Table of contents
- Evaluation of Communication Strategy used in the social media campaign
- Analysis of activism and ethics based on the social media campaign’s communication strategy
The Best Men Can Be is a corporate social responsibility public relations campaign by the Gillette brand, a Procter & Gamble safety razor and personal care product whose goal was to address negative behaviour among men such as sexism, bullying, toxic masculinity and sexual misconduct. The campaign was launched on the 13th of January 2019. The social media campaign was targeted at men who are the target market for the personal care products sold under the Gillette brand (Gogarty, 2019). Procter & Gamble used multiple platforms to promote the campaign. Among the initiatives undertaken under the social media campaign is a commitment by Gillette to make donations for three years towards organisations which enable men to achieve their personal best. The social media campaign was channelled through different platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Evaluation of Communication Strategy used in the social media campaign
Gillette used an interactive communication strategy to reach to the target market. Social media activism is also suitable for public relations because of its ability to facilitate the development of dialogue as well as relationships between an organisation and stakeholders as well as members of the public. Social media platforms like twitter are interactive. This nature allows concerned organisations to create a dialogue with stakeholders who contribute to improvement in the relationship between the organisation and its stakeholders. Through its social media campaign, Gillette created a twitter hush tag dubbed the best men can be to encourage men to be the best that they can be (Gogarty, 2019). Through this twitter hashtag, Gillette has been able to drive change in society by encouraging men to be initiative and drive positive change in society. Likewise, through the best men can be a hashtag, Gillette was able to create a discourse on how men can be advocates, leaders, and mentors in different aspects of their communities. Gillette has promoted the discourse of the best men can through encouraging men to participate in the recovery of addicts, providing support groups for men struggling with abuse and suicide, promoting diversity in the society, and teaching art to underserved as well as incarcerated children. Through the interactive nature of twitter, among other social media platforms, Gillette has been able to interact with the participants as well as people who have been helped by the support groups established through the organisation's social media campaign. The interactive nature of social media campaigns has therefore made it possible for the company to ensure that its campaign is effective and that a strong relationship is established between the organisation and men who include participants and beneficiaries from the organisation’s campaign (Kent, 2013). Gillette has used an interactive Facebook page resulting in almost 2000 reactions to this social media campaign 376 comments as illustrated below:
An effective targeting strategy is useful for ensuring that a communication strategy is delivers the targeted objectives for the organisation. An organisation also makes use of social media activism in its public relations exercise to increase its visibility and its image. Social media platforms reach a large number of people. Therefore, when an organisation makes use of social media in its public relations exercise, it can reach a large audience with its message, thereby increasing its visibility and image in public. Gillette’s social media campaign by which the organisation promotes seeks to bring out the best in men has served to increase the visibility and image of the brand (Edwards, 2012). Considering that the brand's shaving products are mainly targeted at the male audience, this use of the best men can be a social media campaign that has played a significant role in increasing the visibility and image of the brand. The Gillette social media campaign has played a significant role in promoting the organisation's image and enhancing its visibility in the marketplace. Owing to the organisation's promotion of good values among men in its social media campaign, it has attained strong visibility and image among the members of the public (Gogarty, 2019). Social media activism also contributes to the influence of the customer’s opinion of the brand. Through social media public relations campaigns, organisations can create a discourse that promotes a positive perception of the brand in the eyes of other consumers. Gillette has made use of the best men can be a campaign to promote a positive image among customers. Through the best men can be a campaign, Gillette has been able to promote values of care, concern, leadership, and mentorship among men in the society, which has contributed towards the development of positive perception of employees among customers. Through the use of YouTube, Gillette was able to achieve increased visibility through targeting men with its social media campaign as illustrated below:
Increased development in information and communication technology has promoted social media as one of the leading mediums of information exchange. Information communication technologies have also made a significant contribution to the development of societies, particularly through dialogic and interactive nature. As a result, social media platforms have increasingly connected people and created an environment in which people can share ideas and promote new discourses. Social media is also considered to e cheap fast and an interactive channel which can be used to reach the targeted audience (Kim, 2016). In the public relations context, social media allows organisations to communicate directly with the targeted public groups circumventing filtering processes of gatekeepers such as journalists. Social media activism is, therefore, concerned with how organisations deliver messages to the public concerning their brands in a bid to promote a positive image and win more support and advocacy. Social media campaigns are used by organisations and brands to engage directly with the targeted audience to create a long-term relationship of trust with the audience (Kent, 2008). The dialogic and interactive nature of social media creates an environment in which organisations can engage in an exchange relationship with the brands leading to improved brand image and positive word of mouth. Gillette's social media campaign has been designed based on the interactive and dialogic nature of social media to build a relationship of trust with customers.
