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Dove has continued its social media public relations (PR) campaign on beauty and self-esteem. In 2014, Meaghan Ramsey presented “Why Thinking You’re Ugly is Bad for You” at a TED Talks event.

In the TED Talk presentation, Ramsey does not mention Dove. Without focusing on the organization in the speech, why would this be a good PR event for Dove? What does it achieve for the organization? Why do you think Ramsey, who is the Global Director of the Dove Self-Esteem Project, chose this way to communicate with Dove’s customers (and potential customers)? What are the advantages? What are the disadvantages?

Just need a paragraph or so…

I attached the guide. 

BBA 2026, Organizational Communication 1

Course Learning Outcomes for Unit V

Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:

4. Relate effective communication techniques to public relations and marketing.
4.1. Investigate a social media public relations campaign for an organization.
4.2. Describe ways an organization can improve public relations through social media.

Reading Assignment

In order to access the following resources, click the links below:

Fadaei, M. (2016). Investigating the effect of internet marketing on customers’ decision to purchase (case

study: Amico Industrial Group). International Journal of Information, Business and Management, 8(2),
134-144. Retrieved from
https://libraryresources.columbiasouthern.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.libraryresources.c
olumbiasouthern.edu/docview/1778467576?accountid=33337

Click here to view the Unit V Presentation.
Click here to view the Unit V Presentation transcript.

Unit Lesson

Introduction

In the first half of the class, the discussion centered on communication. In this unit, the focus will be on using
communication techniques to effectively establish public relations and marketing for an organization.
Marketing departments are concerned with advertising and public relations (PR), and the communication
channels they use have radically changed in the last few years due to new technology platforms.

Both advertising campaigns and public relations are concerned with publicity—sending a message to the
audience (established customers and potential customers) about a product or service that the organization
offers. In Forbes, Robert Wynne (2014) explains in his article, “The Real Difference Between PR and

Course/Unit
Learning Outcomes

Learning Activity

4

Unit Lesson
Unit V Presentation
Article: “Investigating the effect of internet marketing on customers’ decision to

purchase (case study: Amico Industrial Group)”
Unit V Assignment

4.1

Unit Lesson
Unit V Presentation
Article: “Investigating the effect of internet marketing on customers’ decision to

purchase (case study: Amico Industrial Group)”
Unit V Assignment

4.2

Unit Lesson
Unit V Presentation
Article: “Investigating the effect of internet marketing on customers’ decision to

purchase (case study: Amico Industrial Group)”
Unit V Assignment

UNIT V STUDY GUIDE

Relating Effective Communication
Techniques to Public Relations
and Marketing

BBA 2026, Organizational Communication 2

UNIT x STUDY GUIDE

Title

Advertising,” that advertising is considered to be paid media while PR is considered to be earned media. Each
type of media platform—magazines, newspapers, television stations, websites, and so forth—has specific
sections where paid advertising appears. With PR, the message moves outside of these paid-for sections into
a story or the editorial section, which falls under the category of promotional activities. They often are
concerned with more subtle publicity, involving relationship building and forging a mutual-trust relationship
with the audience. This helps develop credibility.

Communication Channels

Communication channels are constantly changing in modern society. Media and communication models that
have been established over the years have undergone fundamental changes, primarily due to the introduction
of the Internet into our lives. Effective marketing communication in both PR and advertising depends on
developing a compelling message and delivering it to the right audience. Traditional media sources, such as
television, radio, and print, still exist and are viable options but are limited in scope when compared to online
media. The Internet offers an almost borderless way to transmit communication to the world’s population. The
trusted third party discussed by Wynne (2014) may no longer be a network or newspaper reporter, but
instead, it may be a person on social media with thousands of people who follow his or her channel.

Case Study: KitchenAid and Twitter

Social media platforms are simply websites that allow people to communicate informally with others through
written messages, photographs, audio clips, or videos. Each social media platform offers unique opportunities
and challenges. Twitter is just one platform in a vast world of online media and offers a business almost
instant worldwide communication with customers and potential customers. This can allow for effective PR, but
it can also damage a company’s reputation just as quickly. For instance, KitchenAid posted a tweet about
President Obama’s grandmother during one of Obama’s debates. The tweet said that President Obama’s
grandmother had known his presidency was going to be bad and chose to die three days before he became
president. The tweet was quickly deleted, and KitchenAid issued an apology. Cynthia Soledad, a senior
member of the company, admitted that a junior staff member had been handling the company’s social media
accounts, and the sentiment was in no way representative of the values of the company.

KitchenAid tweets an apology.
(Allen, 2012)

The problem with using social media is that the information remains online—even if the company wants to
delete the message. Mistakes like this can very quickly circulate from person-to-person (known in popular
terminology as going viral) and damage a company’s PR image.

