No organization will ever have 100 percent approval. There will always be roughly 30 percent of a constituency against what you are doing and 30 percent happy with where you are going. The battle is always for the mind of the middle, the undecideds.
Public relations – when practiced correctly – can help you win the middle ground and even smooth the ruffled feathers of those against you.
Panic and resistance have given way to acceptance and even some grudging praise, as the new big-box Ikea store in Red Hook, Brooklyn turns out to be maybe not so bad as the neighbors had thought.
Residents feared traffic congestion, and some businesses had competitive concerns from the big box. Ikea listened to residents, took their concerns and came up with a plan to reduce traffic that included a water taxi to bring in shoppers.
Says Kerri-Ann Jennings, who had opposed Ikea’s presence, “It isn’t awful.” If you can win the middle ground and get opponents to grudging acceptance, that’s a PR win in anyone’s book.