This past week in my Public Relations Tech class we had an in class assignment that sparked an interesting conversation on respect and its role in our lives and PR. Its was interesting to think about what respect means to me personally and relate it to the field of Public Relations. The relationship needed for PR is one with mutual respect. The PR professional must work in a way that gains the trust and respect of its publics. In order to do that, the professional needs to respect the beliefs and culture of their audience.
Its important to know your audience and what is considered respectable in their culture. It would be inappropriate to run a campaign that focuses on hot dogs in a the Middle East. It is also essential to be sensitive to the political situation of the country. It was interesting that we had that discussion that day as over the weekend a particularly offensive tweet was sent out by Kenneth Cole himself.
Many people were offended by the tweeters blatant disregard for the Egyptian’s plight. The company quickly issued an apology for their lack of consideration. However, it has been almost a week and the tweet is still garnering negative press. Being a fan of the company, I hope they are able to fully see the error of their ways and come back from this mistake.