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Blast from the Past: 15 Years of Platform and Counting

Published on Oct. 31 at 7:27 p.m.
by Lauren Barnes.

The final, and at times most crucial, step in a public relations campaign is evaluation — the part where PR practitioners can measure success. Outside of public relations, journaling and self-reflection are often recommended as important habits for leaders. For the past 15 years, Platform Magazine has discussed and encouraged best practices and leadership in PR. To celebrate the publication’s anniversary, here’s a snapshot into how brands are doing from Platform’s five most popular articles and blogs.

“The Sweet Secret to Nestle’s Global Branding Success” by Mackenzie Lyng, 2016

This Platform Magazine article discussed how Nestle is able to maintain a consistent brand personality across an international market. Marketing Associate Aisha Coardin summarized the brand’s success to research and Nestle’s products themselves. “In any medium you may have a linguistic constraint, but the only tool that fully discounts that is the product itself,” Coradin said. “When a consumer tastes, touches and views our products, they can discern the quality and the care that is put into each product before it touches their mouths.”

Photo by fotofabrika via Adobe Stock Images

Today, Nestle still heralds trustworthiness as a large part of its brand. According to Reuters, Nestle recently pledged $1 billion to source its coffee sustainably. The plans were announced in a statement that included initiatives aiming to improve farmers’ incomes.

“Four Seasons: A Global Chain of Excellence” by Rachel Tomchin, 2017

This Platform Magazine article explored how each Four Seasons hotel is able to maintain a consistent brand through many avenues despite each hotel itself being unique. Tom Segesta, the general manager of the Four Seasons in Houston, Texas, emphasized that it is the employees’ dedication to the guests that distinguishes the company.

The Four Seasons is continuing its brand image of exceeding expectations and is taking it to the seas. This year, Christian Clerc, president of Four Seasons’ Hotels and Resorts, announced that the Four Seasons Yachts’ maiden voyage is set to sail in 2025.

“Astroworld Tragedy: When the Show Should Have Stopped and Crisis PR Should Have Started” by Megan Murphy, 2021

The Astroworld Festival proved to be a cautionary tale in crisis prevention. This Platform Magazine article addressed the multitude of missed red flags from the lack of EMS and security to Travis Scott’s failure to calm the crowd and the lack of crisis communication in the tragedy’s following days.

Earlier this year, Astroworld resurfaced in the news after fans of the Kardashians accused them of lying on their Hulu show about the festival. Detailed in an article by Buzzfeed News, Kendall and Kylie Jenner both attended Astroworld and posted about the event on their social media accounts before the crisis occurred. At the same time, the rest of the Kardashian family were together for a birthday party and filming for their TV show. When the episode finally aired in 2022, fans were outraged because the episode was edited to appear as if Kendall was in Miami and not at Astroworld. PR practitioners can learn from this incident that they must be prepared for every outcome.

“Not Just for Kids: Broadening the Appeal of Animated Movies” by Rachel Tomchin, 2017

In this Platform Magazine article, Tomchin discussed popular animated movies and how advertisers are missing out on a larger demographic by only advertising to the target audience of children.

Photo by JorgeEduardo via Adobe Stock Images

After the pandemic and the shift to streaming services, advertisers are looking for new ways to meet audiences, young and old. This past Christmas, the Disney film “Encanto” was released in theaters and on Disney+. According to BusinessInsider, “Encanto” became the fan favorite it is today due to word-of-mouth marketing. Advertisers are now meeting a larger demographic of children and adults alike by the release of more inclusive animated films such as: ‘Turning Red,’ ‘Moana’ and ‘Coco.’ As streaming services become the new norm, today’s PR practitioners will need to find the new best practices to connect with target audiences.

“Learning the ROPES” by Kayla Sullivan, 2017

All public relations students at one point or another learn the campaign-planning process of Research-Objectives-Programming-Evaluation, but Sullivan focused on the importance of the last step, Stewardship. In this Platform Magazine article, Sullivan encourages PR practitioners to be creative when nurturing relationships and demonstrating commitment to their publics.

These days, stewardship is still an important but often overlooked aspect of the public relations campaign. Additionally, corporate social responsibility and diversity, equity, and inclusion programs became more important to publics. Today’s PR practitioners know that being a good steward of your publics means promoting responsibility and inclusivity, while not crossing the line into virtue-signaling.

In an ever-evolving industry, sometimes it can be helpful to pause and take a look back at the progress made over the years. Here’s to many more years of discussing ethical practices and PR leadership at Platform Magazine.

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