Public Relations

Digital Marketing Communications Campaign

Alternative Bread Company (ABC)
The Alternative Bread Company

NOTE: This is a fictional marketing communications campaign created by me as part of my studies in “Digital Communications for Business” in Griffith College.

Public relations has a key role in relationship marketing, since it concerned with building a long term image rather than a quick sale. There is a strategic relationship between publicity, PR and press relations. Public relations people talk about ‘publics‘ rather than the ‘ public’. This is because they are dealing with a wide range of people, all with different needs and preconceptions.

ABC’s Campaign Strategy

Public relations: Creating and maintaining a favourable reputation with the organization’s publics.

ABC’s Tactics

  • Press relations: Creating and maintaining a favourable image with news media.
  • Publicity: Creating favourable news stories about the organization and its’products and activities.

Company Background

ABC, the Alternative Bread Company, a well known artisan bread manufacturing and retail company located in the English Market in Cork city, manufactures a range of fresh, organic, wheat and dairy free bread products containing no preservatives.   

While ABC’s core product is organic bread, they position themselves in both the natural and the highly competitive traditional bread markets. This trend has changed in recent years with the growth of new artisan bread manufacturers and retailers.
See other company Background information in appendices
Interview with Sheila Fitzpatrick, ABC Director, ABC

The Brief

This public relations campaign is being initially launched in ABC’s retail outlet in the English market, Grand Parade, Cork city and then all other outlets countywide. The company’s management have stated the company’s objective, using a budget of 20,000 euros, which the company is to incorporate both traditional and digital media marketing channels to create awareness among the various publics and grow the company further in the Irish market.

These publics include existing and potential customers, suppliers, retailers, food safety authority personnel, food bloggers/writers critics, artisan and traditional competitors, key Twitter and Facebook influentials.

Also, the campaign is also driven by the company’s recent launch of its new wheat free product and a brand new website in which the business can leverage digital marketing tools such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs. A press release statement issued to the media and social media marketing will both be a major part of the campaign.


The press release is is being published in the Irish Examiner newspaper, co-sponsors of a new artisan brand development award 2014 which was held four weeks before the product and website launch at the Burlington hotel, Dublin.  ABC was the winning entrant of this award.  Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board was the other co – sponsor.

The new wheat free bread product being brought to market is an extension of the company’s existing wheat free, dairy free and containing no preservatives product range and the company’s ethos of staying in touch with the changing tastes and dietary needs of a sophisticated and educated consumer.
The company’s management first step was to build up a list of the appropriate media that cover its’ area of expertise in the artisan food product range. This included media publications but also the specific journalists that covered awards’ events in the past.

Searching in the publications website or using the news search function in a search engine gave them a good starting point.
The following is a list of media personnel contacted to attend this important event:
⦁ Joe Mc Namee – Irish Examiner
⦁ Claire Digby – Irish Times
⦁ Sally Mc Kenna – Food Magazine
⦁ Billy Lyons – Cork Independent
⦁ Mary Kennedy – RTE Nationwide

The key to getting a story covered in national media is to have a strong interesting story. The press release detailed all key facts about the new brand and the awards ceremony. These facts also detailed Bord Bia’s role in the sponsorship which supported why the artisan product was an interesting one, wheat and dairy free and containing no preservatives.

The management were ready to respond to any queries from journalists quickly. This included drawing up all the questions the management thinks will be asked and writing down the answers to them.

The issues to be addressed:

⦁ The company has not undertaken any commercial advertising in the promotion of the company, brand or product range to date. It has relied heavily on PR due to the strong media interest in the company’s ethos, background and the novel nature of its’ products.

⦁ The campaign is being driven by a limited budget being allocated which one of the reasons why the company entered for the Bord Bia advertising awards competition.

⦁ There is strong above the line activity by competition in the artisan break market.

