.com/facebook/2013/10/30/facebook-passes-1-19-billion-monthly-active-users-874-million-mobile-users-728-million-daily-users/#!utbb2. Last accessed 5th Feb 2014.

The Guardian . (2013). Toyota reclaims position as world’s biggest carmaker. Available: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/jan/15/toyota-world-no-1-carmaker. Last accessed 8th Feb 2014.

The Guardian. (2014). Toyota forecasts record annual profit as yen falls and Japan sales rise. Available: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/feb/04/toyota-record-profit-yen-japan-sales. Last accessed 8th Feb 2014.

Toyota Com. (2012). Product History:Celica. Available: http://www.toyota.com/about/our_business/our_history/product_history/pdf/celica.pdf. Last accessed 15th Feb 2014.

Shimp, A (2007). Intedgrated Marketing Communications in Advertising and Promotion. 7th ed. Mason USA: Thomson Higher Education . p.18, 40.

Wilcox,D et al (2001). Essentials of Public Relations. US: Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc.. p.184,202,204

 

 

How to get a Job in PR

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PR is a very popular career choice, and for the reason. It offers attractive and varied career options, and exciting opportunities for career development. These are highly appealing the world over, so you will not be the only person looking for work experience or applying for a PR job.
PR is an open industry which is always hungry for new talent. In comparison to many careers, it is relatively easy to get started in public relation. No formal qualifications are needed. No years of training. Moreover, the PR industry continues to show healthy growth rates. But the industry’s very popularity can make getting a job competitive task.

Preparation:gaining direct or indirect experience, vacation jobs and part-time work, non-academic participation at university, building bank of references.

  • Get as many internships or as much work experience in PR firms and PR departments as possible. This will demonstrate  both your experience and commitment to future employers as well as giving you networking opportunities. If you cannot obtain direct experience try to do something related: work in the media, sales promotion, research, advertising, event management,website development. Such experience can impress potential employers.
  • If you cannot work in any of the above fields, try to ensure that in any job you do you acquire useful skills. This could imclude anything from learning about and using the latest office software to dealing with customers, doing the accounts or just working on reception.
  • Volunteer to write articles for the university newspaper or one to the magazines-print and online-run by many student societies. Employers will be interested to see what you have done and it will give you something to show and to talk about in an interview.
  • Specific experience can be useful. If you are interested in corporate PR or public affairs involvement in the student union, local politics, a pressure group or NGO can be handy,Being involved in events or booking bands could stand you in good stead if you are more interested in consumer or lifestyle PR.
  • If an employer praises you, ask if you can use them as a referee when applying for the jobs. Some positive words in writing are always helpful.
  • Remember that in any job you need to be punctual, reliable, hard working and enjoyable to work with. It is worth remembering that a reputation for reability never lets you down. A poor attendance record in class can also hold you back. PR is a fun industry but employers still expect you to be in the office on time regardless of how brilliant it was the night before.

Identification: how to research the first approach, how to make contact

Getting a holiday job or internship requires care, attention and a planned and methodical approach.
Use your immediate contacts. Do you parents, other family members, friends work in a business or organisation that may have a job for you?
Attend PR industry events and strike up conversations. Don’t be shy and stand apart! Remember to try to get people’s business cards. USe social media. Follow PR people on Twitter and respond when appropriate. Join LInkedIn.
Once you have identified some target organisations read up about them and if you can find the name of the person you sould contact. When emailing it is usually better to use the person’s family name rather than their given name. So Mr Morris not Trevor.
Try to leep your covering email or letter short and to the point. “I see you have recently won the prestigious PR account for Moroccan Tourism. I am a PR graduate, have undertaken work experience in two travel PR firms and have oublished several articles on my travel experience.”
Dont try to put your whole CV into the letter. Concentrate in what matters to the employer.
Your CV should be posted on to the bottom of your email rather than sent as an attachment. Some attachments from unknown sources are immediately sent to the spam folder.
The CV itself should be no more than two pages, with the most relevant and most recent experience- including degree, skills, work backgound.

Alsom be careful with what you say under personal interests. Not everyone approves of hunting, likes every religious peopleor understands why transpotting is an interesting hobby!
Once you have sent an email application you MUST check your emails every day and reply immediately if you receive any response.

