University-Business Chairs, partners with conflicts of interest

La colaboración público-privada tan laureada en algunos sectores económicos se está convirtiendo en una fórmula muy habitual en el ámbito universitario. Se trata de las Cátedras Universidad-Empresa, de las que en Cataluña hay alrededor de una sesentena.

In the face of this usual partnership, it is worth asking whether university support is born from a business commitment, guided by an ethical sense, to adapt training and research to the reality and needs of the labor market; if it responds to an interested maneuver, since companies can condition what is investigated with the financial resources they provide; or if it obeys a marketing strategy, because placing your brand next to a prestigious knowledge center is supposed to get a better reputational image. Perhaps the three motivations concur.

Conflicts of interest are evident in the case of chairs such as the Chair of Social Inclusion of The Endesa Foundation, since Endesa has cut electricity supplies due to non-payment of bills and it is difficult not to assign a share of responsibility in the generation of energy poverty. Despite the efforts of these and other companies to counteract the undesirable impact of their activities, they can be claimed much more than a University-Business Chair: a new social contract.

The purpose of 21st century companies cannot be limited almost exclusively to increasing profits to please shareholders, but international voices such as the BRT (Business Roundtable) encourage a redefinition and diversification of the value that companies produce, which now they must also seek the protection of the environment, diversity, be inclusive and promote dignity and respect, as well as expand the social actors to satisfy: employees themselves, customers, suppliers and the community, in addition to shareholders.

In this new paradigm, there would no longer be room for empty content communication or for futile attempts to make up the reputational image. Smoke curtains do not work. The communication of the facts is imposed: “More do and less say”.

DISCONNECT TO CONNECT

“I know more about a celebrity than my family”, this is one of the most indicated phrases of the place of IKEA for this Christmas. Three minutes that will be reflected and perhaps even cry. Surely you’ve seen on television, or rather, I’m sure it has already arrived through your whatsapp, because it has virally crashed on this platform. In Youtube it already adds more than 9 million views in a week. But, let’s reflect, what else does the tastes, the actions and the followers? The important thing is the people who are there, the ones who are really at your side, and as IKEA challenges, we join a “connection” with our family and leave aside the social networks on this vacation.

IN LOVE WITH CORPORATE COMMUNICATION

Why is a videogame a tool of corporate communication? From now, yes.

You do not have to be conservative. We like it, and we like it a lot, this new way of promoting tourism. Yes, this is what the “Legends of Catalonia” is about, the virtual reality game that promotes tourism in Catalonia and has been promoted by the Catalan Tourism Agency of the Department of Representation and Context of the Generalitat de Catalunya.

And the objective is to promote Catalonia in the United States and is available in three languages: Catalan, Spanish and English. “Legends of Catalonia” has a duration of 50 minutes and is available for free in the PlayStation online store and so that you can not see virtual reality glasses. Subsequently, the game will also be available from a computer through the Steam platform.

Is it incredible all you can get with a virtual reality video game, isn’t it?

ADVERTISING OR PUBLIC RELATIONS?

We shouldn’t cheat our audiences, whether we are talking about a brand or an institution, and when we “pay” a tweet through a celebrity we should warn, in some way (#publi, it should be mandatory when this happens) that we are making publicity. It is not the same to pay to comment, anywhere, through Twitter or in a column of a newspaper, to invite or persuade the “famous” (whether a character of Sálvame limón or a reputed actor) to express his opinion, that is, , good or bad, of us. These are Public Relations.

Since we have spoken on multiple occasions of the neologisms that we are introducing in the language of communication, now it turns out that these practices are called “celebrity endorsement”. What was previously a recommendation action through opinion leaders, whether in an advertising or PR tool. But there is more: it is called “branded content through social publishers” if “we make the message look natural” and “we pay” to a mix of celebrities and bloggers.

And what’s the name when Oprah tweets that one of her favorite gadgets is the Windows MS Surface tablet from her ipad? Well, Microsoft’s $ 150 million campaign is going down the drain. In Spain it has also happened: Mario Casas and Malena Costa, have promoted on Twitter LG’s new mobile phones from their iPhone. Bravo for Apple!

In our opinion: whatever you call the communication tool you use, use it with professionalism and do not just trust the pretty faces.

TANGIBILIZE

Knowing how to answer the phone is part of the corporate identity of the company. Yes, of branding, too, as Mr. Branding says, Andy Stalman. I was already taught by Antoni Torvà, General Director of Fecsa and Endesa from 1988 to 2010, one of the great professors of Public Relations. He taught me that “everything communicates”. It was in the Superior School of Public Relations of the University of Barcelona, ​​more or less in 1990, when still the degree of Public Relations did not exist.

