PR is for lovers

      51 Comments on PR is for lovers

Readers: Many of my students have told me their favorite post here is titled “PR is for lovers” which I wrote for Valentine’s Day three years ago. I’ve updated it slightly for 2016. Enjoy!

“When a person brings flowers to a date, that’s good public relations.”

beagle flowersAs we attempt to define public relations, we can agree that good PR strategies seek to accomplish one of three responses: to create attitudes, to reinforce attitudes, and to change attitudes. Well, isn’t that what dating is all about, too?

Consider matchmaking, set-ups and online dating, for example. People create profiles–similar to a PR practitioners’ backgrounders–to describe their personal and professional status. When one spots a potential match he or she contacts the other, usually with a clever, enticing online note–in effect, a pitch. If the pitch works, a first meeting may take place at a mutually selected venue. These early get-togethers will involve planning the event for which schedules are coordinated, clothing is selected, and grooming is completed so the presentation (date) goes exceptionally well.

As the relationship takes root, networking begins, first with friends and then with family. All of these actions are designed to create positive attitudes among the couple’s various publics. The following weeks and months will contain acts of caring and kindness, sharing of new experiences, and a calculated effort to compromise. This, much like PR, is done to reinforce positive attitudes.

Eventually a crisis may occur. Someone says or does something wrong or hurtful, and now an all-out effort is made to change negative attitudes. This may include giving flowers plus a number of “I’m sorrys.” Various reputation management tools must be used if there’s any chance of success. After the crisis, good behaviors must be sustained because, as I tell my students, good PR is more than clever words or window dressing. Maintaining consent from your publics must be supported by consistent, positive performance.

So on this Valentine’s Day, remember that when your date brings you flowers, that’s good PR. If your date also brings flowers for your mother, that’s even better PR! Your thoughts?

51 thoughts on “PR is for lovers

  1. Nikita Hakels

    To create attitudes, to reinforce attitudes, and to change attitudes! This is so true. I believe that PR is not only just a field but it is a part of life. This article is so relevant. It is all about building and maintaining relationships.

  2. SShak

    This blog post goes back to remind me that public relations is not only a career path, but essentially a way of life. All the tools we use in PR can be related to every day practices we go through, dating included! This is just another reason to appreciate the career path I have chosen.

  3. A.Murphy

    I never made the connection between PR and dating until you explained it like that, but it is absolutely true!
    A relationship with someone takes time and patience, both in PR and in dating. So often, we are looking for a quick answer to our questions and a quick relationship that fulfills our needs for the moment. However, in PR and long-term relationships, that isn’t going to work.
    There are a lot of connections to be made between PR and dating and lessons from each can be applied throughout life if we only have the patience and commitment to apply them.

  4. xuhansite

    That is interesting to use a unique perspective to define PR. The article refers to create attitude, to reinforce attitudes, and to change attitudes. It is easy to create and reinforce attitudes for lovers. However, as crises arise, to change attitudes is hard to achieve. As PR practitioners, the crisis management is not only need to make an apology, but also need to take practical action. I agree with the viewpoint that good PR is more than clever words or window dressing, because PR practitioners is not persuader. They should focus on using effective action to restore the reputation of their organizations and gain the trust from their stakeholders. Flowers and real action are both necessary for lovers.

  5. Mariana Sava

    This made me LOL. Such a cute and funny way to describe PR. Next time someone asks me to describe my major I’m just going to say “It’s like dating” then walk away.

  6. Bahati Louis

    I thought this was such a cute blog! A relationship consists of lots of communication and when things go south and relationships end usually it’s because somebody (or both people) weren’t willing to use good PR tactics in order to save the relationship. Especially in long distance relationships good PR is essential because the couple has to stay connected through things like skype, texting, letters, and other forms of technology to stay well connected and keep the relationship strong. It’s nice to know how PR impacts our lives directly.

