Archive for November 2008

Analysis of how Starbucks is using the groundswell

November 19, 2008

Starbucks is using the groundswell is many different aspects. You can look at this company on their website. They have completely grasped the idea of social media and have implemented in their everyday business lives. The first example of how Starbucks has used the groundswell is with their on-line presence on social media websites such as: Twitter and myspace. On the Twitter website, Starbucks has an account for the general “Starbucks Coffee Company” as well as an account for “Starbucks V2V” which is an on-line community for Starbucks customers to get together and help out in their local communities. These two Twitter accounts help Starbucks keep in touch with their customers by giving them automatic feedback to questions, event information and contests. The Twitter accounts allow Starbucks to directly engage in conversations with their customers.

Starbucks has also created two on-line communities with their customers, stakeholders, and employees. The first is MyStarbucksIdea. This website allows Starbucks customers to sign on their website and put in ideas in which Starbucks can improve their business. After ideas are posted on this website, the participants vote on the best ideas. Then whichever idea is receives the most votes, Starbucks will submit it to their idea partners. After they look over the ideas that consumers have suggested, they implement these to make Starbucks a better and well rounded company. This is a direct way that Starbucks is engaging with their customers. They are talking with them about Starbucks ideas and then putting their ideas into action. Also found on this website, Starbucks maintains a blog that discusses the ideas and the process of putting them into reality. This is a perfect example of how Starbucks is using the groundswell.

The second on-line community that Starbucks has created is Starbucks V2V which is also the company that maintains a Twitter account. On this website, consumers have the opportunity to sign up, meet customers in their area, and participate in activities to better their community. This aspect of new social media is uniting their customers and helping their local communities at the same time. This is how Starbucks is embracing these new media changes in public relations.

All information was found at these sources:


For Immediate Release

November 3, 2008

Today I am reviewing a podcast from For Immediate Release. Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz are the two men who are on this podcast. Hobson lives in England and Holtz lives in California; therefore, together they offer a diverse approach to communication, social media, public relations and business. This specific podcast was aired on October 30, 2008. The subject of this podcast is questions from listeners and then a panel of professionals to answer the questions and give their opinions and views on the subject matter.

One certain topic that was addressed during this show was when people are actually listening to podcasts. In a busy typical business day, it may be very hard to find the time to sit down and listen to a podcast, which could be professional or personal interest. The most popular answer to this question seemed to be if you have a commute to work everyday, this is a perfect time to listen to any type of podcast. Also, some individuals find time while working out or even walking their dog.

Another topic for discussion addressed during this podcast was regarding CEO’s and their blogs. A question that came into play was about how individuals feel about CEO’s not writing their own blog and getting Public Relations professionals to do it for them. Holtz said, “If CEO can’t write it himself, then just don’t do it.” I can’t help but agree with what he said because I know for a fact from a consumers stand point, if I was following a blog from a CEO for a company that I admired and then found out that that person was not actually writing these blog posts, I would be very disappointed and this could very well affect the tone and content of the messages and comments, or lack there of, that I wrote to them.

The last topic that was discussed on the podcast that I am going to talk about is about Starbucks. I was so pleased to hear the announcers discuss their situation because that is the company I have chosen for my final project in Corporate PR. The question that someone had asked was about their website where you as a customer can log on and input ideas about their company and products and what they can do to change it for the better. The question was “Is this the key to transforming Starbucks’ reputation?” The answer that was given was yes but this is only a part of the journey of fixing a reputation. When thinking about Starbucks they have created a community for individuals who have common interests. Either the products Starbucks offer, the unique and relaxed atmosphere, and the social aspect. This community that has been created is wonderful but the question is, “What more can we do for this community?” MyStarbucksIdea was the perfect solution to this question. Developing this on-line community where listening, engaging, talking, and implementing customer ideas are an everyday activity was the key to a very big problem. This website is helping the reputation of the entire company overall.

For Immediate Release is a wonderful podcast and I enjoyed listening to it. I gained a lot of new information about communication and public relations. I am glad that I chose to listen to this specific episode because it was interesting from a student point of view to hear questions from professionals and as well other students about communication. I would definitely listen to For Immediate Release again and would recommend it.