Front row seats in public relations

This blog is here to educate, entertain and advise- we don’t shout, and we don’t judge, we just educate, entertain and advise. It’s part of our greater service, and it’s not from a position of sweet feeling (what in older English versions is called boastfulness) but rather a position of information, and the willingness to be corrected. We are here to educate, ent…. you get the drift!

Here today the noble topic of public relations tickles my fancy (no chuckles, please- it’s an honest living), to delve into the world that makes uncharitable politicians look whiter than snow and make the few charitable ones- well- grow angelic wings. It’s a wonderful profession that largely came to bear significance at the tail end of the 1970s with the advent of scandals en-masse especially in the west but before then, it was just another job, for those who couldn’t handle mathematics, physics, and the more brainy subjects of the day.While the concept of public relations is said to be as old as humanity (let’s face it, Wikipedia describes public relations as “the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization and the public” a practice that has always been there, from the day Eve managed to do good PR for the apple before Adam could accept it), the practice gained much acceptance in the mid 20th century and prominence towards it’s end and has risen to become one of the more influential and high paying jobs around.

Considering the amount of truth and lies that fly left, right and center, many organizations and trendy business people find the need for such an office as PR useful. The practice itself has unfortunately become synonymous with lying and twisting information to gain positive results (Lawyers, don’t laugh) which in itself is unfortunate.

See, while the general consensus is that this is a profession that rivals Law for sheer straight “facedness” in telling lies, a humble look at their daily routines gives sufficient reason not to begrudge their daily bread, after all, they don’t just do malicious content cover ups, but help market products and services in whatever way they can- silly or clever- the results determine the worth, and that’s the whole point of PR- the end justifies the means.

Example 1…. or and remember, the whole idea is to get noticed- mainly in positive light as and whenever possible, let’s go;-

EXAMPLE 1;- In 1993, the corporation that brought you superman, D.C. Comics, were very stagnated in sales, and their flagship series of Superman stuff was going slow, so they thought fast. They announced the impending release of a comic called “The Death of Superman”. Millions trampled upon themselves, elbowing and pushing in the ensuing chaos to purchase this comic because it was unbelievable that their super hero could die. They wanted to be with him when/ if he did die after nearly a century of fixing the world. After loads of media PR, the good company, in preventing the mass suicide that would accompany the death of a comic super hero did the noble thing and released “The Return of Superman”. In that way, they were able to fix the world but more importantly, their stagnant sales record. Next time don’t force producers into such stuff again, shall we?


EXAMPLE 2;- LifeLock, a personal identity theft protection company pulled a risky stunt hoping to prove that their services actually prevent identity fraud. The CEO himself, since no other employee was willing to be a test sample posted his personal social security number on the company van and requested, even begged people to try and steal his identity. Some 25 people set about the job gratefully and just when it seemed LifeLock weren’t bluffing, some dude came out tops, cracking the damn thing and earning himself a 500$ loan! People are geeky- and live on such things but one thing baffles me;- how do you crack a CEO’s identity and walk away with only 500 bucks?!! It’s giving IT a bad name. People were still impressed by LifeLock’s identity protection, because for a widely publicized task, only one steal is impressive. Question is, out of some 25 guys, one cracked it for 500$. If the prize was- say- 500,000$, perhaps 25,000 people would smell blood, pulling a thousand steals. If the prize were Bill Gates’ identity, or Obama’s, i bet the maths would be mind boggling but hey, it worked- Ya?

EXAMPLE 3;- In 2008, A student was so bad**s he glued himself to a billboard in central London, to promote a book called “This book will change your life” because they promised to cater for his tuition and other minor inconveniences in his life. In short, book changed dude’s life, NUFF SAID!

See, in this field of PR, it ain’t about the truth, it’s the creativity.

Sales are determined by brains, so here’s to the people who make us loved, and make us love. A profession so noble and respectful. It’s strategies can be simple or outright daring, and that’s a lesson in it’s own way;- We need to be agile and creative, in order to bring to the world’s attention the things we want them to know about what we do, only we will do it for charity after all, we are here to educate, ent…you get the point.


Peter Oloo.

Remember y’all, RCKC, sponsored by Rotary club of Kigali- Virunga will be chartered on 8/06/2013. Be there if you can, will you?


2 thoughts on “Front row seats in public relations

  1. PR always on the point of covering the true face of Institutions….
    Let it show the true face of Rotary ,Rotaract and Interact ….

    Nice Piece,Peter….

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