  7. lysacarre

    This blog is absolutely adorable! Valentine’s day is my favorite day of the year, besides my birthday of course. I love spreading the love. This blog post of Professor Morosoff is a great analogy that not only describes public relations but is also a dating guide. It offers excellent advice to bring your significant other & his/her’s mother flowers on Valentine’s day. Everything we say and do is PR. Practitioners strive to maintain positive images and attitudes, especially among those we love and adore.

  8. hassette14

    It’s very interesting to consider how even though you may not notice all the time, PR is everywhere in our lives. Considering our dating lives, it is true that simply by showing up to a date with flowers or having yourself well put together can control the outcome of how the date goes. While some hire others to do their PR, it’s important to consider that we technically are constantly our own PR people.

  9. molliealexandra

    I really enjoyed reading this post, and further, enjoy understanding new and seemingly unknown connections between public relations and our everyday lives. PR truly is embedded in all aspects of our lives and society, to the point where something as simple as giving a significant other a flower, really means so much more. Our lives consist of many different types of relationships, and PR as we know, directly deals with such relationships.

  10. Nathalie

    I truly enjoyed reading this post. I believe that your point is especially evident in today’s online dating world. With personal descriptions and sending the initial message (“pitching” to your “match”), everyone who is dating is practicing public relations!

  11. sabrinacwenar

    I enjoyed this post mostly because I love Valentine’s Day. Although my Valentine’s did not get me flowers I can see how it would be a good PR move in that aspect. PR is seen everywhere especially in this Holiday. The joke about how PR created a holiday like this one goes to show how relevant it is.

  12. Erin Schmitt

    I really enjoyed this post, and it’s so funny how surprised I was to think of it in this way! It just goes to show how present PR is in all aspects of our lives; we are constantly working to best represent ourselves to all of our own “publics” whom we interact with. Whether we realize it or not, everyone utilizes PR in some form or another and within different contexts on a daily basis.

  13. Katie Hammer

    I never realized that dating could be like public relations. It’s cool to see how many aspects of PR goes into real life situations. People don’t always realize that everything you do is communications, and without knowing, you have come up with a communications plan. I enjoyed this post for it gave me a new perspective on thinking about real life situations and PR. Who knew that Valentines Day could have a PR aspect?

  14. Russell Benner

    This just blew my mind. It really makes you think about how PR really is incorporated into our lives. Having a major like public relations is not only a great degree, but the way it is executed in real life is quite astonishing. We use it for ourselves, our relationships, family and work, PR is everywhere.

  15. kn3vil

    This will always run true in every aspect. Whenever we want to look good to do something nice for someone, we act as our own PR rep, while being the client as well.

  16. daniellehkent

    I never analyzed online dating in this way, so it was a little off-putting to hear you call the initial message you send to someone a “pitch” because it makes dating seem more like a business arrangement than a natural evolution of feelings. After further analysis, though, I realized that we are constantly pitching ourselves, whether it be in a class or a professional setting. The ability to advocate for yourself, essentially serving as your own personal PR practitioner, is essential.

  17. Niki Rihal

    This was a good read. It was a fun topic, and I really couldn’t help but laugh because this blog post just reinforces what we learn that “PR is everywhere and in everything” around us.
    It made me take a new perspective on PR in general, and in dating because now that I look at it, dating and PR motives aren’t that different after all. It’ll give me new confidence to realize that dating isn’t this horrible experience that I should completely avoid. If I ever go on a date again, I’ll keep this in mind!

  18. Elizabeth Giangarra

    I truly enjoyed this article. I never thought of PR in the relations to dating before, i thought that this was an interesting perspective and made complete sense. This article certainly made me start looking at my own relationships in a different light.

  19. ari okonofua

    I love this post! I never thought about dating from a PR perspective, but this is all very true. Honestly, principles of PR can be applied to many different scenarios in life. I think the best part of this post is the “pitch” reference as well as the “crisis” reference as both are very true.

  20. kristinaweller

    Thank you Professor Morosoff for opening me up to this perspective. It is so interesting to think how much public relations isn’t only an professional practice, but something that we all, as individuals, practice every day of our lives on different levels. Aside from helping me to look at PR in a different light, this post also made me smile. Great choice of the beagle with the flowers. I hope you had a great Valentines Day!