Be prepared for rejection. Sadly some firms do not even bother to reply to applicants. Do not take it personally. Whatever it is , keep on trying.  One og the great things about the PR, is that there are literally thousands of openings. You will get there in the end.

Presentation: the interview-preparation, arrival and the interview itself.

So you have got an interview. What do you do?
There is no excuse  in not knowing about the organisation and indeed the person or people you are meeting. Failure to do some homework shows a lack of initiatives and interest. Use Google to find out what the media have been saying about them. Chech the trade press, such as PR week. Think about the character and culture of the organisation.
Think about the questions you would like to ask the interviewer. These questions can be about the job itself or the organisation, or both.
Try to dress in a style that suits the organisation  that you are visiting. As a general rule,tend towards smart rather than casual and avoid  flamboyance, high fashion, very high heels, short skirts. You want a job, not a date!

Arrive about 10 minuites earlier-but not much earlier!
Arriving late leaves a terrible impression. Do not sit down in the reception unless you know there will be a long wait. Much better to remain standing so you can walk forward confidentlym and shake the hands of the person who has come to meet you.

You should have thought about what questions they might ask you and have some answers prepared. Why are you interested in them? Why do you want to work in PR? What are you good at?
Make sure you are up to date  with what is happening in the news.PR is very much about media relations in one form to another. Be prepared for some small, on the spot tests. PR consultancies often ask interviewees for full time jobs to write a press release based on some basic information.

At the end of interview thank your interviewees, ask if there is anything you have not covered that they would want to know about and finally ask when and how you are likely to hear if you have got the position. If you do not get the job try to find out why. Sometimes you may get some useful feedback.
If you do get the job read the next section.

Induction: getting started-punctuality, appearance, enthusiasm and being nice to the receptionist and admin people.

BE ON TIME-EVERY DAY!

Be willing and cooperative. Be friendly to everyone but particularly receptionists and administrative staff. They can make your life much easier if they like you- and make it quite difficult if they do not. Try to socialise after work with other memebers of staff. But do not let alcohol get the better of you.

Most PR firms and PR departments are friendly places but do remember  that people are  there to do a job not to look after you. Be prepared to work well with people who would not be your first choice of team member, and to work for people with whom you cannot always agree. Be keen. Volunteer for new projects and jobs. And praise your boss and colleagues. They lie praise as much as you do!
Good Luck!

My Northampton University video ad 2014

This is a short video about Northampton University, particularly Park Campus shots.
Filmed and edited by Alyona on 18th February, 2014.

Quality: Full HD 1080p
Music: Icona Pop feat. Charli Xcx – I Love It (DJ Kuba & Ne!tan Bootleg)
Software used: Video Pad Video Editor
Length: 3:41 min

Good and Bad PR examples

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  • GOOD Public Relations examples

‘Not so sweet’ Dubai marriage proposal fail – a failed marriage proposal – in which the proposee smacks the proposer around the head with a ukulele has thankfully been revealed as a fake to promote Cadbury’s new ‘not so sweet’ campaign.

Disney characters projected onto White Cliffs of Dover in visual stunt – Q. what’s cooler than 80 foot tall Disney characters? A. NOTHING. A well-recycled stunt, but one that did a good job of promoting Disney’s new gaming ‘universe’.

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Sharapova to change name to ‘Sugarpova’ throughout US Open in PR stunt to promote sweet line – Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova has asked to change her name throughout the US Open to promote her own brand of sweets. The fact she’d be referred to as Miss Sugarpova throughout by the umpires is smart, but also highlights the fact there’s no such thing as an original idea!

Imagehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=166zeTZGzbg

Rentokil launch pop-up ‘pestaurant’ serving pigeon burgers and edible insects – a grim stunt by pest control company Rentokil. Post by Ticketmaster’s PR manager Katie White.

 ’3 Minutes in Italy’ with San Pellegrino Robot – a brilliantly brilliant campaign enabling members of the public to become an Italian tourist through a two-way Dalek-esque robot.

Non-league Football Club Farnborough FC ‘sign’ Messi, Pele, Zidane and Maradona – the first of this week’s two namechange PR campaigns saw bookmaking cunning stuntsters Paddy Power save a football team from administration with a six figure sponsorship – whilst at the same time turning them into the ‘greatest football club in history’. Post by Twelve Thirty Eight’s Inderdeep Gill.

