Client: Nokia Americas (Dallas)
Client: Nokia Americas (Dallas)
PR Team: Ketchum (Atlanta)
Campaign: Cell Phone Courtesy Week Campaign
Time Frame: May to July 17, 2000
The growing number of mobile phones worldwide has raised new issues of
social etiquette. With more than 94 million mobile phones now in service
in the US, yakkers are beginning to assess when and how the devices
should be used in public. Ketchum’s Atlanta office latched onto this
emerging issue to help client Nokia Americas position itself as a good
corporate citizen. Ketchum and Nokia worked with San Diego mayor Susan
Golding on the nation’s first Cell Phone Courtesy Week.
The idea came about after Golding and her daughter attended a movie that
was interrupted by a ringing cell phone. The mayor used her Web site to
run a poll, which found that more than 85% of people approved of
restricting cell-phone use in museums, theaters and other locations.
Armed with this survey, she launched an awareness campaign highlighting
the need for good mobile phone manners.
Ketchum and Nokia had already been discussing ways to be more proactive
in the communications company’s PR efforts, including the possibility of
an etiquette campaign. ’We had done campaigns like this in Asia and had
been throwing around the idea of how to take a leadership position and
do something about this here,’ says Megan Matthews, Nokia’s senior
communications manager. However, Nokia was leery of appearing to lecture
people on how to use their phones.
The opportunity arose when the mayor began looking to cell phone
companies for help publicizing and designing a logo for the campaign. At
Ketchum’s urging, Nokia quickly stepped forward.
Ketchum decided to promote the issue on both a local and national
Nokia has only recently established operations in San Diego, long
considered the wireless capital of the US, and thus the campaign would
raise awareness about the company’s presence there.
The campaign also enabled Nokia to educate nationwide consumers about
the company’s phones, which feature a silent mode that can mute the ring
if the user desires. ’It was a good way to set Nokia as an industry
leader, and at the same time it promoted San Diego as a forward-thinking
city,’ says Lauren Butler, Ketchum’s account executive for Nokia.
With the help of the mayor’s office, Ketchum and Nokia created a logo
featuring a Nokia phone. The ’Quiet Zone’ logo was the center point of a
poster, placed in restaurants, museums and theaters, reminding people to
switch off their phones.
The Quiet Zone logo was included in press kits that were sent out to
local newspapers and TV stations, as well as trade publications covering
the wireless field. The kit alerted the journalists to the overall
issue, as well as to the July 10 press conference in San Diego kicking
off Cell Phone Courtesy Week. At the press event, Mayor Golding and
Nokia Mobile Phone Division VP Larry Paulson urged other mayors to
institute similar campaigns of their own. (Attendees got a chuckle when
Mayor Golding’s own cell phone rang during the event.)
Ketchum also hired nationally known food critic Bill Boggs as phone
etiquette spokesperson for a VNR that was mailed to hundreds of
television stations across the country. Ketchum maximized coverage
during Cell Phone Courtesy Week by developing five days’ worth of
courtesy tips that were released on Business Wire and e-mailed to
lifestyle reporters in the top 25 newspaper markets.
The press conference was covered by virtually all local press, including
six local TV stations, the San Diego Union-Tribune and Los Angeles Times
and several local radio talk shows. National print coverage included a
piece in USA Today, as well as trade publications RCR and Wireless
The VNR featuring Boggs has already aired on 118 local TV stations
across the country, as well as national outlets such as CNN/fn and
Butler says Ketchum is in discussions with Nokia to stage similar
awareness programs in other cities.