As Mr. Branding, Torvà explained to us that he communicated how employees speak (they are the first ambassadors of the company) and that any communication plan inevitably went by taking this aspect into account. He explained that any Fecsa employee had to be able to explain the invoice if a customer asked him about it, for example.

The other day an employee of a beauty center, belonging to a franchisee, answered me before a claim I did verbally: “Madam, if you want I give the reason, but it does not.” The franchise has a good value for money, a modern logo, a solidarity campaign and on its website the Human Resources section is developed in a tab called “talent” and tells us: “the team, our best asset”. The distance between the response of the employee to a client and what they “tell us” on the web is abysmal. And it is also incoherent. By the way, the coherence between what we do and what we say is fundamental for the construction of a coherent corporate image.

And what is more credible? What we say or what we do? What we do. The experience, lived by the public, is always more decisive than anything we can express with words or images. Mr. Branding calls it “making tangible the intangible.”

EDUCATE IN HEALTH

Butter or margarine? Do whole-grain products get fat? Does eating fruit as a dessert make you fat? We dissemble false myths of nutrition for the World Day of Digestive Health that we celebrated on May 29, an initiative promoted in Spain by the Spanish Foundation of the Digestive System (FEAD). Each year, this day is devoted to the dissemination and awareness on a relevant issue of public health and digestive system.

“LONG-TERM VALUE”

We think the same as Larry Fink, president of BlackRock, who in a letter addressed last April 10 to the presidents of the largest companies in the world, invited them to “the creation of long-term value”. Fink criticizes entrepreneurs who have neglected investment in innovation, training their employees or capital expenditures that are not necessary to maintain long-term growth.

“Public Relations (or Communication) should advise on this long-term path. Fink insists that companies pay attention to the investors who qualified him as “long-term owners” and to ignore the most speculative investors. How is this “long-term” path constructed? Children and young people who are now between 4 and 21 years of age have a concern that worries the world: molded by technology, but more by austerity policies, worried about not being indebted, altruistic, politically sensitized by economic inequality and social, disillusioned with traditional politics and willing to help whoever does it; We will have to think about new strategies for which we have developed so far to convince them to buy our brand.

What if they do not recommend it to us? Fink we begin to react? Could it be good advice that reaches the maximum of public relations that tells us “do well and make it know”, as we think, is still in full force and even, we would dare to describe as “fashionable”?

THEIR SUCCESSES ARE OUR SUCCESSES

We work on the success of our clients. We grow with our clients because their successes are our successes. When a great team works and achieves the goals that are proposed, telling the story is as easy as:

 

¿WHAT ABOUT THE ENGINE OF THE BRAND IMAGE?

Marc Ros, partner of Risto Mejide in his advertising agency, says that “Corporate Social Responsibility is a department for to look good to the others and it have to die”. This is the headline of the interview published in Jot Down. Watch out! We must continue reading so that this advertising clarifies that “CSR (…) is a behavior: how the company behaves with society, with nature, with the employee, with the children of employees, with the grandparents of the employees, with consumers, with animals and with anyone.

“Do not go too far to find the points that would make up the ethical responsibility of the company, Wikipedia, the list:

  1. Serve society with useful products and under fair conditions.
  2. Create wealth in the most efficient way possible.
  3. Respect human rights with decent working conditions that favor occupational health and safety and the human and professional development of workers.
  4. Ensure the continuity of the company and, if possible, achieve reasonable growth.
  5. Respect the environment, avoiding as much as possible any type of contamination, minimizing the generation of waste and rationalizing the use of natural and energy resources.
  6. To comply strictly with the laws, regulations, norms and customs, respecting the legitimate contracts and commitments acquired.
  7. Seek the equitable distribution of the generated wealth.
  8. Maintenance of business ethics and fight against corruption.

AlaOeste Communication think that Corporate Social Responsibility is still to be released and that is the future: a multiplying factor of communication and the true driving force of the brand image.

DEFINITELY WE LIKE RED

Until now, the different varieties of the Coca-Cola family or in terms of marketing, “depth of product”,  had their own design, image and publicity. This new strategy proposes a “unique brand” in order to identify all those individual brands with which until now Coca-Cola worked and configure a new model of global communication. This strategy, presented in scoop in Spain, has been extended in Russia, Singapore and Chile, although it hopes to reach all markets.

The visionary of the problem that beset Coca Cola was Zoram Vucinic, the company’s top executive in Moscow, who noticed the lack of the mother color, “the Coca-Cola red” on the supermarket shelves. The colors of the different products of the same line – black for Zero, silver for Light and gold for Caffeine free – were eating the red of its long 129 years of history.

The new design of Coca-Cola recovers the red color in all its lines: the red color as the protagonist and with details in the lower part of the packaging to identify each variety. A design that encompasses all Coca-Cola varieties and thus grants brand recognition to the parent brand. The coolest thing in history is that this project has been led by Spanish professionals.