The 17th LawIn our last blog, we discussed the struggle Coke’s reputation management team faced at the dawn of the internet. The internet, a fantastic if unpredictable communications tool, was being used to slander their product. Coke’s reputation management team had to think of a way to address the growing concern among their audience that the rumors may just be true. As was discussed in the prior blog, Coke took the time to address the concern. The obvious alternative was to allow the internet to define their brand identity moving forward, allow the defenders and detractors to go at each other’s throats with no input from the brand holder.Continue reading

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The internet represents a unique challenge for public relations and marketing departments. On the one hand, its accessible and unregulated nature allows any company to reach consumers throughout the world. On the other, the internet is a hotbed for baseless attacks on a company’s reputation. One example can be isolated in the 11th law of The 18 Immutable Laws of Corporate Reputation by Ronald Alsop. The 11th law is, ‘Control the internet before it controls you.’ The chief example Alsop uses is CocaCola’s bold counter-offensive strategy of the late ‘90s and early 2000s. At the time, most in public relations worked diligently to make sure we didn’t repeat a negative. Coke’s team, however, took a more journalistic head-on approach. Instead of simply debunking impressive rumors one at a time, or avoiding them, Coke leaders published them on their website. Continue reading
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