Tuesday, March 2, 2010

An Example of the Impact of Public Relations

Audi, a car brand featuring German-engineered luxury vehicles, has proven that public relations (defined as: building good relations with the company's various publics by obtaining favorable publicity, building up a good corporate image, etc. - pg. 375) is a valuable tool to be used through its sponsorship of the U.S. Ski Team. Audi (whose slogan is "truth in engineering") has made a documentary called Truth in Motion, which features the U.S. team during their grueling months of training up to the Olympics. In a press release, Audi tells about its documentary and how it will be made available for free on iTunes.

The company's support of a U.S. Olympic team gains it much favor among the public, especially with its timely announcement weeks before the Olympics when Americans are feeling more spirited about their nation than ever. This use of public relations could get the image of Audi in consumer's mind better than advertising could. While consumers block out advertisements, public relations which features the company as a sponsor of something that consumers can be passionate about will usually cause consumers to think of the company in a positive manner. The promotion of the U.S. Ski Team as exemplified by Audi's description about its documentary: "Ultimately, it's a story about individuals, driven by personal motives, propelled by individual talents and challenged in ways that are uniquely human." This goes along with what are Audi's core values of innovation, its pursuit of better solutions, its commitment to its cars like the team's commitment to skiing, etc. In part of the press release, it states: "The film, according to Audi of America CMO Scott Keogh, provided a change to chronicle the technology, innovation and willpower that define both Audi and the U.S. Ski Team." You can tell that Audi is trying to tie its image with a skiing culture that Americans could identify themselves with or aspire to be like.

The fact that the documentary also allows a greater market to see this film and allows Audi's name to really get out on the market. As Kotler states, "PR is playing an increasingly important brand-building role. Public relations can be a powerful brand-building tool." (pg. 377) Public relations clearly allows Audi to build its brand name and get it into consumers' minds in a way that advertising might not be able to.

Here is a video featuring some scenes from the documentary:

-Caroline Tsoi, Section E

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