"Communication is a catalyst for dialogue"

Emmanuelle de Kerleau coca cola france communication

Everyone knows Atlanta's red drink… but did you know that Coca Cola European Partners is the brand's main bottler? Emmanuelle de Kerleau, Vice-President Communication & Public Affairs of Coca-Cola European Partners France, gives us the recipe for success of the company in France.

Hello Emmanuelle, thank you for having us today. Our classic introductory question: what is your definition of corporate communication?

Our business is a vector of influence which calls on several levers and which requires a very global approach to the company: public affairs, internal communication, external communication, CSR, crisis management. It is this highly integrated, 360 ° vision that is the strength and interest of the corporate communication. The communication director for this must be a real catalyst : A business partner for all the teams, able to convey our history and our strategy to all the key audiences of the company.

With digital technology and its new relationship to time, companies need to stand out. La institutional communication can no longer be cold, static or purely informative. On the contrary, it must use all the vectors of innovation and emotion, and position itself at the crossroads of all the subjects of the company. Thanks to a structured approach, the corporate communication becomes a real partner of the business to support the strategy of the company.

Coca-Cola has been established for almost a century in France, how do you use this reality in communication?

Local roots are part of the brand's DNA. Today's consumers attach great importance to Made in France. Finally, their new expectations are fully in line with our business model original, still relevant.

10 years ago some consumers still thought that Coca-Cola arrived by boat, while production in France started in 1921. We therefore decided to communicate about our local footprint and tell the story of Coca-Cola in France. We have been strengthening this communication for 5 years. This anchoring is the basis of our corporate communication throughout the year, which culminates with our annual print campaign.

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The COM must irrigate the company with its expertise

Isn't the first medium of the Coca-Cola brand its packaging?

Yes, the packaging is a support incredible because it is one of the first contacts that our consumers have with the drink. We have used it extensively for example with our campaign personalization of first names. It is also used to implement the responsible approach that we have with our products: reasoned consumption and the fight against obesity. Nur objective is not only to anticipate regulatory constraints, but to make them an asset in terms of pedagogy. The packaging can embed a multitude of innovations.

For a company that has so many manufacturing secrets, you dared: offer Internet users to visit a factory using virtual reality. What conclusions do you draw from this initiative?

Indeed, we offer a visit to our factory in Grigny thanks to the virtual reality. The objective of this device was from promote product quality and Made in France production for the sake of transparency. Opening the doors to a production site with this innovation was unprecedented. It has become a real communication toolexternal and internal munication that is of interest to all our stakeholders.

We offered a cardboard (cardboard 3D glasses) to each employee so that they can share this experience with their loved ones. It was a great source of collective pride. The film greatly interested the BtoB target, that is to say our direct customers, on the occasion of the delivery of the LSA Innovation Trophy 2016.  We have already met many customers at company forums and we have also met the general public at the virtual reality show in Paris. Today the device has such a wealth of use that it was quickly adopted by all our teams in their shopper marketing actions.

What is the place of corporate communication at Coca-Cola?

Reputation is at the heart of the company's strategic issues and has a real impact on the business. La Coca-Cola brand attracts the wrath of some and unleashes passions. We are there to promote and defend the reputation of the company. Communicators are also field teams, like salespeople. We don't just have a recommendation function. We must also bring our convictions to business. As proof, we refrain from advertising with children under 12 years old. The ethical dimension is increasingly emerging in communication, with the lever of CSR. The brand issues are so important in terms of image with consumers, that corporate communication has taken a central place at the heart of companies.. And it is in its capacity to be a partner of other functions of the company that it takes all its value: by bringing substance and by being a force of support and advice. Communication must irrigate the company with its expertise.

What do you think is THE secret to becoming Dircom?

To have the right words, to be humble in its positioning and to espouse the values ​​of the company while remaining faithful to its convictions. To be Dircom, you have to open up to other perspectives such as CSR, marketing, financial communication, corporate governance, etc. This is what allows him to be credible in bringing reputation issues up to the Board of Directors.

Special students: what are your tips for communication students who read us?

1. Be consistent in your choice of course and define your objectives;
2. Multiply experiences with advertisers and agencies because the two are very complementary;
3. Have a global vision of the various communication functions: internal and external communication, public affairs, marketing;
4. Listening skills to understand the expectations of all stakeholders.

Bonus question: How do you promote your commitment as a responsible brand?

"Coca-Cola is a brand that is aimed at the general public, therefore the messages addressed to consumers must first be simple, immediately understandable, and perceived as legitimate and consistent with the values ​​of the brand and the famous" purpose” of the brand which is about unity and inclusion. This is why we favor communications on inclusion and solidarity with major partners such as the Restos du Coeur.

In addition, we must be responsible, assume the environmental challenges posed by our activities and first and foremost our packaging and propose actions that meet the expectations of our consumers. We use different communication media: our product labels, direct communication at points of sale, in high-traffic event venues, displays in public spaces and interactive digital communication. Coca-Cola is also a leading brand that must be exemplary, not only to set an example but also to preserve its reputation. Proof and example are therefore key and as such we also regularly open the doors of our industrial sites to consumers so that they come and see these actions for themselves. »

3 Coca-Cola things to know about Emmanuelle de Kerleau

> His favorite ad is a tile washer
His favorite drink is a Zero
> His catch is to put the bottles of… Coca-Cola back on the shelves of supermarkets!

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