  21. Amy Wang

    OMG! Can’t love this post more! It is such an adorable way to link up PR with dating! And i have to say, it makes people understand PR immediately. Not everyone is familiar with PR, but most of us are familiar with dating (or even just heard from our friends, neighbors, family, etc). To be honest, PR is really about building the relationship with almost everyone, like our clients, the public, the media, the stakeholders, etc. The most important is we have to apply different tools and knowledge in each stage to achieve our goals. For example, if you bring your date to meet your parents on the first date, he or she may freak out and not contact with you anymore. It is important to plan, execute and follow the schedule to ensure the final goal. I really like this post, and i think this is the best present from this Valentine’s Day! 🙂

  22. Jillian Berardi

    I really enjoyed this post! “When a person brings flowers to a date, that’s good public relations.” I never thought about this in a PR perspective. It totally makes sense!

  23. taylorpirone20

    Loved this post! Incredibly true! Any type of relationship is built using a PR campaign. People do things in their everyday lives that can be considered PR and they do not even realize it, such as the examples above. PR can be applied everywhere you look

  24. Tyler Weatherly

    I really love this post. Personal relationships really do take PR into consideration especially when it coms to meeting the family and friends of your loved one! Think of your mate as your PR agent! But in all honesty, the idea of creating, reinforcing, or changing the attitudes and perceptions of others sums up relationships. What is the practice of PR other than keeping good relationships?

  25. mmolin9

    As someone who is sometimes confused by what exactly PR is this really breaks it down into relatable terms. This also shows how prominent it is in everyday situations. I experience PR throughout my life without even realizing that that’s what it is. I loved when you connected having a crisis and needing to fix or change attitudes to a relationship, because the process is very similar to professional PR.

  26. Brianna Vallelong

    I think this post relates PR to the dating world quite accurately. This post in a way ties into the previous one, showing how PR is used in every day life and events that we might not think of. There are many PR tactics present in love and dating and the example given was easy to follow and clearly proved a point.

  27. Kyle Kandetzki

    It is funny considering the many different angles of PR in dating/relationships, because, obviously you are trying to create good PR with the other person you are going out with. But, just like any type of PR in the business world, a bad presentation will not only hurt one person’s perception of you, but anyone else who comes in contact with that person.

    PR really is applicable to just about anything, and it is crazy to see that even more now.

  28. pollakvictoria

    This post reminds me of something that would be like public relations for dummies. It sounds like a bad thing but it’s not. This concept is something so relatable for our generation to understand that it makes PR a more familiar concept. As i continue reading these blog posts they keep getting more comical. Last weeks post showed how PR was involved in the world ever since the beginning of time. This concept about dating now shows that PR is everywhere. Everyones social media accounts and dating apps are all PR modified platforms. Throughout all of these medians we want to put our best foot forward and present our best self. We show off ourselves by putting our best pictures and wittiest captions. On dating apps such as tinder, we message the other person we want to associate with and exchange our best offers with words and future ideas of meeting up or talking. The first steps of dating are modified versions of good PR.

  29. Saralynn Kupperberg

    It is interesting to see how the basic theories and concepts that are practiced in public relations are a part of everyday life. Additionally, this was one of my favorite posts from last year, and it is so great to see it again for this Valentine’s Day.
    If I may add to this to the 2016 version of dating, then may I relate the popular mobile dating apps used by millennials to poor media relations. For instance, mobile dating apps like Tinder and Bumble are known as hookup apps, or places where interpersonal interactions are started from a quick judgment of someone’s picture and profile, as well as a cheesy pick-up line. Most interactions that occur on these apps do not lead to any sort of meaningful relationships, but rather wasted time. The concepts that are utilized with these apps are similar to those that are exhibited during a poor media relations effort. For example, if a public relations professional blindly cold calls a journalist or news organizations, or calls without knowing the deadlines or the inner workings of a news outlet, then they are most likely not going to be successful in getting a placement. This is similar to someone blindly messaging a person on a dating app, and by not knowing anything about them they are not likely to form a relationship. Additionally, pitching a journalist with a cheesy or misleading headline will not lead to successful media relations, the same goes for dating apps where a cheesy or bad pick up line will not lead to a relationship. Finally, these two concepts are similar because pitching whether to journalists or to someone on an app, after making quick judgments from one’s profile will not benefit anyone.

