The Coca-Cola Company was founded in 1892 by Asa Griggs Candler, and the place of the company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Coca-Cola is a carbonated soft drink with hundreds brands, and the first Coca-Cola drink was just five cents created by Flank M. Lobinson in 1886. In more than 200 countries, the Coca-Cola Company offers beverage products to the restaurants and vending machines which were including soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit juices and such. Even though there were many soft drink companies in the market, Coca-Cola still is a worldwide leader in the beverage industry.
Social media is a very precise and faster communication approach to disseminate information as soon as possible such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YuoTube, blogs and the like. In Coca-Cola case, the frustrated customer posted a message on Twitter for complaining it is hard to redeem a prize from a My Coke reward program. This customer has 10,000 followers on Twitter means that this negative post for Coca-Cola Company had disseminated to the public. Although it is not a crucial crisis for the company nobody can forecast its impact, it still is a potential crisis or a crisis prodrome.
The history of the Coca-Cola Company is more than 100 years, I think the most important strength is it is a very popular soft drink brand as well as has a high reputation in the public. Moreover, the company has an experience of dealing with the crisis after encountered crises in Belgian and India, so I think the crisis management and crisis communications plan is completed, effective, and mature.
For the weakness part, I think there are millions Coca-Cola customers in more than 200 countries, meanwhile, the culture, law, and society is different in those countries. Therefore, if the same problem happened in other countries may be having a different result, and the image of company may destroy.
By analyzing this case, we can figure out that this small crisis provided an opportunity for the Coca-Cola’s manager to realize there are some problems existed in communication between company and customers. The company can utilize this chance to improve the system of communication with the public when issuing a new program designed to receive the customer’s feedback effectively and timely.
After analyzed the strength, weakness, and opportunity, I thought the threat for the Coca-Cola Company is the social media. At present, complain by phone is not only one method; social media already became a main tool to express their complaint, attitude, or opinion. Social media can help the organization build a positive relationship with the pubic, prevent crises, cope with crises or gauge the sentiments of their publics. Nevertheless, it also can damage the organization’s image because the media give the public what they want to know rather than what they need to know and make up the story by them not the truth story.
When the head of the social media Adam Brown found this complain post, he immediately posted an apology on this customer’s Twitter, and then directly assisted him to get the prize rather than criticizing the employee who responsible for the My Coke reward program or ignoring complaints from customers. The behavior of the manager had shown the Coca-Cola Company’s responsibility, care, and empressement to customer.
After the customer received the prize, he changed his Twitter avatar to a photo of himself holding a Coke in order to express his appreciation, happiness, and satisfaction for the Coca-Cola Company. At the same time, his 10,000 followers can discern that what the Coca-Cola Company did on his business. Although it is a very small change, it still invisibly impact the company’s image and reputation in the public.
Crisis communication is the dialog between the organization and its public designed to minimize the damage to the image of the organization. The company needs to use the most effective method to deliver the message or information to the public when the company encountering a crisis, under this circumstance, social media outlets always is the best choice.
Corporate culture is unwritten but firmly established values in people’s mind, and a way that how the company to do business. For an old soft drink brand, the Coca-Cola already became an essential part in consisting of America culture. The Coca-Cola Company has its own culture, belief, story, or hero, so it is necessary to build a social media department in an effort to advertise the company. Meanwhile, the social media department works at dealing with the crisis, building a positive relationship with the public, and talking to the public.