Media & Technology: Redlight Greenlight 123

Monday, July 18, 2005

Relating To The Public

What the public thinks does in fact matter. How to get them to think what you want them to think is the conundrum. Tom Cruise practices Scientology. Some people think that's great. He's found a religion or pseudo-religion. Others think it's a publicity stunt that synchronized around the time of his latest movie release. PR can be used to generate visability and focus attention on a specified topic. Still others may think he just needs a hug and Jesus. Nevertheless, I'm sure the point was to not create such a wide mix of opinions (hmm...unless it's to continue a calculated cycle of conversations).

In my opinion, you can beat someone over the head with what you think they should think and they are still going to draw their own conclusion. My company's press department sends out mass mailings to media outlets that typically include a press release and a rough cut of an upcoming program. No matter what that press release says, the viewer will still form their own assessment based on a number of individual factors. For instance, if our show is about the gay community and a particular PR person has a son who is homosexual, that will affect his/her judgment of the program. If the PR person is a disgruntled ex-employee of my company, that would influence it as well. Either way, PR can build or break relationships with the public.

Here are some PR sites that may be of interest:
Women Executives in Public Relations
The Museum of Public Relations
Public Relations Society of America
US Dept. of Labor/Bureau of Labor Statistics (regarding Advertising and PR)

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