community relationsJoTo Opines: Public Relations equal Community Relations

Public relations! What an interesting term when you think about it. Public meaning people and community and relations meaning how you get along with others and deal with your connections. If business was a playground (and perhaps life is one big playground), it would be all about how well you play with others. You could say that Public Relations equal Community Relations and that would be a good way to look at it. (However, just so you know…that is still a “too-myopic-a-term” as PR is a very broad subject, but it should help you out some!)

So how well do you get along with your customers. Do you treat them like friends or necessary hostiles? Do you try to manipulate them and play on their sympathies or do you deal with them fair and square?  When you do something to hurt your friend’s feeling unwittingly, do you cop to it and make amends – or just ignore it? We have been talking with you about crisis management recently and nothing underscores poor community/public relations than this. Recently, three very well-known brands Wal-Mart, Heineken and Groupon have made some major missteps in their dealings with the public. And in a related issue, noted PR flack Hilary Rosen decided that she was bigger than her client and became the story. Someone should have talked to her about getting too big for her britches.

In fact, in a stunning series of moves the esteemed discount chain Wal-Mart has pretty much thrown its own bad self under the bus. How else can you explain these rather incredible and baffling public relations gaffes that must have old Sam twisting in his grave?  In this case like Ms. Rosen, Wal-Mart execs decided they were above the law. (Wait…seems like another PR Crisis during our recession – “too big to fail” – remember that debacle?)

Actually, you can do something to prevent a crisis from actually happening or snowballing out of control. This month’s JoTo Ism explores the concept of preventative crisis management. And in the JoTo DIY post we discuss angles. Every PR story needs an angle. How do you go about finding an angle, check out JoTo DIY for May.

Our charming CEO Karla Jo celebrates her birthday this month. Please join us in this most engaging tradition!

Tell your story with grace…

The JoTo MoJo Editor,
Larry