50 shades of PR

The author of the mega-popular book series said she wanted her title character to be neither all bad nor all good. PR can be a lot like that, too.

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When asked about the meaning of the book’s title, author E. L. James said that she never wanted pass judgment on her main character, Christian Grey. Rather, she wanted to illustrate the many subtleties of his persona as “shades of grey.”

Not unlike the morally challenged billionaire in the movie, PR is rarely black and white. Brands, like movie protagonists, are fluid, subject to change over time. They’re capable of evolving, falling in and out of favor, being respected and reviled for actions. One need only look to the rise andfall of cycling legend Lance Armstrong for a case in point.

PR and the brand image game are all about shades and subtleties resulting from a constant series of pivots directly related to ongoing product innovation, customer experiences, media reviews and fast moving trends.

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