By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)
Okay. What’s “wrong” with the two cartoons that accompany this post?
Need more clarification? What needs to be addressed and challenged from a public relations perspective?
First, some background on these “Hagar the Horrible“commentaries should will help.
The top strip was published six years ago. In fact I wrote about it in this post from January of 2010, where I somehow merged an idea of how an example used in the upcoming State of the Union speech by President Barack Obama and the comic message from artist Chris Browne supported public relations.
(Yes, I’ve been known to steer the discussion of public relations down some truly divergent paths on occasion. But hey, it’s my blog.)
Back to the image. The story in the top strip depicts a public relations consultant questioning a nobleman on the performance of Hagar and his viking raiding party following a pillage. This is good, because as we know, effective, strategic public relations is driven by research.
Now to the bottom strip, which appeared in the October 7 issue of the print version of the Chicago Tribune that’s delivered to our home each day. Here, a disillusioned Hagar, hunched over a bar nursing a cocktail, seeks advice from friend Lucky Eddie on a source to “cook up a story” to mitigate past misgivings.
Well, Lucky Eddie says, the right person is at arm’s length away: The King’s Public Relations Director!
This is bad, because it infers — at least to me — that public relations tactics can mask unethical or perhaps even criminal actions through successful media relations. To many, Hagar is just trying to get some “good public relations” to solve his image problem.
Ah, Hagar, if it was only that easy.