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?