Chief Director of Global Media Alliance, Emma Wenani, has dispelled the notion surrounding Public Relations (PR) as a tool for manipulation.
She explains PR as a tool used appeal to the sensibilities of diverse publics to cause change, and influence behavior.
Using empathy to further explain the PR discipline, she stated, “PR is not about manipulation but putting yourself in the shoes of the person you seek to communicate with. It is not about manipulation but putting yourself in the shoes of your publics. PR is simply trying to understand emotions and finding means to appeal to them.”
In a panel discussion at a World PR Day Festival organized by Global Media Alliance on the topic; ‘Harnessing The Power Of Public Relations’ she debunked claims of PR being a manipulative tool saying; “PR is totally not manipulation because we’re all humans and we know how we want to be communicated to. So, if I know using a particular song or picture will enhance my communication efforts, then I will use that. That is not manipulation.”
With controlling narratives being the prerogative of the PR profession, she encouraged professionals in the field to embrace the beauty of storytelling.
But before one is capable of telling compelling stories, they first need to know their audience and tap into their emotions. “This is how you can tell the story for them to relate to it,” she indicated.
For storytelling to be effective and efficient, Emma Wenani encourages PR professionals to use different formats to reach their publics.
“As opposed to using traditional tools like press releases, you can now use picture stories and tell your stories through visuals. You need to control the narrative by tapping into the narratives of your publics, gauging their moods and tailoring messages to meet their needs,” she reiterated.