Whilst on the train home today I was handed two Santa shaped chocolates and a leaflet reading ‘A Christmas treat from CrossCountry.’ I thought I would write a quick post about this as I believe that the little things really do matter and not just in personal life but with regards to campaigns and building a brand’s reputation. The leaflet simply reminds you that booking tickets for the holiday season in advance could save you money and promotes the free App to purchase the tickets via. I thought that this was a simple but affected way of direct marketing for a brand I never before had considered to be creatively communicating with its consumers. CrossCountry’s slogan is ‘going that bit further’ and even though it’s something small I think the festive tactic is definitely proving so. Of course, there are many complaints to be made about the train service within the UK (late again, are we?) but when looking at it as simply a tactic for the brand I think it’s very effective. Well done, CrossCountry and Merry Christmas to you too.
I was recently tasked with writing a research report for the Ethics, Issues, and Crisis Management unit on my Public Relations and Communication course. I am required to research into an organisation of my choice and identify any ethical issues that this organisation faces and how this affects their brand reputation and stakeholder communication.
Ethics has always been a part of PR that I have been interested in and this report is a great opportunity to practice researching into ethics for a small report before taking on the task of my dissertation, which also focuses on ethics. I chose Gap as the organisation in focus for the report, not to draw out and highlight their ethical issues but to demonstrate how some organisations can struggle to repair reputations after widely covered scandals, such as Gap’s sweatshop and child labour scandals. I have recently ended my part time job at Gap to focus completely on my final year studies and during my time with the organisation I worked with the Southampton team on a number of different CSR events, such as an employees uniform recycle scheme where staff donated old pieces of Gap uniform that could be resold at a stand within West Quay, Southampton to raise money for Rose Road, a charity for disabled children and young people. I think that the current ethical responsibilities that Gap are managing aren’t achieving enough awareness for consumer perceptions to change. From this report I hope to emphasise the need for awareness when reputation management efforts are being made and give recommendations on how organisations can effectively communicate their ethical responsibilities.
In order to gain some consumer perspectives about Gap and ethical retailers I have created a short survey. If you would like to get involved and share your views on ethics within retail please go to my survey.