Success in a competitive business marketplace requires an organization’s build and continuous reinforcement of an image that can be projected outwards. This image will communicate a set of basic functions, aims, and ethics that will lead to well fostered attention and sympathies in the desired clientele. But this job does not fall to advertising and marketing alone.
This image has to be consciously created by those in the upper echelon of the corporate structure and carried along the way by savvy media outreach.
One of the most important things that I have learned in my brief experience in the public relations sector is the need for sanitization at all levels of a business entity. No, I don’t mean physical sanitization, which is hopefully a given. Instead, I am speaking of a sort of spiritual sanitization. I usually think about this when I am researching a product and trying to wrap my head around a proper way to speak of something complicated and obscure in universal terms. This happens because the actual means of production are not something that can or should be communicated. There simply isn’t the time and usually it’s not exactly bedtime story material. What works better is when you can explain something by the feelings and aspirations that went into its creation. Consider the latest smartphone products. As consumers we never hear about the long and winding history that many features have taken to arrive in our pockets or the third world factories that make the prices competitive. Instead, they simply seem to fall to us from the heavens every year with a new version being plastered onto billboards and screens.
It’s important that we are able to keep stories simple and sanitized. Without this function everything would be the same, made in the same way from the same basic elements, distinguished only by availability and pricing. But when we are able to craft, refine, and control the story behind not only the product, but the company as well, then a magical layer of social meaning (think: Fun! Romantic! Modern! Classic! Hip!) can be applied.