Statement of Objectives

⦁ To educate and make consumers aware of the new product.
⦁ Build and communicate a strong personality behind the brand
⦁ Boost the brand’s profile among the online community using key influencers and bloggers.
⦁ Initially an informational and interactive website was set up to provide information about the business and its’ products that provides opportunities for customers and business to communicate with one another.
⦁ It would drive traffic and sales on the website – phase 2.
⦁ To draw attention to the brand’s unique benefits, i.e. wheat-free, organic and dairy-free.
⦁ To differentiate the brand from competition.
⦁ To engage with fans/consumers through social media tools i.e. Facebook, Twitter.

Programme Plan and Strategy

⦁ An invitation for a photocall will be sent to the press, a week before product launch day. The contact listed earlier will be notified.
Launch – product launched in the English market, Cork city by food celebrity/broadcaster – Rachel Allen.
Above the line – Media sponsorship by the Irish Examiner (press release) and An Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board.
Competition published on the Irish Examiner, Facebook, Twitter and website. These channels will help promote the event.
Blogging and news sections on the website to make publics aware of the event.
⦁ Using props, such an image of the company’s staff in the background to help tell the company’s story.
YouTube also offered great potential to help promote the event but management decided not to use it on this occasion.

Launch activity/ Press and Photo Notice

The following statement will be released to the press, which includes the Irish Examiner, by ABC:

*ABC, The Alternative Bread Company, is launching a new wheat free bread product and you are invited to participate in a photocall in the English market, Grand Parade, Cork city on Friday, 24 April, 2014.

*Rachel Allen, food celebrity/broadcaster will be doing recipe demonstrations of the product at ABC’s retail outlet on the day!

*Free tea/refreshments and bread tasting will be made available to members of the public.

As part of the new product launch, ABC’s management should ensure that online content is relevant and interesting by sharing their passion knowledge and experience with the different publics. The same tone and personality will need to be consistent across all traditional and digital media platforms.
The content about ABC’s new product will be consistent and will make it easy for customers to identify with. ABC built their Facebook/Istagram and Twitter pages to engage with  their fan base where business fans, writers, friends, customers, and critics can all interact directly with ABC to get valuable insights , which would help drive their business and connect more with their existing and potential customers.  They will also be able to post questions, comments, feedback or even fan mail.

The management had a dedicated staff member responsible for responding to customer comments. They also used blogging, facebook/istagram/twitter to engage customers by asking them to nominate their favourite bread recipe out of a list of products and a free competition to entice them to subscribe to a newsletter.
For example on the twitter link home page a comment posted by a customer quoting the following: “

”. This information will also be further highlighted under the Recipes tab which states that Rachel Allen ( food celebrity/ broadcaster) will be doing a baking recipe demonstration on this particular day.

See website screenshot – bottom of the home page in appendices
This information will be published in the News section of the website: Big News! Rachel Allen, food celebrity/broadcaster will be doing a baking demonstration of our new wheat free bread product called Chollah on Friday April 22, 2014.

This is is a Jewish wheat free bread made from a rich dough containing eggs, milk and honey.  The bread will firstly be available in the Cork area and you will find it stacked in the general bread section and let us know what you think!

Our artisan bakers create the highest quality breads. We take great pride in our freshly made, hand crafted wheat free breads made with ‘real’ ingredients! Check out our press release statement in the Irish Examiner published today which reveals that this bread product won a Bord Bia 20,000 euros new artisan brand development award at a ceremony which took place in the Burlington hotel, Dublin on March 20, 2014. 

Also, there is a FREE competition for a weekend away in Barcelona, Spain, open to all readers published in the Irish Examiner, Facebook and Twitter. The results of this competition will be a announced on Friday, by Sheila Fitzpatrick, ABC’s director, at the English market. Details of the competition are also advertised on our

Alternative Bread Company new product launch

Language Translator

Author: John Hartnett

My name is John Hartnett. I am a Substitute Teacher in Business in the post primary vocational education sector.

Leave a Reply