Answer: MPR goes beyond simple publicity and plays an important role in the following tasks:
• Launching new products: The amazing commercial success of toys such as LeapFrog, Beanie Babies, and even the latest kids' craze, Silly Bandz, owes a great deal to strong publicity.
• Repositioning a mature product: In a classic PR case study, New York City had extremely bad press in the 1970s until the "I Love New York" campaign.
• Building interest in a product category: Companies and trade associations have used MPR to rebuild interest in declining commodities such as eggs, milk, beef, and potatoes and to expand consumption of such products as tea, pork, and orange juice.
• Influencing specific target groups: McDonald's sponsors special neighborhood events in Latino and African American communities to build goodwill.
• Defending products that have encountered public problems: PR professionals must be adept at managing crises, such as those weathered by such well-established brands as Tylenol, Toyota, and BP in 2010.
• Building the corporate image in a way that reflects favorably on its products: Steve Jobs's heavily anticipated Macworld keynote speeches have helped to create an innovative, iconoclastic image for Apple Corporation.
150) What are the major functions performed by marketing public relations? Illustrate with examples.