Social media has become increasingly relevant in the public relations field as a new channel through which organisations can communicate the public and stakeholders as well as nourishing relationships with such stakeholders (Solis and Breakenridge, 2009). Social media has further served an important role in increasing the legitimacy of public relations, considering that an increasing number of public relations professionals are being given the responsibility of managing organisations' digital platforms. Among the reasons for the increasing relevance of social media activism in public relations is the fact that social media allows public relations professionals to communicate directly with the target audience by bypassing the news media and its gatekeeping role. This direct communication with the target audience enhances the effectiveness of the message delivered to the audience. Gillette has made use of social media platforms to promote its brand through the best man can be campaign (Gillette, 2020). The use of social made it possible for Gillette to reach out directly to its target audience, thus bypassing the media and its gatekeeping role. The main benefit of using social media is the fact that it enables a brand to reach directly to its customers without being filtered by other players in the media industry. Gillette made use of twitter as one of the social media channels, thus reaching directly to the men who were the target audience. The use of social media campaigns using Twitter, among other social media platforms, made it possible for the brand to reach its customers with its message.
Analysis of activism and ethics based on the social media campaign’s communication strategy
Organisations that make use of social media for public relations campaigns face ethical questions that must be addressed to effectively serve the social media community. Considering that social media is concerned with the relationships that people build through technology, organisations need to maintain strong values and ensure that the entire platform is used for mutually beneficial purposes to guarantee the success of the relationship between members (Kim, 2016). Ethics refers to the process of determining what is considered to be right or wrong. In light of this, ethics is concerned with moral reasoning. In designing social media campaigns, an organisation needs to use the TARES Ethical Model to make sure that high ethical standards are upheld. According to the TARES Ethics Model, social media communications need to be conducted in line with five principles, namely truthfulness, authenticity, respect, equity, and social responsibility (Duffy and Thorson, 2015). The successful implementation of a social media campaign is based on the truthfulness of the message. The social media campaign should be designed in such a way that the message being presented to the audience is authentic. The information presented in a social media public relations campaign needs to be accurate. Such accurate contributes to the building of trust with stakeholders.
Authenticity in the communication process shows that there is a commitment to personal responsibility in delivering messages to the public and also ensuring that members of the organisation involved show deep concern for others. Members of the organisation in charge of communication are required to evaluate their intentions, motivations, and attitudes driving persuasive activities, ensuring that they act in a noble way (Wilkins and Christians, 2008). Members of the organisation also need to be genuine and sincere when delivering their messages to the public. Gillette ensured that its message within the best men could be social media campaign is truthful and seeks to promote positive values in the society. This has been witnessed in the organisation, ensuring that the brand can promote a positive image. Respect within social media communication is practised through ensuring that actions undertaken by the organisation demonstrate that each member of the organisation is viewed with dignity and that their rights and interests are not violated. This was implemented in Gillette's social media campaign by ensuring that men who participate in the campaign take part voluntarily.
Equity is also an important principle of ethics in social media communications. Under this principle, the organisation is required to treat all parties involved in social media communication fairly. In implementing this principle, the organisation’s management needs to ensure that no member of the public is coerced into participating in the social media campaign. Gillette's best men can be campaign was implemented in a way that ensures that ensured members were treated fairly throughout the entire process. Additionally, there was equity in the process of treating participants such that the campaign did not take advantage of any beneficiaries (Kim, 2016). Instead, the campaign ensured that participants in the organisation were given an opportunity to improve the welfare of fellow men suffering from different struggles such as addiction and depression, among others. Social responsibility as one of the principles of ethics in social media communication relates to how organisations show duty to the entire society. In this case, the organisation cannot promote products, services, events, and causes that harm society.Gillette promotes corporate social responsibility in its campaigns by allowing men to encourage fellow men undergoing challenges like addiction, abuse, and depression (Gillette, 2020). Other activities included providing education to needy kids, which further led to the promotion of the welfare of members of the community. By promoting such positive causes, Gillette's social media campaign contributed towards improvement in the welfare of the society, thus promoting social responsibility.
Social media activism is useful in public relations because of the nature of social media platforms, which allow for closer interaction between the organisation and stakeholders. Social media is interactive, allowing the organisation to interact closely with stakeholders promoting long term relationships. Gillette's social media campaign was interactive, allowing the organisation to build strong relationships with stakeholders. Social media also promotes improved image and visibility of the organisation while also promoting the image of the brand in the eyes of customers. The ethical nature of Gillette's social media campaigns was evaluated against the five principles of the TARES Ethics Model. Based on the ethics model, Gillette’s social media campaign was truthful, authentic, and the organisation demonstrated respect in the delivering of its message. Likewise, the organisation demonstrated equity through treating all participants fairly and also social responsibility by healing men undergoing different challenges such as depression and additions.
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