Coca-Cola Communication Effective Communication Communication Channels

One of The Coca-Cola Company’s core values is to “support and strengthen our communities” and Coca-Cola has taken a unique and innovative approach to local communities through the development of its football-related programmes.

Creating strong relationships is at the heart of any successful business. By sharing values, building trust and providing mutual benefit to a wide range of consumers, customers, and other “stakeholders” Coca-Cola aims to fulfil its promise – to benefit and refresh everyone who is touched by its business.

Because of its central position in the lives of many GB citizens, football plays a key role in Coca-Cola GB’s marketing activities. The Company’s focus is on the football fan rather than football itself and Coca-Cola sees itself not as an external sponsor of football but as a ‘football insider’. This involves actively promoting the playing and watching of football and the provision of facilities for both of these activities, rather than simply helping to fund professional clubs.

Coca-Cola initiatives aim to:

Demonstrate the brand’s passion for football and football fans

Demonstrate Coca-Cola as an ‘insider’ rather than merely a sponsor of football

De genuinely innovative and distinctive in what is a crowded market

Create credible and authentic marketing

Build on the long-standing relationship between Coca-Cola and football.

Corporate support for football and interest in football sponsorship takes place in a crowded market place, with many different brands competing for attention, so it would be all too easy for messages to become blurred and confused.

‘Noise’ describes any obstacle to the smooth transmission of a communications message. Coca-Cola works hard to limit these obstacles and barriers, but not everything is within its immediate control e.g. cameras at a football match failing to focus on advertising hoardings, an announcer stumbling over the name of the provider of the match ball.

Some types of ‘noise’ can be anticipated and steps taken to avoid them. For example, there is no point in ‘having your name up in lights’ in a city, however large, where the electricity supply is unreliable.

The Company uses several means of evaluating the success of its communications programmes including:

Audience response to local initiatives e.g. pupils involved in local football coaching and football competitions – how positive have they been about their experience?

Reach – how many people have been involved in football initiatives supported by Coca-Cola?

Opportunities to see and absorb – how many people have been exposed to messages about Coca-Cola and its support for football?

Cost per thousand – how effective has the communications exercise been in terms of numbers reached for every £ spent on supporting that particular football initiative? Do those involved in the scheme and who have benefited from it (e.g. youth football associations) feel that it has been ‘money well spent’, or are they suggesting better ways of doing things?

Advice to Senior Management

â- Coca-Cola damages health.

â- Coke is probably the unhealthiest fizzy drink on the market and that is why I very rarely drink it. Though don’t start drinking gallons of Sprite instead as all fizzy drinks are unhealthy and should not be drunk often. Though whenever you do drink it or drink any other fizzy drink – avoid drinking out of the can and always try to drink it out of a glass, and if possible drink through a straw. Loads of sugar, very bad for your teeth and stomach.

â- Drinking Coke that way is better for your teeth. Though perhaps Coke should have a warning on it or photos of rotten teeth on the side of it.

â- Cola is fizzier and perhaps a little less sweet than Pepsi.

â- Coca-Cola varies in price, sometimes goes flat, too much can make you bloated 

â-Pepsi advertise with almost all of the brands while Coca Cola mainly advertise only one brand i.e. Coca-Cola.

â- Many communication trainers don’t really have a good grasp of how communication works, beyond the superficial. This gives rise to a number of communication myths being repeated.

â- Start to actually value your employees. Treat them like people.

â- Provide more training to employees so it can be very useful when it comes to sales.

More hard work and sense required for Advertising.

Targeting the Youth:Use of Celebrities, Art Sponsorship

Targeting the Males:Sports Events

Targeting Young Adults: Attract in Pubs and Night Clubs

Targeting Large Audience:Advertising on TV and Cinema

Targeting Elderly People:Advertising on Press

Process of Communication

Communication can best be summarized as the transmission of a message from a sender to a receiver in an understandable manner. The importance of effective communication is immeasurable in the world of business and in personal life. From a business perspective, effective communication is an absolute must, because it commonly accounts for the difference between success and failure or profit and loss. It has become clear that effective business communication is critical to the successful operation of modern enterprise. Every business person needs to understand the fundamentals of effective communication.

To begin transmitting the message, the sender uses some kind of channel (also called a medium). The channel is the means used to convey the message. Most channels are either oral or written, but currently visual channels are becoming more common as technology expands. Common channels include the telephone and a variety of written forms such as memos, letters, and reports. The effectiveness of the various channels fluctuates depending on the characteristics of the communication. For example, when immediate feedback is necessary, oral communication channels are more effective because any uncertainties can be cleared up on the spot. In a situation where the message must be delivered to more than a small group of people, written channels are often more effective. Although in many cases, both oral and written channels should be used because one supplements the other.

