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Dr. Viktor Bauer Public Relations receives Austrian State Award for Public Relations


Dr. Viktor Bauer Public Relations has received the Austrian State Award for Public Relations 2002. The prize is being awarded jointly from the Minister for Economy and the Austrian Public Relations Association. The prized project, selected from 27 entries, was the market introduction of the  US coffee shop chain Starbucks.


Dr. Viktor Bauer Public Relations Ltd. supports leading companies and trusts from industry and banks, institutions, and associations with classical PR.  Dr. Bauer PR is active in Austria and Germany.


The task of the awarded project was to make the brand known as fast as possible. According to company tradition, Starbucks decided to forego classical advertising for its market introduction and put its money solely on Public Relations during the first year. The PR campaign had a key function for the company because Austria was ? after Switzerland ? the first market in continental Europe where the brand was being introduced. Afterwards followed Germany, Spain, and other European countries.


Bauer PR realized this task with a detailed PR-campaign pwith the thrust on classical media relations. The goal was to make the company the leading voice for coffee shops and demonstrate the competence of Starbucks in coffee shop topics. Additional topics were the social engagement and the quality policy of Starbucks.


The result: public awareness of the brand Starbucks grew from four to 62 percent (Vienna), and 28 percent in the counties, between July 2001 and September 2002.The highest awareness is with school children and students (80 percent).


TV stations in Austria and Germany as well as approximately a dozen radio stations covered the market introduction in Vienna, the coverage in the print media reflected the brand philosophy of Starbucks: almost half of the articles dealt with the topic coffee houses and coffee house culture. Starbucks had presented a survey about Vienna and its coffee houses as well as life style and coffee quality.


The goal was to position Starbucks as leading voice over other coffee house chains. In fact, Starbuck was mentioned several times more often than its competitors Segafredo, Coffee Shop Company, Testarossa, Tricoffee, Nannini, and Clic-cadou.


A particularly demanding target group was coffee house owners and visitors. In Vienna alone there are 3.000 coffee houses. To conquer this “world capital of coffee houses” emotionally and by communications was a special challenge.


Starbucks reached its communication goals during the first year with only using PR and social sponsoring. Internationally, Starbucks is a prime example for the successful application of PR as an instrument for branding. The American “brand pope” Al Ries ranks Starbucks together with Microsoft, Red Bull, and other companies among the “Top 100” of the globally best-known and most valuable brands as examples of how  brand awareness and sympathy can be created with credible public relations.


Starbucks is the largest coffee house chain in the world with nearly 6.000 coffee shops globally. The introduction in Austria took place at the end of 2001/ beginning of 2002. Austria was- after Switzerland ? the first market where Starbucks introduced its brand.