PR, Nike and the Changing Industry

By Emily Moggridge

Nike just do it again

Public Relations is an ever-changing industry. As the landscape and audience we are communicating with evolves, PR professionals must adapt and swim with the tide. Take Nike’s most recent ‘Just Do It’ campaign, for example. A campaign in partnership with Colin Kaepernick, an American footballer who refused to kneel for the national anthem in protest of racial injustice, the campaign divided an already polarised United States public, and yet was hailed as a ‘courageous’ and ‘socially relevant’ move, indeed a ‘calculated risk on the right side of history’.

It could be argued that Nike have alienated a significant proportion of their customer base. Donald Trump, for example, characteristically summarised his views on the campaign by tweet: ‘What was Nike thinking?’.

Well, Nike were thinking of their target consumers and what they value. The company took a strategic risk to alienate some customers in order to appeal to their core consumers, the Millennial and Generation Z demographics, both of which are known for their support of socially active brands.