By Alicia Jacobs
PRSA Capital Region Membership Chair
Recently I attended two summer weddings that were beautiful and left quite the impressions. It made me think about PR, since the special occasions swayed pre-conceived notions about the bride and the groom through storytelling.
The ambiance, ceremony, music, toasts and roasts – the sharing of the bride and groom’s story. They all gave insight to the personalities, histories, and moments that led to this significant event in the life of the couple getting married… from hurdles to triumphs.
One of the wedding’s I attended was outdoors. It was elegant & classy. There was an international atmosphere, exquisite cuisine with top notch liquor and sentimental speeches that had the “wow” factor for guests. The wedding couple had a zest for life and impacted so many people.
To the guest’s surprise, there was a memorable speech from the groom that was better than any romantic movie or the classic lines from Jerry McGuire …”You complete me” or “You had me at hello”. Women had tears in their eyes and wanted clones of this romantic, worldly man from overseas with a captivating personality and foreign accent. Men were heard saying “How am I supposed to top that?” The groom wore his heart on his sleeve with passion about the future life with his bride that would be full of life.
So how does PR relate to a wedding? It is how we share a story and make a lasting impression. The words we use, the stories we tell, and the events surrounding the stories. They can leave impact for people to do more or simply move onto the next thing. They can leave with you with a sense of wonder and change your opinion about someone or something.
For instance, did you think the bride had strong personality traits before the wedding and then witnessed a sensitive, soft side the day of the wedding?
PR professionals can sway opinions. One recent study stated it takes 4 seconds to form a lasting opinion of someone, so changing it can be a difficult task. It takes overcoming obstacles of pre-conceived notions to creatively get people to hear or see something differently.
A recent example in the news is the Casey Anthony case. What do you think it would take to change public opinion of this mom? Perhaps it would take hearing positive stories of a caring mom missing her child who reacted quickly to find her daughter.
Impressions from events can enhance PR. Bottom line, it is the words and actions we choose to illustrate and paint a picture to form opinions.