Cutting Through the BS of PR
There’s a buzz in marketing circles these days about companies reaching out to audiences by being open, honest and truthful. There’s a theme circulating in PR social circles, repeated in this blog’s meta data, parroted by public relations experts and amateurs alike, on the need for transparency. Many claim to follow this sage advice. Some speak of it in their marketing and PR materials, and more join their ranks each day. Few actually follow through with it.
“Show them an authentic lifestyle.”
“Relate to your customer daily.”
“Show the human side of what you do.”
Fantastic statements, all around. But what does it mean? How is it executed? How does it really help the average Jill? And in today’s spin-hijacked media world, why the heck should anyone believe any of it, anyway?
In reality, they shouldn’t.
Not the words anyway. Not just the words.
As C-level executives are beginning to understand, young people are capable of identifying BS. They know when they’re being fed cat food instead of caviar. Their ad-initiated minds are much more savvy than you may think. And believe it or not, they stick to their values. And they want businesses, large and small, to really value what they say.
There’s a simple way to achieve this, really – and that is for companies to put their money where their PR people’s mouth is.
If someone is working to create a truly sustainable business, people will notice. But if the old guard is doing the same old macro production product-pushing song and dance while saying they care by donating a few more million bucks per year to ________ nonprofit or a hundredth of a day’s profits to a real pretty-sounding charity…. That’s nice PR. But it’s not gonna do the trick.
A wise man who wrote Huck Finn and a few other smart words once said, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
Imagine that, if you could: a PR world without spin, just awareness. A marketing industry that highlighted actual value over perceived value. A world where humans weren’t constantly trying to BS one another. A world where holistic marketing was the norm, not the exception. Imagine that.