There are two main ways of sending information – verbal communication and non-verbal communication. Verbal communication involves people talking to one another. Non-verbal contact may include visual and written material. If verbal communication is face-to-face, then there is also a non-verbal element through body language.

It is important to Coca-Cola to reduce the number and types of barrier to ensure its messages are delivered and understood.

Verbal communication

Coca-cola needs to be in direct contact with its customers through verbal communication. The company, through its production centres, has many opportunities for its trained staff to talk to customers about all issues.

Oral Communication: Oral communication is information spoken by mouth; the use of speech. Some of the examples of Oral Communication are: Face to face communication, Telephonic Communication, Public Address System (Speech), Informal rumour mill (Grape Wine), Audio & Visual Media(Radio, TV), Lectures, Conference-Interchange of views, Meetings, Cultural Affairs.

Written Communication: Communication by means of written symbols (either printed or handwritten). Some of the examples are: Orders, Instructions, Letters, Memos, Reports, Policy manuals, Information Bulletin, Complaint System, Suggestion System, etc

Non-verbal communication

Non-verbal communication covers a wide range of methods. These include visual elements such as the Coca-Cola logo, adverts in newspapers, TV and other media, as well as the company’s image. This helps to determine brand positioning. This is how others view the company in relation to its rivals. Brand positioning involves creating an image by which people recognise what a brand stands for.

Body Language includes facial expression, eye contact, postures, gestures, touch.

Para Language is the way we say something rather than what we say, is another nonverbal code.

Sign Language: A sign language is a language which, instead of conveyed sound patterns, uses visually transmitted sign patterns.

Techniques for improving Nonverbal Communication Skills:

Establish and maintain eye contact

Use posture to show interest

Reduce or eliminate physical barrier

Improve your decoding skills

Probe for more information

Associate with people from diverse cultures

Appreciate the power of appearance

Observe yourself on videotape

For effective communication to take place:

The sender of the message must:

– be clear about the intended message

– use an appropriate medium for that particular message e.g. mail, TV advert, Internet, public address system

– present the message clearly and unambiguously.

The intended recipient(s) must be:

– able to receive the message

– ready and willing to listen to it

– open to persuasion with regard to it.

These rules are crucial to successful communication.

â- Sender. The party sending the message to another party ( source of communicator). â- Encoding. The process of putting thought into symbolic form. â- Message. The set of symbols that the sender transmits.â-Media. The channels through which the Message moves from sender to receiver. â- Receiver. The party receiving the message sent by another party (also called the audience or destination). â- Response. The set of reactions that the receiver has after being exposed to the message. â- Feedback. The part of the receiver’s response that the receiver communicates back to the sender. â- Noise. Unplanned static or distortion during the communi­cation process, resulting in the receiver’s receiving a diffe­rent message than the sender sent.

Coca-Cola Advertising Objectives 

To inform:


Telling the market about a new product

Describing available services

Suggesting new uses for a product

Correcting false impressions

Informing the market of a price change

Reducing consumers’ fears

explaining how the product works

Building a company image

To persuade:


Building brand preference

Persuading customer to purchase now

Encouraging switching to your brand

Persuading customer to receive a sales call


Changing customer’s perception of


product attributes


To remind(Re-inforce):


Reminding consumers that the product

Keeping it in their minds during off seasons

may be needed in the near future

reminding them where to buy it

Maintaining its top-of mind awareness


By using this Communication Process, you can:

Clearly identify your project stakeholders

Identify your stakeholders communications needs

Run any type of communications event to send out your message

Ensure the right people receive the right information at the right time

Keeping your stakeholders regularly informed is a critical activity for any team. Whether it’s through status reports, regular meetings or informal email, you can ensure that the right messages are distributed about the progress of your project. This will help your project team and external stakeholders to remain focused on delivery and to provide you with all of the support you need to deliver your project successfully

Coca-Cola addresses audiences at four different levels.

Grass roots – Young people want opportunities to play football in a safe, organised, and fun environment. Recognising this, Coca-Cola is involved with the English and Scottish Schools Football Association tournaments. For example over 2,000 schools from across England enter the under 13’s, 11 a side tournament involving approximately 30,000 young, keen footballers. These teams cover 44 counties and are split into 4 geographical regions, North, Midlands, South East and South West. The winners of the 4 regional finals are invited to play for the pride of England in the Coca-Cola Schools Cup Final at Anfield Stadium, the home of Liverpool F.C.

Local professional football clubs know that their future depends on attracting more families to games. That means persuading Mum and the kids to come along too. Coca-Cola supports good practice in the use of mascots, whereby children enter competitions that allow them to be their mascots. Details of the competition vary from club to club.