  30. Lauren Denker

    I had never really thought of PR being for love and relationships before, but now that I read this, it makes sense. The simple act of bringing someone flowers or chocolates is the perfect PR tactic for yourself and your relationship. PR is constantly being used in our everyday lives, but is generally looked over and not noticed. PR is in our relationships, in school, in work; we are constantly having to build relationships and do damage control as well as many other PR tactics. PR is not only important for businesses and careers, but for our everyday lives and relationships.

  31. shollwedel

    I think that this entire concept harkens back to the idea that Public Relations as a system of communication is something that gets used in every day life. While Valentine’s Day is a great way to illustrate the different steps involved in forming and maintaining relationships, these concepts of communications apply to every type of relationship, not just romantic ones.
    Recognizing these concepts in every day life allows us as public relations professionals to communicate more effectively in both 1 on 1 and on large public scales.

  32. Judea Hartley

    I absolutely love this analogy that is made between dating and good PR because it gives students who aren’t PR majors insight as to what the field is mainly about. PR is all about maintaining and building great relationships in an effort to gain an outcome that is in favor of the organization. This analogy was so on point even down to when a crisis happens. In PR, the organization has to be prepared with a crisis management plan (a detailed blue print) and a great team that is ready to execute the plan. This is just like dating! When your spouse does something wrong or hurtful, don’t they have to be ready to apologize and address the problem right away before the crisis damages the reputation of the relationship???!!!!!

  33. Vanessa

    It’s so funny and interesting the numerous ways PR is interpreted. Looking at it through different lens causes you to look at the relevance of PR in all aspects of our lives.

  34. Danielle Tana

    This post made me laugh. It even enforces the whole “PR is everywhere” statement that most PR practitioners claim. “When a person brings flowers to a date, that’s good public relations”. I couldn’t agree more with this statement. Bringing flowers for someone, essentially, is going to make yourself look better (AKA-improve your reputation). Who knew Valentine’s Day was one big PR campaign?!

  35. syanok

    I love this post because I think many people who are outside the study of public relations or the public relations field are usually unsure of the purpose and practice of it, and what practitioners actually do. This Valentine’s Day post explains some of the important aspects and examples of good PR such as encountering a crisis, compromise and building mutually beneficial relationships, and simply putting your best face forward. Comparing the practice of PR to dating discusses it in a universally understandable way, and hopefully will get more people to research the PR field and learn about it.

  36. Lauren A.

    I really enjoyed this comparison linking real life to PR. It was a clever, yet easily identifiable example of the use of PR in our everyday lives. I never thought about dating in this way, but it is interesting to look at the parallels. The things we do when we network, or do crisis management are so relate-able in the dating world. This definitely backs up last weeks posts, that PR is in everyday life and has been around for many years, we just can’t always see it. From courting ones lover to going on dates or making up after a fight, PR is a big part of love.

  37. laurenconway97

    This was an interesting way to compare real life and PR. I never realized how much PR is so similar to dating relationships. Dating is shown on social media all the time and if you really think about it, appreciation posts and couple photos are all parts of good PR. By showing the world that you are “happy” in your relationship promotes the idea that you have this ideal and “perfect relationship”. I found it very interesting when you spoke about reputation building and how just like in PR, a relationship needs to be fixed in the same way. I really enjoyed this blog!

