Doing the P-R-ight Thing

      20 Comments on Doing the P-R-ight Thing

Gov. Chris Christie

Doing the “right” thing is always the best kind of PR.  Take P.C. Richard, for example.  The “TV, audio and appliance giant” was closed Thanksgiving Day, and ran its annual print ads denouncing retailers who asked their employees to work. “Save Thanksgiving,” reads the ad. “We value our time with our families and we know you do, too.  That’s why again this year we’ve decided not to open our doors on Thanksgiving Day.”  Did this mean a loss of a few dollars?  Maybe.  Was there tremendous public relations value in this policy of principle?  You betcha.  Just check the comments on P.C. Richard’s Twitter.

Then there’s New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.  Some Republicans are still fuming about his praise for President Obama in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.  In an interview on NBC, Christie called Obama “outstanding” for expediting relief efforts and said that Obama “deserves great credit.” He then appeared on Fox News where he was asked if Mitt Romney would be coming to the damaged Jersey Shore for a photo op, since Christie had been supporting him.  “I’ve got 2.4 million people out of power, I’ve got devastation on the shore, I’ve got floods in the northern part of my state,” he responded. “If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics then you don’t know me.”  Excellent PR value for the governor? Absolutely.

This week, a KROQ Los Angeles deejay announced he was donating a kidney to a co-worker who might have otherwise been placed on an eight-year waiting list. Gene “Bean” Baxter told CBS “It wasn’t a big emotional decision for me. And I don’t think that my part of this decision is all that big a deal. I honestly think this surgery is fairly commonplace, and in a few weeks, I’ll be fine.” Clearly this was way above and beyond a PR stunt, although the public relations value for “Bean” and the station is priceless.

Acts of kindness and principled decisions are most welcome on this crazy planet.  And if the by-product of doing the right thing is good PR, then even better!  Your thoughts?

20 thoughts on “Doing the P-R-ight Thing

  1. publicrelationspro

    I totally agree that by closing down on Thanksgiving, you show the public that you care more about your employees rather than your profits and the people can appreciate that. Governor Chris Christie did a great job and just showed how much of a stand up guy he really is. He was putting his efforts in the right place and I’m sure it paid off for him; not that he was looking for anything but to help his residents overcome disaster. Also, it takes a lot for someone to donate an organ to anyone, much less a co-worker.

  2. Kerry Kiddoo

    The acts being preformed by the people in your blog post aren’t doing genuinely nice things to create support. I believe that they are doing these things because they truly believe what they are doing is the right thing. Sure, the right thing creates great PR publicity and creates an image worth supporting. And I agree, good or “right” PR stunts can most certainly be planned. But, it makes you believe people do things like the people in your blog post because they genuinely think it is the right thing to do instead of worrying about their public image. More power to them, and I hope there are more people like that out there.

  3. Kellianne

    I think it is more important for a company to show compassion and kindness, then show their worry about making a few bucks. Although it probably would have been a day for PC Richards to make more money, the fact that they value the true meaning of Thanksgiving makes me want to shop at their stores more so now. It is great to see that companies are still looking out for their workers, rather than only worrying about the money being made. Governor Christie also made a good statement with what he did with President Obama. He realized that it was more about the victims than politics which I thought was great.

  4. Lauren Ciuzio

    I think it is important for huge corporations to commit to acts of kindness. However, I don’t always buy that they are for the right reasons. Sometimes I feel celebrities only donate to charities to get their name in the headlines, and to create buzz around something other than their arrest history. While this may not always be the case, I don’t always trust their intentions. However, in the case with P.C. RIchards I really did value the meaning behind it. No one, besides public service officials such as hospital workers, or police officers should have to work on Thanksgiving. I had to go to work at CVS at 6 on Thanksgiving, and the fact that such a huge corporation is open on Thanksgiving truly disgusts me. The pharmacy wasn’t open, so there was no reason we had to be open. If someone forgot to bring a cake to Thanksgiving, you can live without the generic Entemman’s Crumb Cake, and survive without your daily trip to CVS for a day.

  5. Nicole Chiarella

    In PR you want to make sure what your message is will be in the best interest of you and whom ever you represent. Acts of kindness do go a long way. They may not be appreciated immediately but in the long run things will come back in your favor. It is important that companies and organizations do not just think about what is best for themselves but what is best for everyone. The people are not targeted to be judged only the companies/organizations are. It is better to show compassion than none at all.

  6. Jenny Zheng

    Good intentions always go far, and a company that does good deeds every once in a while will help them in the long run. Let’s say a company runs into a scandal, a good deed in the past helps people see the good side of the company. Some people think that society is too cynical to appreciate acts of kindness but I believe that people are still ready to believe the good in people.

  7. Michelle Shelorke

    I am so happy to hear that P.C. Richard was closed on Thanksgiving and believe that it is definitely a positive for PR, but also a genuine act. My cousin works for Wal-Mart and had to leave Thanksgiving dinner at 4:45 to be at work by 5:00. This is the third year he had to leave early and it is sad to think that thousands of families are affected the same way. On the west coast, I heard that employees would be fired if they tried to protest. I think that as far as the image of the company goes, forcing employees to work on this holiday to make extra money is a shame. As PR professionals, we have to do what is right to better images and this was one circumstance that stood out to me during the holidays. I think that sometimes the money issue should be put second. They would make the money they needed on Black Friday without having to stay open when families should be off from work and sharing time together. Go P.C. Richard for standing up for what they believe in!

  8. Taylor Albright

    Well, being that I am from NJ I am a hugh supporter of Gov. Christie. But with that said, all of these were indeed great PR acts, but they also seemed genuine too. I agree with most of the comments on this that it is so nice to see that there are nice people out there. I agree completely with what Leia said about how it shouldn’t just be for a “stunt” and should be because they always want to do the right thing.

