Case Study Competition

Case Study Competition

 

The Arthur W. Page Society, in alliance with the Institute for Public Relations, sponsors an annual competition for the writing of original case studies by students enrolled in an accredited school of business, communication or journalism and who are pursuing a degree that is focused on corporate communications and the practice of public relations. The objectives of the competition are to:

  • Introduce the practical applications of the core principles that define public relations as a critical function of management to scholars, teachers, and students
  • Encourage research which contributes to the profession’s body of knowledge and provides practical suggestions on how to improve the corporate public relations function

Student authors of winning entries and their faculty advisors are awarded cash prizes and recognized by the nation’s leading corporate communications executives. The Grand Prize winners are invited to the annual Awards Ceremony Dinner held each spring in New York.

Please see the 2014 Case Study Competition Call for Entries for information about the competition including submission guidelines and judging criteria.

Note: All opinions expressed in the Arthur W. Page Society Case Study Competition case submissions are those of the individual authors or commentators and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the Arthur W. Page Society.

Entry Deadline

Jan/16/15

2014 WINNERS

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Are All Calories Created Equal? An Analysis of the Coca-Cola Company’s Communication in the Fight Against Obesity

Abstract

As Americans become increasingly health conscious, soft drink companies are under attack. One major accusation against soft drinks is that they contribute to obesity rates, which have nearly doubled since the 1960s. In efforts to support anti-obesity initiatives and defend its brands, the Coca-Cola Company launched communications campaign Coming Together in January 2013. With health experts claiming regular and diet soft drinks can lead to obesity, Coca-Cola is challenged to communicate the message that its products can fit into healthy lifestyles. This case study examines Coca-Cola’s conflict between being socially responsible and promoting products many claim contribute to obesity.

Teaching notes will be made available to faculty upon request.

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Firing the Founder: A Men’s Wearhouse Identity Crisis

Abstract

On Wednesday June 19th, 2013, Men’s Wearhouse fired 64-year-old George Zimmer, who founded the company at the age of 26 and grew it into a retail empire of over 1,140 stores nationwide. Over the next week, Men’s Wearhouse faced customer backlash about the termination, waged a largely public battle of wills with Zimmer, sought to ease investor discomfort with the decision, and attempted to re-invent the Men’s Wearhouse brand – all under the intense glare of the media spotlight. The accompanying case provides an opportunity to study the communications ramifications of top-level executive conflict, as well as the complexities of brand reputation management following the loss of company icons such as founders or spokespersons.

Teaching notes will be made available to faculty upon request.

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The Need for Cultural Intelligence: An Analysis of Asiana Airlines’ Response to the Crash Landing of Flight 214

Abstract

On July 6, 2013, Asiana Airlines’ Flight 214 crashed while attempting to land at the San Francisco International Airport. This case addresses the crisis communication efforts Asiana undertook with key stakeholders in the U.S. in the wake of the crash. It assesses the social and traditional media communication activities of Asiana in the U.S. and how cross-cultural norms affected perceptions of this communication. The crash demonstrates the need for corporate communication professionals at multi-national companies to have cross-cultural competence and training. More precisely, the case considers the theory of cultural intelligence, which is defined as the ability to recognize and comprehend different beliefs, practices, attitudes, and behaviors of a group and then apply that certain cultural knowledge to attain your goals – whether those goals are political, business or otherwise. The case is ultimately valuable to all global companies building their cross-cultural acumen.

Teaching notes will be made available to faculty upon request.

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Tainted Yogurt: An Analysis of Chobani’s Mold Crisis

Abstract

In August 2013, Greek yogurt producer Chobani faced its first real crisis as customers complained about bulging, bad tasting cups of yogurt. Although social media had been instrumental in the company’s brand loyalty and rapid growth, in this situation, it empowered customers to criticize Chobani’s handling of the crisis. This case study details Chobani’s history, the Greek yogurt market and its crisis response. It provides an example of the power of social media and consumers’ heightened expectations about transparency. This case demonstrates the importance of planning communication efforts for crisis situations and anticipating public reaction from all possible channels.

Teaching notes will be made available to faculty upon request.

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Bank of America Debit Card Fee: Corporate Strategy vs. Consumer Perception

Abstract

In the fall of 2011, Bank of America announced a plan to begin charging customers $5 per month on debit card accounts.  The announcement met with sharp public outrage.  Due to the backlash, Bank of America was faced with a difficult dilemma: proceed as planned and face a public relations nightmare or cancel the fee program, lose billions, and be forced to answer to shareholders.

Teaching notes will be made available to faculty upon request.

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#Social Strong: The Effect of Social Media on the Boston Marathon Bombings

Abstract

During the 2013 Boston Marathon, two explosions occurred divesting the city and entire country. The days leading up to Dzhokar Tsarnev’s arrest were a blu of posts by various social media outlets. A small portion of information was verified by authorities. However, a large amount of material was false, then published by accredited news outlets. in contrast, the Boston Police Department effectively used social media to communicate with various publics. In a time of ever-advancing technology, tactics like social media shape a response to crisis. the following case study seeks to examine the effect of social media on the Boston Marathon bombings.

Teaching notes will be made available to faculty upon request.

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Progressive Insurance: Paying a Lawyer to Defend Your Sister’s Killer

Abstract

Progressive Insurance faced a widespread public relations crisis when Matt Fisher took to his personal Tumblr site to post a scathing account of his family’s experience with the company who insured his deceased sister. The blog entry went “viral” overnight, panning Progressive’s use of their attorney to seemingly assist in the defense of the driver who collided into his sister’s automobile, taking her life. This case examines the moral, economic, and legal views of business decision-making, as well as the social media consequences of a perceived imbalance between the three approaches. The question for Progressive is how to best mitigate the negative consequences of the current social media crisis and how to avoid any future re-occurrence.

Teaching notes will be made available to faculty upon request.