  38. sharlys_leszczuk

    I agree with this entirely and have actually considered this element of PR in the past. With a growing population of couples who meet online, this is especially true. Take Tinder, for example. This online dating journey begins with just a photo. Presenting a product in an attractive manner so that consumers, or porential matches, will be interested in learning more.
    The next element that people see is the description. This is an interesting element of PR because Tinder users don’t need to use traditional communications strategies. Some include emojis, single words, lists or a combination of both. People who feel their photo gallery is strong enough alone may not even include a description.
    Next, after two people match on the service, you must spark a conversation. The people who practice the most effective PR strategies will receive the most personal messages and the people who put forth the most captivating conversations will continue in the Tinder dating journey.
    After this, if you meet up with a Tinder match, you have to physically present yourself and carry out the expectations you put forth in your online profile. If everything up to this point was fabricated or spun, the relationship is not likely to be successful. This supports the importance of transparency in public relations campaigns.
    Everything is PR and the whole world needs PR.

  39. Tiffany Vellis

    With this post, I am further convinced that PR tactics are applicable in every situation whether we realize it or not. PR plays a role in our romantic relationships, our careers (whether in the PR industry or not), and often in our everyday interactions with our family and acquaintances. In today’s day and age, this is particularly relative in terms of online dating. From the picture we present, the descriptions we provide, to the interests and dislikes that we include, we are using PR ideals to sell ourselves to an interested audience (or fellow subscribers). In every relationship, as your mentioned, there are moments of a positive reinforcement, networking, and definitely some moments where damage control is necessary. Thus, this is another great post about how PR surrounds us in every aspect of our lives.

  40. John Grillea

    You’re really starting to show me that PR can be applied to almost everything! PR is all about maintaining a positive relationship and isn’t that what love is all about? I could be a crisis management expert with this (LOL). I’m now starting to see how PR is also heavily involved in our personal lives and not just within professions. What we learn is not only benefiting us in the classroom or work, but it’s also helping us with our personal lives.

  41. Emily Weeks

    This is an interesting and valid perspective of PR. It’s very interesting how many ways PR relates to everyday life. I definitely agree that dating and relationships reflect PR aspects, especially the beginning stages of the pitch and the networking. These two seem to be some of the most vital aspects for potential couples because if either fails, there is no relationship. I also agree with maintaining consent. There is no way that a relationship will stand, healthily, unless the necessary changes are made after feedback and crisis.

  42. Rachelg

    This post just goes to show how prevalent PR can be in our lives. I am beginning to realize that public relations in involved in almost every aspect of our lives. I think a lot of relationships die because they do not have good communication, or in this instance, good PR. Maybe peoples’ relationships would last longer if they were made aware of this comparison.

  43. peightoncrawford

    It always amazes me how applicable PR is in real life interactions. I think that it important for people to understand that PR comes into play greatly when it comes to online dating. It is a weird day and age where we have to sell ourselves to prospective lovers, but it is important to understand how to do that in order to be successful

  44. Pamela Lacayo

    PR is all around us in the business world but I never thought about the application of basic concepts to the personal life. This blog post is great, to relate date life to PR! I will be looking at my date life differently from now on…with a PR twist. Happy Valentines Day Professor Morosoff, to you and your Mrs. <3 @~~~

  45. pjze618

    PR really is such a pervasive aspect of society. It’s principles can be applied to anything. I never really thought about dating in terms of PR, but it makes complete sense. I think I’ll be looking at my relationships a little bit differently now.

  46. Emily Racanelli

    It’s interesting to see how PR really is relevant in all aspects of life. I already knew it could be vital in other professions, but never gave much thought to the role it plays in one’s personal life. The article brings up several great points and shows that when you swap out a few terms such as “getting to know each other” for “networking,” it instantly becomes related to PR.
    Not just in dating, but any time we try to build a relationship with someone, whether it be romantic or platonic, we are executing these PR tactics. The key to being successful in life is being able to build these relationships with people. We want to connect with them and convince them that we’re worthy of their time. What matters is how we maintain these relationships and bounce back from any crises that may get thrown our way.
    This article has me feeling more confident about the major I chose, knowing how applicable it can be to more than just the professional field. We learn these strategies in the classroom and don’t even realize how we reinforce and build on them in everyday life. We’re constantly looking to prove ourselves, do damage control, and convince others that we ourselves are a sound investment. PR truly is everywhere.


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