by Heath Nicholson
How would you explain to your parents what public relations is? Provide an example to help them understand.
Son, what is “Public Relations?”
Much like the “birds and the bees”, this is a discussion we all dread to have with our parents. A good way to describe public relations is as the strategies and principles an organization uses to tailor their reputation to the public. It is not meant to be used as a means of manipulating or brainwashing the public, but rather a way to “set the story straight”. For example, in 1993 PepsiCo was faced with a huge challenge: multiple consumers, in 23 states, were finding syringes in their Pepsi cans. Pepsi was able to deal with this mess by using one thing, the truth. Multiple video news releases were created to prove that it was impossible for the syringes to be PepsiCo’s fault. Less than a week after the initial outbreak, a video capturing an individual putting a syringe in someone’s can while they weren’t looking was used to completely change public opinion. PepsiCo was back in action as if nothing had even happened.