Leadership insights from Paul Robinson garnished with a splash of humour
The Great PR Illusion: Why We Fall for Leaders’ Made-Up Personalities Instead of Their True Selves
The Great PR Illusion: Why We Fall for Leaders’ Made-Up Personalities Instead of Their True Selves

The Great PR Illusion: Why We Fall for Leaders’ Made-Up Personalities Instead of Their True Selves

In a world where politicians kiss babies, celebrities endorse everything from toothpaste to luxury yachts, and corporate CEOs appear more charming than a box of freshly baked cookies, it’s no wonder that most people fall for the well-crafted personas of our esteemed leaders. But let’s face it: these fabricated facades can sometimes be as believable as unicorns running for office. So why do we keep falling for their PR-made masquerades? Buckle up and get ready for a comical exploration into the wacky world of leaders and their finely polished alter egos!

The Power of Photo Ops:

Nothing screams “I’m a trustworthy leader” more than a carefully orchestrated photo op. Whether it’s shaking hands with world leaders, hugging adorable animals, or posing in front of the latest factory your company just saved from certain doom, these snapshots have magical powers. Suddenly, that politician who couldn’t take any questions from the media becomes the darling of the media, and that CEO who laid off half the company seems like a cuddly philanthropist. It’s like the modern-day equivalent of fairy dust, turning even the most questionable actions into a glittering spectacle of deception.

Catchy Slogans and Buzzwords:

Leaders are masters of catchy slogans and buzzwords that make us feel like we’re part of something revolutionary. Who can resist a phrase like “Yes, we can!” or “Make America Great Again”, “Ache Din” and blah blah? It’s like they’re dangling a shiny object in front of us, and we’re the mesmerized magpies. We chant along, feeling like we’re part of a movement, all the while ignoring the fact that the words themselves often lack substance. But hey, who needs substance when you have a snappy catchphrase, right?

The Illusion of Authenticity:

Leadership consultants and PR experts spend countless hours sculpting the perfect persona for their clients. They study body language, work on vocal inflections, read from teleprompter and give fiery speeches, and even teach them how to cry on cue. They create a seemingly authentic character that’s relatable and endearing. These leaders can pretend to be just like us, eating pizza with a fork or wearing socks with sandals, all in the name of appearing “down to earth.” They can spend your tax money and give us the narrative of a ‘common man’. They can give us the ‘fakir image’, ‘the chowkidar image’ and ‘Vishwaguru image’ and we will swallow them all, because who wouldn’t want a leader who’s just as clueless as we are about the intricacies of real life?

The Art of Distraction:

Sometimes leaders have an uncanny ability to distract us from their actual deeds and misdeeds. Whether it’s a scandal, a failed policy, or a questionable decision, they know how to divert our attention elsewhere. They announce a groundbreaking initiative, they engage in a Twitter war, or they expose some famous people to keep the media busy. And the media is always looking for a new bone to bite. So throw them a bone. Let the circus begin!

As much as we’d like to believe that our leaders are the paragons of virtue and integrity they portray themselves to be, it’s essential to maintain a healthy skepticism. The carefully crafted PR personas may be entertaining and amusing, but they shouldn’t blind us to the true character and deeds of those in power. So, next time you find yourself falling for the charms of a leader’s made-up personality, remember to take a step back, see beyond the smoke and mirrors, and seek the substance that lies beneath the shiny exterior. Watch their deeds and judge them and not their sugar coated speeches. And if you can’t find any, well, at least you’ll have a good laugh along the way!

Paul Robinson is the author of the book “Make Your Brand Roar”. He is one of the leading motivational speakers in India.

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