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Feel-Good PR

Posted: July 31 2015, 10:11 a.m.
by Mary Claire Hunter.

With all the negative stories written, posted and shared, it’s easy to get bogged down under all the bad news.

As PR practitioners, we are responsible for the promotion and advocacy of our clients. Oftentimes, we’re tasked with dealing with the bad — changing negative feelings and communicating during a crisis. But our audience is desperate for good news or any uplifting feeling that gets them through a long day.

I’ve seen a few stories recently in which celebrities promote feel-good PR. Kristen Bell, voice of princess Ana in the movie “Frozen,” left a message in character for a child who was recently diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

Johnny Depp and Taylor Swift have also played a part in boosting the spirits of sick children, and in turn, boosting spirits of all those who viewed them. Not to mention, most celebrities could use a boost in public opinion.

Another feel-good (feel-great, actually) story is the story of Zion and the first successful double-hand transplant.

Viewers are immediately drawn to him, his family and his journey. By documenting Zion’s story and the amazing work these doctors and nurses did, an unintentional PR campaign was formed. There’s no doubt in my mind that his story will bring in lots of donations to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and will inspire others around the world to give to a local hospital.

Besides covering these feel-good stories happening externally, PR professionals should also focus on internal employee recognition as a way to boost morale. Praise often has a negative connotation, but a desire to be recognized isn’t a trait only had by the self-absorbed.

As Kim Harrison writes for Cutting Edge PR, “Recognizing people for their good work sends an extremely powerful message to the recipient, their work team and other employees through the grapevine and formal communication channels. Employee recognition is therefore a potent communication technique.” Both internally and externally, promoting feel-good PR has many benefits.

Feel-good PR can be presented in a number of ways. As PR professionals, writers and reporters, we should constantly be looking for ways to promote the good so that our audience doesn’t get inundated with the bad.

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