April 3, 2016

#PR and the #Game of #Telephone

This quarter I am teaching Public Relations and each time I present this course I think about a lesson Publicist David Perry taught my class when he was a guest speaker. Public Relations is like being at a party. If you are in a circle of people and start talking about your current venture that is marketing. However, when someone moves from that circle on to another group of people, and they start talking about you, this is called publicity. How that message is communicated, received and perceived is the game of telephone.

So, for the first day of class I am going to have the students play a game of telephone and we'll actually have several messages moving around the room at once. Since it is an election year, I will likely use statements made by the Presidential candidates. It will be interesting to hear if and how the messages change from start to finish. It reminds me of an old party line telephone where you could pick up your extension and overhear the conversations of neighbors. At what point does this become gossip?

My intention is for the students to get a real-time lessons in the importance of crafting and communicating a message, and how the public, in Public Relations, can influence the wording and meaning.