When people hear the term “public relations,” they generally tend to acquaint it with a negative connotation. “That’s nothing but spin; PR practitioners simply want to alter the public’s view about this particular situation,” many may say. However, the truth of the matter is that the object of public relations is NOT to place a positive influence on events, people, or products. In fact, a working definition of PR is “the management function that establishes and maintains beneficial relationships between an organization and the publics on whom its success or failure depends.” As you can see,contrary to popular belief, PR is actually meant to be beneficial and mutual — not simply propaganda or mere persusasion. If you still don’t take my word for it, check out these examples below:
This video shows you that United Way has a genuine interest in helping any and everyone:
Sticking with the United Way, this comical, although informative “good donations” video shows that this organization holds the belief that even the smallest donation can help someone in need:
Moving on, besides the United Way, there are other companies who have a true interest in giving the public a helping hand, just to name a few:
- Chevron: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vco4WEbo8js&feature=player_profilepage
- Red Cross: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0b83hXXTmk
- Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2fbYgpWeps
After seeing the above examples, you should no longer be a “victim” of misinformation. The next time someone tries to persuade you that PR is little more than persuasion, you should feel confident enough to tell them that you know a spin when you see one. Sure, as with everything in this world, there are exceptions to the rules, but for the most part, PR is highly involved with good companies communicating the importance of obtaining a well, fully-functioning society. As the previously mentioned companies prove through these videos, sometimes, whatever you can spare is more than enough for someone in need.
Remember, when it comes to PR, be careful not to confuse promoting with spinning. Mmemorize this slogan and you should have no problem keeping the two separate: Spin is NOT in; after all, if companies cannot promote, they cannot succeed.