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PR: It’s Okay To Be Imperfect : BoardroomArts.com

PR: It’s Okay To Be Imperfect

If your story concept is good, if your idea is compelling, then it should be open to discussion and criticism. Not only does open debate make for a better story, it also demonstrates an essential strength, character and dimension that makes something, or someone, newsworthy and credible.

As an example, in the early 1970’s a small manufacturer used a laser to place tiny holes in contact lenses. The lenses enabled certain patients to wear their lenses longer and in greater comfort.

In developing a media strategy, the company wrote a history showing the evolution of contact lenses dating back to Leonardo da Vinci. It had a one-page news release that announced the new lenses, but the release carefully stated that while the lenses benefited certain patients, they were not valuable for all. The only way individuals could determine if the lenses were right for them was to see an “eye-care professional.” This approach produced several interesting results.

First, because the company freely admitted that the lenses were not the most wonderful invention since Ben Franklin’s bifocals, it had credibility.

Second, the company did not want to be in the position of creating false hopes for people with acute eye problems. Its conservative posture, its willingness to acknowledge the limitations of its product, also created credibility.

Third, few reporters knew the history of contact lenses or that da Vinci is widely regarded as their inventor. The history gave perspective and dimension to the story, made it something more than just a health products feature.

Fourth, by telling people to consult with individual “eyecare professionals” the company accomplished two goals. It properly sent prospective patients to optometrists, opticians and ophthalmologists for individual attention. It also avoided being aligned with either optometrists, opticians or ophthalmologists, three groups which sometimes compete for the same patients.

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