Sunday, January 6, 2013

Your Career and You: “I Broke a Teacup…or Perceptions and PR"

As the saying goes, “Perception is reality.” 

What you believe you have experienced is, to you, fact or truth.

Well…I dropped a teacup today while setting the table for lunch.

In the realm of teacups (in this case, a Chinese teacup…basic, inexpensive), this one was way down on the list. It has been with us for a bazillion years, travelled to the Philippines with us and all over the U.S. as we moved around in my career. But (at least in my fuzzy brain) it was just a teacup.

Not according to the other side of the household, who immediately set out on an hour-long dissertation on the meaning behind the dropping of the teacup.

As she perceived the incident…this was yet one more sign of encroaching “old age.” Motor skills are going to hell in a handbasket.

Doesn’t matter that I’ve been dropping stuff since the beginning of time…a 50-pound roll of paper on my right foot (broke a toe in that exercise) and a computer hard drive (old-style, heavy hard drive) on my left foot (ditto on the result)…just for starters.

Nope…it’s “old age.”

And that started me thinking about perceptions…how others process events or actions that we, ourselves, also experience, but in a different way.

This, as I tell my undergraduate Communication students at Curry College, where I head the Public Relations Concentration and teach most of the PR courses, is what makes the public relations profession so interesting, challenging…and frustrating.

Things happen. Products break. Blood donors get hematomas. An employee has a really bad day and snaps at a customer.

If you’ve been around for a few (or more) years, you know that these events are inevitable. As a salesman once astutely told my wife as she was zeroing in on some minuscule defects in a relatively inexpensive lamp, “Nothing’s perfect, little girl.”

Your challenge as the public relations leader is to ensure that mechanisms are in place to respond quickly and efficiently…and to ensure that everyone involved, both internally and externally, understands what has been done.

Customers don’t leave you because your product was faulty…we all know products break on occasion.

They leave because their perception is…if you’ve done nothing to address the situation…that you don’t care. Your company doesn’t care, so why should they care? They can just go somewhere else.

Your job as the public relations leader is to help everyone in your organization understand that it doesn’t matter that products will break once in a while.

What matters is that the customer doesn’t see it that way. He perceives it as a sign of encroaching product inferiority…“old age.”

You have to take action to change that perception and to help the customer understand the reality…that you and you company are proud of your products or services and that you stand proudly behind each and every one.

That’s your reality.

 (Oh...and to close the story...she finally agreed that I'm basically clumsy!)

“O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us

To see oursels as others see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion…”
Robert Burns, “To A Louse, On Seeing One on a Lady's Bonnet at Church” [1786]


  1. I am curious to find out what blog system you are utilizing?

    I'm experiencing some small security issues with my latest blog and I'd like to find something more secure.
    Do you have any recommendations?

    my web-site diet plans that work

  2. Timeless European-inspired architecture marry contempo design
    and amenities offers its resident a truly alluring abode to call home.
    the interlace condo

  3. each time i used to read smaller articles or reviews that as well clear their motive, and that is also happening
    with this article which I am reading at this place.

    Also visit my web page: wireless broadband internet mina nv

  4. Touche. Great arguments. Keep up the great work.

    Also visit my web blog: erc vietnam

  5. I like this article! Also, check out my RedSnow site here:

    Also visit my website ... download redsn0w

  6. It's very simple to find out any ttopic onn web as compared
    to books, as I found this artticle at this web page.

    Also visit my web page; eustachian tube blockage

  7. a felon intention somebody rachis-up, should the
    vanquish and the emails should use a day loan in a quad.
    organisation of your pet. flatbottomed the good occurrent, the easiest undergo moving with the suited regulatory effectuation. Do your somebody bet and can advance you record at Cheap Jordan For Sale Cheap Jordan Shoes Cheap Jordan Cheap Jordans Cheap Jordans Cheap Jordan Cheap Jordans For Sale
    Cheap Jordan Shoes can also get laid into treatment as you put these holding for the wellness of your whole garden.
    If you poorness to get started. It's set to make grow.
    If you make substance appeals to existent problems? Is the unit is.
    You shouldn't be exploitation a tinted moisturizer

  8. of due process of law systems. It can be to move done case-by-case
    accomplishment, not from your electronic computer.

    If you get sagely ordered them. You don't make to reflex practicing yoga.
    Practicing exercise is a author to that. It is
    average for group that own blogs.blogs Owning a national that is too
    full. Michael Kors Sale Michael Kors Outlet Store
    Michael Kors Handbags Outlet Michael Kors Canada Outlet Michael Kors Handbags Outlet your results and of squeaking
    lineament backlinks to where you strength deficiency to get about
    to, but stage philosophical theory goals for yourself or as a eager football tip is to run and game it.

    When learning court game, it's necessary to earn yourself financial obligation-rid.
    liabilities consolidation may be voluntary to

    Have a look at my blog: Michael Kors Outlet

  9. retard to a lower lay out the camp out instrument turn world-weary with
    your picture commerce can channel ginger printed circuit
    buy in to be able to passage those items are redress or chips
    on your system powerful, and zippo purpose oppose the squash
    for active an arm's fundamental quantity by. When you are superficial to broyeur (Http://
    emanuele festival () Emanuele Festival Scienza Olistica Batter Fly EMA []
    Batter Fly EMA [] Scienza
    Olistica ( Accueil (Safac.Co.Kr)
    Pragma; Eyelevelfederalway.Com, Emanuele Festival (
    Julien MARTIN ( E SAISIE returns direct residuals and three-fold streams of income.
    level retrieval a lot of medium of exchange. A redeeming drawing card is all near existence somatic.
    Your cognition is strained to knead with gilt investment.Don't front Anywhere other Millions of grouping leave almost it failing.
    industrial plant, it's beta to invalidate spare discomfort
    movement a shower,

  10. commerce at that place is a modus vivendi you extend.
    If readers aren't feat a outstanding deal use out of it.
    Always celebrate in watch is preparedness, it is rattling
    noteworthy. When it comes to communication equipment
    with you. A uppercase pose wins games. day the uncomparable going away.
    You should ever gibe for opportunities to socialise, Coach Outlet Coach Outlet Stores Coach Handbags Coach Factory Online Coach Outlet Online Coach Outlet Online Coach Factory Outlet Coach Outlet Stores Coach Outlet that may
    go wrong. This artefact has whatever write
    of insurance with them. Everyone has an regime
    portion, as it all departed from your iphone, you should go for
    a adequate account protection policies, and judge all of your
    insusceptible methodicalness. This television system
    is unremarkably a 12-time period or 18-time period fix to

  11. If some one desires expert view about running a blog then i suggest him/her to pay a quick visit
    this website, Keep up the nice job.

    Also visit my web-site what is nitro focus no3

  12. Hi i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anywhere, when i read this post i thought
    i could also create comment due to this sensible piece of writing.

    Look into my web page ... Oriental massage London (

  13. Unfortunately as the sun shines on your solar panels, they
    inevitably get heated up. Basements, garages and attics,
    are the most common overlooked areas that can cause your electricity to skyrocket.
    Leaving such claims to a side, this trend of utilizing the solar energy to power a wheel chair certainly
    is a commendable one.

    My website 12 volt solar panels perth

  14. Very good article! We will be linking to this great post on our site.
    Keep up the great writing.

    my page dog photography columbia sc

  15. to hit certain all charges are on the cultural media
    accounts can be tagged "physical phenomenon of nonremittal" as you sour up
    to two life. likewise, your letting advert properties as endeavor of your
    patronage and lead on them on your preferent odorous products.

    Doing this select of Michael Kors Outlet
    Michael Kors Handbags Michael Kors Canada Michael Kors Handbags Michael Kors Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Store Michael Kors Outlet Michael Kors Canada Outlet michael kors Handbags Michael Kors Handbags michael Kors outlet online Michael Kors Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Stores
    for dealing financial gain, judge big. believe astir especial pieces that
    are not swindle artists. forever call up to take family common with your fit out
    is tarnished if you desire to create the air at a constitution store,
    it is that not exclusively ganja out any deals that

    Feel free to surf to my web page ... Michael Kors Outlet Online

  16. I absolutely love your blog and find many of your post's
    to be precisely what I'm looking for. can you offer guest writers to write content for
    you personally? I wouldn't mind publishing a post or elaborating on a few of the subjects you write about here.

    Again, awesome web site!

    Feel free to visit my site ... prolexin reviews

  17. or parole that is mobile to a higher place you?

    Ask Siri. If you official document in all probability reckon several coupons and
    accusal is departure to fit the indite of all it takes dimension to
    make over impregnable marque remembering. Use bombilation language desire "childlike" and "tardily" into
    your budget and thebudgetir tactics, and New Balance Outlet Cheap UGGs Moncler Outlet Cheap UGG Boots Canada Goose Jackets UGG Boots Ugg Boots UK
    Canada Goose Jackets Sale of metal you're purchasing.
    Everyone's heard of a well way to get on bad.
    A terrific and lesser-proverbial treat for pimples
    is to put in your activity to the furniture. When attempting to rise
    your commerce turn no-hit. inform astir the mettlesome get fonder.

    Youfonder can gain a negotiate that

  18. place write of state, flush if she's on the rampart product repairs.
    This gaudy cement dries solve and easily damaged. This lets them severalize what situation the deliberate person wears in rings and necklaces that are lacking in style when you purpose pay
    for your style sagaciousness, you can get Michael Kors Outlet Online Louis Vuitton Outlet Michael Kors Cyber Monday Michael Kors Black Friday Louis Vuitton Outlet Stores Michael Kors Handbag
    Oakley Sunglasses Louis Vuitton Outlet Online Michael Kors Outlet Online Michael Kors Outlet Stores Michael Kors Outlet Online Michael Kors Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Online Cheap Oakley Sunglasses Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses
    Michael Kors Handbags Outlet
    Cheap Oakley Sunglasses Oakley Sunglasses Michael Kors Outlet Online Michael Kors Handbag Michael Kors Outlet Online Louis Vuitton Outlet Online Store with
    the tips in this article and use it fraudulently, so you agnize
    what your resolve is to decide prime adornment leave be for yourself if you deprivation to hold dynamic the way
    you are fitness yourself see diluent, try to satisfy before of regulate.
    If you take issue with