 Zoopla offers to help Wayne Rooney move to Chelsea in reactive stunt – property website Zoopla parked a van outside Manchester United’s home ground asking striker Wayne Rooney – linked with a move to West London-based Chelsea – if he’s looking for a house there in a simple stunt that will have you déjà vuing all over the shop.

ImageEnchanting panda invasion in Berlin for WWF – to celebrate its 50th anniversary and also raise public awareness of the endangered animal’s fragile situation, the WWF are touring Germany with 1,600 mini pandas – one for every panda now in existence.

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Coca-Cola ‘Mini-me’ campaign offers fans 3D printed versions of themselves – members of the public were invited to the largest coke factory – sorry, Coca-Cola factory – in Israel, where they were scanned and printed to promote Coke’s new mini bottle range. If the post doesn’t convey it well enough, I LOVE 3D PRINTING.

ImageThe world’s first Twitter hotel – a hotel in Magaluf has opened as the world’s first Twitter-themed hotel, complete with a number of cool digital additions.

  • ImageBAD Public Relations examples

There’s nothing more motivating than a gun to the head. Or so it would seem in the Haverfordwest Tesco store. The Welsh branch of the supermarket used a picture of a man holding a gun to his head as part of an attempt to boost morale amongst its staff, suggesting that suicide isn’t necessary after a bad trading week.

One employee took a picture of the poster on the notice board and complained. Mental health charities have objected and the employee responsible for the ill-judged poster has apologised. It comes just a few weeks after Tesco had to remove a ‘Psycho Ward’ costume from its fancy dress range too. Bad PR to you Tesco.

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Another example.During one of the presidential debates, KitchenAid tweeted to its 24,000 fans that “Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! ‘She died 3 days b4 he became president’. #nbcpolitics”. KitchenAid immediately deleted the quote and tweeted an apology.

A spokesperson said that “The tasteless joke in no way represents our values at KitchenAid, and that person won’t be tweeting for us anymore.”

ImagePeople were outraged when American Apparel used Hurricane Sandy — a storm that killed over 100 people and initially left 8 million without power — as an excuse to sell merchandise.

The retailer were offered a 20 percent off sale if they typed “SANDYSALE” in the online checkout “in case you’re bored during the storm.” American Apparel decided to ignore the PR disaster and didn’t apologize.Gap, on the other hand, also did a Sandy sale and then tweeted apologies for offending people.

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Hours after the nation learned about the tragic Aurora shooting that left 12 people dead at a late night showing of “The Dark Night Rises,” American Rifleman, a magazine for the NRA, tweeted: “Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?”The tweet went up at 9:20 am EST and was taken down three hours later.

A spokesman for the NRA stated, “A single individual, unaware of events in Colorado, tweeted a comment that is being completely taken out of context.”PR lesson: be careful with pre-scheduled tweets.

One more bad PR example. When Apple banished Google Maps from the iPhone in September, consumers were concerned. Apple’s own maps app turned out to be riddled with errors, and didn’t even include public transportation mapping. 

CEO Tim Cook had to issue a public apology, conceding that the maps “fell short” before suggesting users download competitors’ products from the Apps store. Cook specifically called out Bing, MapQuest, or going to Nokia and Google’s website. The product manager who oversaw the maps team was fired months later.

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In July, a Burger King employee thought that it would be a fun idea to post pictures on 4Chan of him standing (shoes on) in two large tubs of lettuce. The caption read: “This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King.”Within minutes, other 4Chan members tracked down the culprit.

Burger King addressed the PR disaster in a public statement regarding the chain’s “zero-tolerance policy against any violations such as the one in question” and fired three employees for the incident.

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Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was charged and later convicted of repeated counts of child molestation while at Penn State.

Although the scandal was unveiled in 2011, the university felt the full fallout in 2012 when the Freeh report stated that Joe Paterno and the administration covered up Sandusky’s abuses, Major companies pulled sponsorships of the program.

Part of the PR disaster was due to Penn State’s initial difficulty addressing the problem. Pulitzer-winning stories in The Patriot-News of Harrisburg initially uncovered the scandal in March 2011. But Penn State remained tightlipped. PR firm Ketchum was hired in November of 2011, and the school hired Edelman and La Torre for crisis management in April 2012. The school pledged to spend $208,000 a month for 12 months on PR support, but the damage was done.