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What is an example of a successful and unsuccessful public relations campaign?

Scenario:

You are the Marketing Director at a resort development company in the vacation ownership (timeshare) industry, Resorts 123. Resorts 123 is an established, twenty-year- old company recognized internationally. The company was one of the founding originals at the start of the industry's growth.

Over the years, Resorts 123 has grown to a size of 16 vacation ownership resorts throughout 8 states and 4 countries. The company's presence includes corporate headquarters, 17 on-site sales centers, 5 off-site sales centers, and a range of 20-40 independent brokers with real estate license credentials for sales.

This is a multi-billion dollar real estate industry, but an industry that also did not earn respect from consumers in its early stages. In those days, the industry was not regulated as it is today, by government and real estate laws. This allowed for scandalous practices and misleading sales tactics, all leading to a very guarded and suspicious consumer today.

You are the Marketing Director at one of the off-site sales centers. You are responsible for creating marketing strategies that will bring qualified consumers into the center, so that sales staff might present the benefits of Resorts 123. The sales staff consists of sales agents, sales managers, and verification loan officers, all managed by a Sales Director and a Project Director.

Your Marketing Department consists of 5 Marketing Managers, 30 telemarketers, 30 field-marketing agents, and 5 administrative support staff. You report directly to the Project Director and regularly have meetings with both the Project Director and Sales Director to discuss overall sales and marketing strategy, numbers, goals, budgets, and urgent needs.

Your job is to create the message that will be communicated about Resorts 123 and to thread that through all marketing collateral, which may include: flashy print pieces, postcards, indoor and outdoor booth displays, banners, invitations for guests, and more.

You are challenged with the task of bringing a good quantity and quality of guests into the sales center. Your methods include:

- telemarketing consumers
- face to face field marketing consumers at trade shows, festivals, events, sporting venues and shopping malls
- utilizing outside vendors to provide qualifying guests to visit your off-site sales center. The outside vendors are typically telemarketing consumers.

The challenge of marketing at an off-site sales center is that the consumer does not get to visit, touch and feel any of the actual resorts, although they will see photos, videos and virtual tours of the resort properties. The industry trend has been to present some promotional giveaway or gift as the lure, to get consumers to agree to visit the off-site sales center, and to listen to a 90 minutes presentation about Resorts 123. It is important to get advance commitment from the consumers to show up for their appointment to best utilize resources and to maximize sales opportunities.

You are responsible for overseeing both the internal marketing staff and your outside vendors, to make sure they are sending the correct message about your company and the promotional offerings. You are also responsible for creating business alliances (such as mall alliances) that will help improve the company's ability to get in front of qualified consumers. Recently you have been trying to secure alliances with local NBA and NFL sports teams for field marketing opportunities. As the Marketing Director, you are also responsible for the marketing budget, and you are expected to help achieve the overall sales objectives of the center.

1. "How do advertising and public relations play a role in the success of a company?

2. Describe one real world example of a public relations or advertising campaign that successfully achieved a desired outcome and one real world example that did not.

3. Also explain why you feel each example achieved or did not achieve its desired goals."

Solution Preview

Please see response attached, including one supporting article.

RESPONSE:

1. How do advertising and public relations play a role in the success of Resorts 123, a timeshare/vacation ownership company? What unique challenges or situations are present in the vacation ownership/timeshare industry and specifically at Resorts 123?

I am thinking that consumer perceptions of any company operating in this traditionally shady industry is a problem the company needs to address through its communication mix. That is through coordination among promotions, advertising, public relations, and any other opportunity it has to reach an audience. I also think the unique challenge is changing preset ideas about the company based on industry stigma rather then on the company's own reputation. Guilty by association type of deal.

Re-building a companies reputation, credibility and image certainly takes time and good strategic marketing plan (e.g., communications mix). For example, Chairman of the board, James E. Burke said, in regard to the comeback of Johnson & Johnson, "It will take time, it will take money, and it will be very difficult; but we consider it a moral imperative, as well as good business, to restore Tylenol to its preeminent position." (Johnson & Johnson) http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/w/x/wxk116/tylenol/crisis.html Therefore, advertising and public relation is imperative to build a 'new" credible image (e.g., using open, candid, and honest communication, transparency). Advertising is also important to market their product. It will be important to advertise in a way that portrays an image of a company who is committed to serving the consumer with the highest quality services. Together with open candid communication with the public about where they have been, where they are and where they plan to go, the public will recognize their sincerity and begin to trust the company again.

Similarly, in Example 1 below, an article reports: "what Johnson & Johnson executives have done is communicate the message that the company is candid, contrite, and compassionate, committed to solving the ...

Solution Summary

This solution-guide provides information on the role the communication mix plays in advertising and public relations, it discusses one example of successful public relations with background information and analysis and an example of poor public relations. It further discusses why the outcomes for the two examples were. This solution is 1197 words.

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