Trends in Social Media

In order to take advantage of the Internet, organizations also need to be aware of new trends. Whenever
companies develop new online platforms for communication and PR, marketing has to change. For example,
Twitter was created in 2006. Originally developed to send messages containing 140 characters or less to
registered users, the site evolved to adding promoted tweets and promoted accounts in 2010. In 2015,
promoted tweets are no longer limited to 140 characters. This platform changed, and the companies who use
it have to change as well.

The promoted accounts and promoted tweets move the platform away from the idea of pure PR and more into
the realm of advertising. This is another area that marketing departments need to consider. Advertising
pushes its point of view onto the consumer, basically saying the advertised aspect of the product is what

BBA 2026, Organizational Communication 3

UNIT x STUDY GUIDE

Title

everyone should find important. PR takes the opposite point of view and focuses on the people who are
actually engaged in the discussion. PR does not fall under the same category as advertising, and when
companies pay to have their tweets promoted, it can seem disingenuous to the consumer.

Case Study: The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty and the Dove Self-Esteem Project

One way that companies manage to promote their product through social media channels, including paid
placement in those channels, is to focus on outside social issues. The Dove beauty brand is a good example
of an organization that used a PR campaign on social media to advertise beauty products. The Dove
Campaign for Real Beauty started a global conversation through social media about creating a wider
definition of beauty after a major study, The Real Truth About Beauty: A Global Report, proved that the
current definition of beauty for women was limiting and unattainable (as cited in Dove, 2016). Beginning in
2004, Dove used various social media platforms to raise awareness of this issue (Dove, 2016).

First, Dove created an advertising campaign featuring real women whose appearances are outside the
stereotypical norms of beauty (Dove, 2016). The advertisements invited people to “vote” on the women’s level
of beauty at campaignforrealbeauty.com. This blended approach featured a paid advertisement with PR at the
website. When the customers (and potential customers) visited the website to vote, Dove was not directly
selling its product. Instead, Dove was focused on boosting women’s self-confidence.

Each following year, Dove launched a new part to the campaign. One of the biggest successes occurred in
2006, when Spain banned overly thin models from its fashion runways. Dove produced Evolution—a short
film on the social media site, YouTube—that depicts the transformation of a woman into a model, complete
with makeup and Photoshop effects. Please see the Suggested Reading section if you are interested in
viewing the short film.

Those engaged in social media did not see the company as trying to promote itself, but rather, the company
was viewed as trying to promote women and a healthy beauty image. The message had more impact with the
receivers because it is presented as promotional material rather than advertising. Research has
demonstrated that editorial commentary (supplied by a PR promotion) is valued almost as much as word-of-
mouth advice from family and friends. This carries far more leverage with the consumer than advertising
(Wynne, 2014). The Dove campaign had the best of both worlds: friends and family chiming in and the full
weight of the organization’s PR department behind it.

References

Allen, F. (2012). KitchenAid attacks Obama’s grandmother, then apologizes. Forbes. Retrieved from

http://www.forbes.com/sites/frederickallen/2012/10/04/kitchenaid-attacks-obamas-grandmother-then-
apologizes/#5588b71a7073

Dove. (2016). The Dove campaign for real beauty. Retrieved from http://www.dove.us/Social-

Mission/campaign-for-real-beauty.aspx

Wynne, R. (2014). The real difference between PR and advertising. Forbes. Retrieved from

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwynne/2014/07/08/the-real-difference-between-pr-and-advertising-
credibility/#5bbe0cb22700

Suggested Reading

In order to access the following resources, click the links below:

Dove. (2016). The Dove campaign for real beauty. Retrieved from http://www.dove.us/Social-

Mission/campaign-for-real-beauty.aspx

Piper, T. (2006, October 6). Dove evolution [Video file]. Retrieved from

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U&feature=youtu.be

BBA 2026, Organizational Communication 4

UNIT x STUDY GUIDE

Title

Ramsey, M. (2014, September). Why thinking you’re ugly is bad for you. Retrieved from
https://www.ted.com/talks/meaghan_ramsey_why_thinking_you_re_ugly_is_bad_for_you/transcript?l
anguage=en

The resource below points out some of the key differences between public relations and advertising. Copy
and paste the link into your browser to view the article.

Wynne, R. (2014). The real difference between PR and advertising. Forbes. Retrieved from

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwynne/2014/07/08/the-real-difference-between-pr-and-advertising-
credibility/#5bbe0cb22700

Learning Activities (Nongraded)

Nongraded Learning Activities are provided to aid students in their course of study. You do not have to submit
them. If you have questions, contact your instructor for further guidance and information.

Apply What You Have Learned

Consider organizations where you have worked in the past or where you are currently employed. How does
the organization use social media? Do you believe it is effective? Why, or why not?