Being in the right is not what always counts when it comes to public relations; what matters is what the public comes to understand. From a PR strategy perspective, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver exercised poor judgment in its minor dispute with Vancouver Condo Info.
Inherent in public relations is the notion of relationship. This implies a respectful engagement with your audience. Hence, when contacting a blogger, spam is not good PR, hate mail is not good PR, but maybe a short email with a fact sheet attachment is.
In the matter of the REBGV v. Vancouver Condo Info, the blogger posted a graph with a potentially confusing title — one that the board thought infringed on its trademark. But rather than have a staffer send a quick email suggesting a correction, the REBGV calls on lawyers to make demands of the blogger with the intent of issuing a cease-and-desist.
Sure, the REBGV was in the right to do this since it’s no crime to hire a lawyer to do anything, whether it’d be to fold your laundry or pen your email. But if public perception is relevant to an organization, one wonders how “bringing out the barristers” is the best first choice to take. It’s needlessly confrontational and disproportionate to the objective — a crow bar in lieu of a toothpick.
It’s like your neighbour parking his car in the wrong spot and rather than ask him to move the vehicle, you call the police. Then you wonder why everyone in the neighbourhood doesn’t like you. But hey, you were in the right…
Over 4,000 people read Condohype yesterday. Welcome to the neighbourhood.