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A lesson in fashions

Fashion, turn to the left

Timing is everything in PR. An incident that attracts controversy one week, may have been completely ignored the week before.

A case in point is the media attention on cornrow hair styles at King’s High School. Fashion vs authority issues happen all the time. The reason for the national fuss about King’s is that, days earlier, journalists were obsessed with Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi not wearing a tie in parliament. Dress codes were top of their minds.

King’s misfortune was to enforce a policy at the wrong time. It would have gone unremarked if they deferred a decision or enforcement by at least a week (probably two).

No organisation is an island. Your actions will be assessed in the social context of the moment. This is what PR people do: We keep a finger on the pulse, to protect our clients from, or connect them to, the social fashions.

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