On The Record Online

206-teamHow does a company like Coca-Cola -- which for years plied its trade largely through 60-second spots with heart-warming narratives and catchy jingles -- transition into the age of social media, where the value of a brand is determined by what its customers say about it on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr?

One of the things the beverage giant is trying is a novel program called Expedition 206.  The Coca-Cola company is sponsoring three, hand-picked “happiness ambassadors” to travel to all the 206 countries and territories where Coke is sold to seek out what makes people happy around the world.

The happiness ambassadors Blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting, YouTubing and Flickring their every step, equipped with iPhones, Laptops, air cards, external hard drives and SLRs.  I caught up with two of the three happiness ambassadors Tony Martin and Kelly Ferris upon their arrival in Djibouti, Africa and we discussed what they’ve learned so far about gathering different media formats in different countries with different cultures, how they’re pulling it off logistically from a gear and gizmos standpoint and the foundation of authentic happiness.

Photo Caption: Coca-Cola Company CEO Muhtar Kent with Kelly Ferris and Tony Martin in the company’s Atlanta headquarters prior to their departure. (courtesy of The Coca-Cola Company)


@EricSchwartzman provides social media training, strategy and social media governance to public relations, public affairs, corporate communications and marketing specialists. He has extensive experience integrating emerging information technologies into organizational communications programs through public speaking, hands-on training seminars, consulting and the development of corporate policies on social media usage.

His clients have included Boeing, BYU, City National Bank, Environmental Defense Fund, Government of Singapore, Johnson & Johnson, NORAD Northcomm, Southern California Edison, UCLA, US Dept. of State, United States Army, US Embassy of Athens, the United States Marine Corps and many small to medium-sized companies and agencies.

Eric is the instructor behind PRSA’s top-rated social media training seminars, the Social Media Boot Camp and the Social Media Master Class, which are offered monthly in the US.

His book "Social Marketing to the Business Customer" with Paul Gillin about B2B applications of social media communications is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Borders.

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