Local Clubs/Community – e.g. Sweeper Zone: a community programme in partnership with environmental group, and supported by local people and businesses, which harnesses the cultural appeal of football, the passion and loyalty of fans, and youth appeal of Coca-Cola to improve the environment around Premiership football grounds.

High Level Domestic: Premiership in England and Premier League in Scotland – A major element of the football sponsorship of Coca-Cola is the TV sponsorship of ITV’s weekly football programme The Premiership, which is shown in both England and Scotland and is a ‘must’ for most followers of the professional game. This offers Coca-Cola the opportunity to engage with a large number of football fans on a weekly basis and supports its objective of providing these fans with access to football. The sponsorship takes the form of identities or ‘bumper breaks’ at the start of the programme, and, before and after the advertising breaks. In addition, Coca-Cola sponsors the ITV Football website.

International: World Cup and European Championship – Coca-Cola engaged in a variety of activities for the FIFA World Cup 2002, all of which were designed to bring fans closer both to each other and to the event. Key activities included:

A unique competition to design a Coca-Cola perimeter advertising board for display at all England games during the tournament. A boy aged 7 won. He and his family were flown to the tournament in Japan to watch the England vs Sweden game and see his board in use.

The FIFA World Cup “Trophy Trip”, run in conjunction with Sainsbury’s. This offered a large number of fans the chance to participate in a celebration event where they had their photographs taken with the FIFA World Cup Trophy.

The communication channels and their importance

The most common myth about communication is that there are only two important channels for communication — verbal, and nonverbal.

This is actually incorrect and misleading. There are actually three. Verbal refers to the words we use, and you are no doubt familiar with that. Nonverbal communication refers to the physical things we do that send messages to others (examples include our posture, stance, the way we move, rolling of eyes and so on). You are probably familiar with that also.

The third channel is Para verbal. Para verbal refers to tone, cadence, volume, and rate of speech, and those are distinct and separate from the nonverbal channel.

â- Communication can be split into two parts — the message or content, and the channel it’s transmitted on. For example, you may want to communicate something about your emotional state — let’s say that you are angry. You can communicate that over a number of channels. You could write a letter. You could send email. You could communicate it non-verbally or Para-verbally. You could send a tape recording of your ranting about why you are angry. Those are all different channels.

â- Different communication mediums differ in terms of how close they are to face-to-face real time communication and influence or how close they are to the telegraphic model where only one person sends at a time and influence goes one way, then switches to the other.

â- Telephone conversations are closer to face-to-face interactions, but have less mutual simultaneous influence. Letter writing is much closer to (or perhaps identical to the) telegraphic model. Electronic communication (via e-mail) is telegraphic and sequential. You send a message to a colleague, wait for a response, and then respond to that.

â- The critical point here as it relates to e-mail is that the closer a medium is to telegraphic communication, the more likely it is to end up creating conflict, and the more difficult it is to resolve conflict using that medium. Misunderstandings cannot be clarified or fixed in real time,

The choice of how to communicate your message, and to which customers, can make all the difference between campaign success and consumer fatigue.

Barriers to effective communication

There are two types of barriers-internal and external.

Examples of internal barriers are fatigue, poor listening skills, attitude toward the sender or the information, lack of interest in the message, fear, mistrust, past experiences, negative attitude, problems at home, lack of common experiences, and emotions.

Examples of external barriers include noise, distractions, e-mail not working, bad phone connections, time of day, sender used too many technical words for the audience, and environment. Barriers keep the message from getting through. When communicating, watch out for barriers. Monitor the actions of the receiver. Watch

his/her body language; check to make sure the message the receiver received is the one sent-ask questions and listen.

Corporate support for football and interest in football sponsorship takes place in a crowded market place, with many different brands competing for attention, so it would be all too easy for messages to become blurred and confused.

‘Noise’ describes any obstacle to the smooth transmission of a communications message. Coca-Cola works hard to limit these obstacles and barriers, but not everything is within its immediate control e.g. cameras at a football match failing to focus on advertising hoardings, an announcer stumbling over the name of the provider of the match ball.

Some types of ‘noise’ can be anticipated and steps taken to avoid them. For example, there is no point in ‘having your name up in lights’ in a city, however large, where the electricity supply is unreliable.


For organisations looking to build relationships with customers, and to offer financial and material support to sports to which they are committed, it is not enough to be ‘well meaning’. It is also important to be well informed and professional in approach. There are guidelines to be followed, rules to be observed, discipline to be maintained. Coca-Cola has developed a good understanding of this, as its successful support of football clearly testifies. By broadening its football strategy across the communications mix i.e. from International through to grass-roots and the community, Coca-Cola has strengthened its position as a football insider and this helps to build the brand and corporate reputation of Coca-Cola.

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