Here's a story from a difficult PR setting indeed. We don't envy the Mexicans' challenge in attracting spring break revelers amid all the news of drug-related violence south of the border. But they're trying. And the Texas Department of Public Safety is looking out, appropriately, for its own publics.
The Texas officials are warning young people not to head to Mexico. "Our safety message is simple: avoid traveling to Mexico during Spring Break and stay alive." That's clear enough. But the Mexico Tourism Board is understandably upset. "Internationally-celebrated destinations such as Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, to name a few, are among the safest, most welcoming and relaxing tourist destinations in the world," it responds. "There could not be a better time to visit Mexico."
Well, kids, make your own travel choices. But if you're in a public relations class after spring break, consider this an example of how PR functions in systems of relationships and has always to be mindful of the overall context in which its messages are issued and received.
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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