Thursday, October 31, 2013

Public Relation

Public Relation
Ben & Jerry’s is a leader in the super premium ice cream industry in the US and in many other countries of the world. The firm is socially conscious especially through the considerations of the strategies that the firm is involved in for instance the Ben and Jerry Foundation and the 1% For Peace initiative amongst the many other initiatives that are being undertaken in the firm. The firm is also focused on the generous employee treatment for instance the no-layoff policy, the onsite day care center and the no higher than five times initiatives amongst the many others that have been implemented by the firm (Ben & Jerry 2013). The firm also focuses on responsibility, cartoony and fun amongst the many other elements that are found in the market.

In 2000, Ben & Jerry was acquired by Unilever but there were a number of commitments that were made before the acquisition was finalized. First, Unilever would make a contribution of $5 million to the Ben and Jerry Foundation, the brand name, Ben & Jerry, would be retained and all the employees of Ben & Jerry would be retained for two years. Ben & Jerry blends a commitment to offer all natural, great quality ice cream with the focus in the social activism and environmental responsibility of all of the operations that were being undertaken in the firm. Ben & Jerry’s undertakes its operations in the highly competitive super premium ice cream, frozen yogurt as well as the sorbet business amongst the many other products that are offered. Super premium ice cream is generally characterized by a greater richness and density than other kinds of ice cream and commands a relatively higher price.

The company’s two primary competitors include Haagen-Dazs and Grand Ice Cream Company. The firm has adopted a three-part mission statement that has been able to formalize the business philosophy of the firm. The mission of the firm is to be able to sell the finest quality of the ice creams that are all natural as well as the products in a wide range of innovative flavors to the different customers of the firm. Apart from the above mission which is referred to as the product mission, there is also the social mission of the firm which is to be able to actively recognize the role that the firm plays in the society through the initiation of many innovative ways that can be used to improve the quality of the life of the community. The community to the firm includes the international, national and the local communities where the firm operates.

Finally, there is the element of the economic mission where the focus is on the financial soundness of the operations to ensure that the shareholder value is increased while also ensuring that there are financial rewards as well as career opportunities for the different individuals who are found in the firm. Ben & Jerry focuses on the ways through which it can be able to address all the elements of the product, social and economic missions while still ensuring great respect for the community and the employees of the firm.

The goals and the objectives of the PR campaign of Ben & Jerry will also be considered. The goal of the campaign is to minimize the negative impacts that the operations of the firm can have on the environment, the promotion of safe methods of production of foods and the focus on sustainable farming so that the environmental degradation can be reduced significantly. The goal of the campaign is to be able to undertake the above while ensuring that the business operations are used as an active media through which the social and environmental change can be undertaken in the firm (Ben & Jerry 2013). There are a number of objectives that will be used to be able to operationalize the goals of the firm. The objectives of the PR campaign by the firm - Ben & Jerry- are stated below:

1. To be able create environmental awareness as well as create interest in the greening activities of the firm. 2. To create awareness about the methods of safe food production so that the harmful effects of foods can be reduced significantly.

The background information of the organization will also be considered. There are varied elements that will be considered at this stage. First, the historical undertakings of the firm with regards to the environmental awareness have been undertaken in many years. The firm has been involved in different initiatives that are geared towards informing the customers about the initiatives that the firm is undertaking with regards to the safety of the food and the environment. The firm focuses on being socially conscious and independent to be able to support the local dairy farmers that significantly play a role in the supply chain of the firm. There are a number of historical activities and examples that can be the 7.5 per cent pre-tax profits that are donated by the firm towards the philanthropic causes that are undertaken by the organization under the Ben & Jerry Foundation, the grants that are offered to the farmers and the support for the local charities (Ben & Jerry 2013).

