Nobody and Somebody

I always love to tell people a story when I am asked about what Public Relations is:

It was a cold chilly morning, a man sat at a metro station, and started to play his violin during the rush hour. He has played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes, only six people stopped and stayed for a while, about twenty gave him money but continued to work at their normal pace. When he finished playing, no one noticed, no one applauded, nor impressed any busy commuter. He found he had collected $32.

No one knew it, but the fiddler standing against a bare wall outside the Metro was Joshua Bell, one of the finest classical musicians in the world playing some of the most elegant music ever written on one of the most valuable violins, worth approximately $3.5 million. Ironically, three days before Bell appeared at the Metro station, he had filled the house at Boston’s stately Symphony Hall, where a seat’s average price went for about $100.

This was a real experiment conducted by The Washington Post in order to observe participants’ perceptions and priorities in an inconvenient time, and this experiment has raised several questions to every business: At the fast paced industry, among your busy target audiences, are your products or service packaged well for each consumer making a quick choice? Do your products or service make your consumer rush blindly, or does it catch their eyes?

One of the possible conclusions from this story could be that without substantial public awareness and professional marketing promotion, no one would stop and look, even for a well-known violin player that could fill a renowned Symphony Hall.

What is your unique story for explaining Public Relations?