Over lunch, a group of friends were having empty chatter just about everything that came to their mind. Suddenly, upon seeing a packed of wet tissues, one of them remarked “if I see someone who has no children, has a packed of wet tissue in his car, he is up to something dodgy”. Another added, “the same if a guy bought a packed of minty cool sweets, he must be getting the air condition treatment”. The whole group burst into big big laughter. Both statements conjured different pictures in the mind of every person in the group. The “yellow brain” ones with their 18 above rated pictures in their mind. The “not so yellow brain” ones with their innocent puzzled look, not knowing what picture to be framed in their mind.
See, how two innocent everyday items can lead to “dark alleys” of people’s mind when seen from different angle. Perceptions, some people call it. Perceptions rule the world. We live in a world that revolves around perceptions. Masters people’s perceptions, you more or less rule the world.
“80% of what we do is PR” someone said to me once. True, so very true. You don’t have to do what you are suppose to do well. Do the PR well and manage perceptions creatively, you will be in the good books of the public or so they say. Some call this “putting a spin”. I am sure they didn’t mean we put everyone on the merry go round and spin them until they can’t tell the difference between a “cendol” and “air samboi”.
Basically, I am sure everyone knows this, “spin” is putting all the positives of situations while not shedding the light on the rest especially the negatives. Some say this is not telling the whole truth. The experts prefer to call it “image transformation”, “transformation strategy” and even “rebranding”. Whatever, however you call it, more and more we are being “spun”. Our perceptions managed.
So, sit back, take your time, think and don’t take things at face value. In the world of PR, more often than not, “ada udang sebalek batu”.