The firm has been involved in proactive campaigns that are geared towards the payment of prices that are higher than the minimum prices for the dairy ingredients that are used in the manufacture of the products that are found in the firm. Secondly, the political consideration will also be considered. The climate of democracy and stability has brought about a climate where people have to make personal choices and thus the firm has the ability to be able to make the choice about the diverse products that are found in the market. The social attitudes are more inclined towards showing results for the various activities that are being undertaken (Swann, 2010). The focus of the firm has always been on the ability of the firm to be able to make the significant changes that will have a positive impact on the lives of the people who are found at the firm. The culture of the world has become greatly internationalized due to the effects of the technology thus leading to the rise in the need to be able to undertake cross-cultural understanding of the diverse cultures that are found in the market where the firm operates in (Garcia 2010).

The problems and the threats will also be considered to be able to understand the reasons why the campaigns were being carried out by the firm. The main threat or the problem that the firm is faced with is the growing interest of the consumers on the companies that are involved in corporate social responsibility as well as the health consciousness of the different customers. The firm must thus focus on the need to be able to clearly engage in the activities that will support the undertakings of the firm (Harlow 1976). The firm will not be able to attract either the customers or the employees if it is not involved in activities that are supportive of the environment and the welfare of the communities in which the firm is found. The other threat that is faced is the increase in the levels of the competition that the firm is faced with in the market.

The PR campaign is adopted by the firm to be able to help it gain a competitive advantage over the other firms due to the differentiation strategy that will ensure that the products that are offered are better in quality as compared to those of the competitors thus can be pay the premium prices that the firm expects the customers to be able to pay. It should be noted that since the high quality of the ice cream demands higher costs than the regular or the economy ice creams, Ben & Jerry has made use of the differentiation through the incorporation of the corporate strategy to be able to command the premium high price of the products that are offered to the customers of the firm (Newsom and Haynes 2011). The firm makes use of high quality ingredients from the farmers who are paid fair value for the products and the innovative flavors that are offered in the firm also play an important role (Ferguson, Wallace, and Chandler, 2012). The firm has undertaken the differentiation not only in the product but also in the packaging for instance through the use of recycled materials that are free from dioxins thus ensuring that the firm’s products are significantly different from the other products that are offered.

The proposed developments that need to be undertaken include the use of the persuasive appeals. The persuasive appeals that will be used in the PR campaign include the use of Pathos which makes use of emotions to be able to create an appeal for the environment. There are a number of other elements that will be contained in the PR campaign. The board of the firm as well as the chief executive officer (CEO) will be informed about the important environmental factors that are being undertaken for instance the effects of the agricultural practices on the environment is a major point of concern that will be checked in the campaign (Caywood 1997). Also, there is the focus on the demonstration of the commitments of the board members on the elements that are associated with the needs to ensure the greening of the environment. There is also the focus on the creation of environmental awareness months thus ensuring that all the stakeholders who are found in the firm are effectively trained about all the elements of the environment.

There are a number of actors who will be involved in the campaign. There are the passive actors for instance the board of the directors who will make the decisions but will not be involved in the day to day operations and the considerations of the activities that are being undertaken (Treadwell and Treadwell 2004). The active actors include the affluent and pleasure seeking adults who are particular brand conscious, innovators and trend followers as they will be able to support the view of the brand (Botan and Hazleton 2006). The employees of the firm will also be the active participants and the suppliers as they will be required to be able to adopt the practices.

Finally, the strategies of communication, media management and evaluation will also be considered. The communication that is undertaken in the firm will consider the diverse culture of the people thus open interpersonal communication will be used in cultures that are low power distance while the use of more official communication will be used in high power distance cultures (Botan and Hazleton 2006). The media management will make use of mostly the social media and the mass media i.e. the radio and TV announcement in the areas where the firm has the operations. The evaluation will be undertaken through the consideration of the general changes in the welfare of the people as well as the consideration of the elements of the carbon footprints of Ben & Jerry.

In conclusion, the corporate and environmental strategies of Ben & Jerry will allow the firm to be able to significantly acquire the high market share and command the premium prices. The PR campaign is geared towards the continued success of the firm. Through differentiation, Ben & Jerry’s has become the leader in product quality and environmental responsibility. The strategies that the public relations campaign used included involving every employee in sharing the core values.