Its blackout tuesday, or some such rubbish – people on the internet are engaging in humiliation rituals…
It’s not a humiliation ritual for ye olde CORPORATE BRAND. For them, it is an OPPORTUNITY.
Corporate Public Relations is all about OPTIONALITY.
Here is what I mean by that:
- You issue an opinion that signals virtue, or else expresses something the greater market approves of. Those that approve of the message will like the brand more. They may even engage in some free advertising on your behalf by sharing your social media posts
- Those that disagree with the opinion are not so opinionated on the matter they will abandon your BRAND. They’ll still buy if they are a current customer, even if they silently don’t care for the statement.
This is PR in a nutshell – maximize the upside while minimizing the downside. Keep the view of the brand as positive in as many people’s minds as possible. This means you pick opinions that have such potential optionality. Otherwise, you stay silent. It’s very rare that being silent has a downside.
This is why BRANDS don’t come out and say abortion is good. Instead, they issue statements about “women’s health” which are viewed as pro-abortion by those who care about it but are viewed as a vague non-statement by people who oppose it. Nuetral people are slightly positively affected; at the same time, abortion abolitionists aren’t really going to attack you.
After all, who would come out against “women’s health?” You don’t hate women, DO YOU?
Once you get this, which you probably already instinctively do since you are reading this blog, you realise mose of corporate messaging is directed in this fashion, and it of course won’t affect you.
Nobody should really give a shit about what McDonald’s has to say about some recent social event, but people are so primed to seek out self-confirmation that PR actaully works a lot of the time.
We should call such empty, robotic messaging what it is:
I write fiction and non-fiction. If you want to escape to world without BRANDS, try checking out my fantasy books: