Week 1 Introduction to Public Relations In-Class Case Study


Reputation from the Institute of Public Relations:

  • From the perspective of the organization, reputation is an intangible asset that allows the company to better manage the expectations and needs of its various stakeholders, creating differentiation and barriers vis-à-vis its competitors.
  • From the perspective of stakeholders, reputation is the intellectual, emotional and behavioral response as to whether or not the communications and actions of an organization resonate with their needs and interests.

Reflective Communication SCRUM and Sprints:

  • Scrum is “where the team reviews progress and discusses what will be done before each session.”
  • A sprint is “a predetermined period during which actions are developed and implemented. Each sprint is followed by a validation meeting that includes the project owner and possibly stakeholders.”


Case Study:

4-H inspires new ice cream from Blue Bell Creameries, a Texas-based company that sells ice cream in 17 states (including Georgia and Florida).

  • In honor of the Texas 4-H organization’s 100th birthday, Blue Bell Creameries is introducing Centennial Cupcake Ice Cream. To sweeten the deal, the Little Creamery is donating a portion of the sales to promote 4-H educational programs.
  • Centennial Cupcake Ice Cream is a delicious cake batter ice cream with pieces of yellow cake, a chocolate icing swirl and four-leaf clover sprinkles.
  • “We just finished celebrating our 100th birthday so we understand just how special this is,” said Paul Kruse, Blue Bell CEO and president. “Centennial Cupcake is the perfect ice cream to help commemorate this momentous occasion. It has all the ingredients for a celebration, cake and ice cream. The four-leaf clover sprinkles give it that special touch.”
  • 4-H is a national organization which prides itself on teaching young people across America leadership, citizenship and life skills. There are more than 7 million members from eight to 18 years of age involved in 4-H.
  • Centennial Cupcake Ice Cream will be sold in Texas and across the company’s 17-state distribution area. “4-H is a national organization that benefits so many young people,” Kruse said. “Our inspiration for the flavor came from the Texas organization’s 100th birthday, but we felt it was important to recognize all 4-H groups.”
  • Blue Bell has also created a unique carton for this new flavor. It features four children in 4-H T-shirts and the organization’s widely recognized four-leaf emblem. “We worked with 4-H to create something that symbolizes what they are all about,” Kruse said. “The organization is for the kids. I think the smiling faces capture the spirit of this organization just perfectly.”
  • Centennial Cupcake Ice Cream will be available in stores in mid-February 2018.

Your firm has been hired by Blue Bell Ice Cream to launch a three-month campaign to announce this product and generate sales. Your client has suggested a campaign that includes both proactive and reactive strategies because Blue Bell has a damaged reputation among its stakeholders. 

Question 1: What issues and concerns created Blue Bell’s damaged reputation? How long ago did this happen? How did the company communicate these issues?

Question 2: Your client states that reputation doesn’t matter and that all publicity is good publicity. What can you state and demonstrate that will change the client’s mind?

You have a budget of $50,000, and some should be spent on strategies that renew the public’s confidence in the Blue Bell brand and to promote this product to families with heads of households who make food purchasing decisions, aged 25 to 45 with children in the states that carry Blue Bell. What are some other demographics that you need to know about these mothers?  

Your account supervisor has asked to see your suggestions for a proposed campaign addressing the situation by 2:30 p.m. today.  Good luck!