Dominating the news of late is the recent controversy surrounding the culture of the Australian Armed Forces in relation to bullying, sexism and an ignorant approach to the systemic problems that seem fairly deep seated within the ranks. This week was also the sentencing of a Melbourne café owner where several workers bullied an apprentice to the point of suicide.

Aside from the obvious systemic failures in both these circumstances, I think another factor at play is in one word, ‘attitude’.

A negative attitude breeds intolerance, persecution and in less serious scenarios than the ones mentioned above, a considerable reduction in productivity.

DRPR’s newest client is a safety training provider who’s programs aren’t focussed on changing workplace ‘procedures’ (as we’ve seen these can often fail) but changing the ‘attitudes’ of employees and employers. The training encourages people to think differently about their own responsibilities and safety and obligation to those around them, rather than acting on autopilot.

Trying to communicate with negative receptors?

The whole concept of training people to change their attitudes really got me thinking. Do people’s attitudes really change? And how does this impact on what I do for work as a PR professional?

Public relations often battles with the cynicism and negative attitudes of the Australian public. Even after identifying our client’s key messages and target audience it’s hard to guarantee the audience is going to be receptive to the messages we are putting out.

Case studies and statistics are often a good way of proving credibility to the public, but often a new approach or a creative PR campaign is required to ‘show’ rather than ‘tell’ people why your client is worth listening to. It’s definitely not easy, but I guess if you believe in the product or service it makes it a lot less hard work.

How do you combat negative attitudes?