  9. brittanywalsh

    It is amazing that in this day and age doing the “right thing” is so uncommon that it can be portrayed as a publicity stunt! PC Richard’s, Governor Chris Christie and DJ Gene Baxter all made headlines for their strong values rooted in the well-being of family, friends and the community. Each of these actions were completely genuine which is why they had such an impact on the public. The reason why these actions are perceived as genuine because there were serious sacrifices made in order to follow through. For example, Chris Christie completely disregarded political strategies and acted only with the goal of ensuring his community got the proper attention post hurricane Sandy. In making tremendous sacrifices for their beliefs, PC Richards, Governor Chris Christie and Gene Baxter increased their reputation more than any public relations campaign could have done, even if that was not the goal.

  10. passportstories

    This is so refreshing to hear! I feel like every time someone asks me the cliché question, “What is your major”, and I answer “public relations”, they sometimes grimace a little bit. Since a few people have tarnished the reputation of the field of PR as a whole, it is really nice to see there is some good behind all of the so-called “spin”. Events such as these show the world that PR can be good and sometimes good PR comes from caring people who do not intend their actions to become PR. The three people mentioned above are truly great people!

    -Molly Sestak

  11. Rebecca Wolfe

    Giving people time off to spend with their families is always a good thing! I didn’t know that they used to be open on Thanksgiving before. People who work there definitely deserve a day off, especially on Thanksgiving! There should be a PR campaign to promote all stores being closed on holidays!:-)

  12. Jon Fisco (@Fisco)

    When people stop caring about what others think or expect and start doing what’s right is when PR is at its purest and simplest. The work itself is minimal, in PC Richard’s case they had no work at all, and the effects of the work is maximized because you become a relatable human being. It’s that kind of image the hits people of all sects and backgrounds, a good belief structure is simple to promote and back as a PR professional.

  13. Michelle S

    With PC Richard closing on Thanksgiving it was doing “the right thing” by promoting that the stores were closed for the holiday so their employees could enjoy family time, and it may not have affected the sales. My dad works for a very well known company that supplies to PC, and they were also closed for the holiday and had all of their shipments delivered in time for the Black Friday sales. So his company was off and they all enjoyed the holiday as did PC Richard’s employees. The stores were open on Friday early, and it must have been good for sales since they had tweets showing happy customers complimenting them.

    With the NJ Governor and radio DJ they both said the right things as well and did the “right things” because it was the right thing to do. Yes their images are now improved but at the same thing they were doing “the right thing” because it’s in our nature to help out others. If someone needed a kidney, a person who donates it will obviously will be a better person because they just helped save a life. The governor will obviously be more concerned with his residents because it’s his job to make sure that everyone’s getting the help they need. It’s not a “stunt” it’s just doing what should be done.

  14. Nicole Risell

    I love that there are still businesses like P.C. Richards that aren’t open on Thanksgiving. It gives them a wholesome and family-oriented image the public respects and remembers. I think announcing acts of kindness always gives a company’s image a positive boost.

  15. Amanda Brennan

    I definitely appreciate posts like this. I work in retail and can totally relate to the whole “gray Thursday” theme that seems to be occurring around the Holiday season. Since when did scrounging around to save 50 bucks on a plasma T.V. mean jeopardizing time spent with family. My job denied any request offs from November 21 to the 27 due to the black Friday rush. There are a number of people that I work with who only work here during the school year, and they were not allowed to spend their Thanksgiving break at home but instead left in a panic Wednesday night to only spend Thursday during the day with family (if they were even anywhere within the area) and then had to rush back after dinner JUST to make sure they were available for the midnight opening. I think this whole situation is bizarre and I definitely think companies that do not value their employees make their image look so much less appealing. P.C. Richard did the right thing and a lot of companies should follow in their footsteps. The holidays were always meant for family, save your time, the employees time, and a couple of bucks…wait it out for cyber Monday kids.

  16. Chloe Lambros

    This is a very appropriate topic for PR in light of the thanksgiving holiday. I agree with Leia that the “acts of kindness and principle decisions” that are noted are essential because situations and instances such these remind us of the good people in the world who care about the wellbeing of others over business-to-business interactions.

    I agree that In PR it is important to always remember that decisions should be based on more than trying to “pull it off,” as Leia had described. And also acknowledge that fact that the best type of PR should always aim to do the right thing for the good of a company or organization, and the public’s interest.

    Leia made a good point in her post when she highlighted that “human decency should never be overlooked or understated.” This is a act of he human race that should never be questioned or ignored. Yes, not everyone has the heart of a saint, but deep down we all know what moral decency and the true act of kindness means. In the end, we all know what it is to do the right thing.

  17. Lauren Someck

    I really enjoyed this post because doing the right thing is something everyone in all professions should focus on. I’ve always said that its the little gestures that go a long way. Its reassuring to know that there are still good hearted pure people in this world. Its become difficult over the years to figure out who is really looking out for you and acting on good intentions. One of the reasons I take so much pride in being Jewish is because I interpret the Jewish religion as doing the right thing and doing good to others. In the examples you gave us in this post show how sometimes just being a good person and doing right by society and your community can be good PR without even trying.

  18. Leia Schultz

    It made me happy to read this blog post. These “acts of kindness and principles decisions” that you highlight bring a smile to my face, because instances like these remind me that there are good people out there who care about others’ wellbeing more than just doing business. It’s impossible to please everyone all the time, but despite the naysayers it is difficult to scoff at truly well-meaning intentions. In PR I think that it’s important to remember that decisions should be more than trying to pull off a “stunt” – the best public relations should aim to do the right thing for the company’s and the public’s interest. Human decency should never be overlooked or understated.


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