Have you ever looked back at a time in your company’s history and realized a press release would’ve fixed a lot of stuff? Maybe you went through a tough period where sales were down and hindsight told you your customers were mad at you for something you said and a well-constructed press release would’ve done the trick?
We’ve all been there. But your woes are nothing compared to these hypothetical press releases that definitely should’ve been released during major historical events. Just a little better media communication and everything would’ve been smoothed out!
The Cold War Amps Up Because of Miscommunication
In 1956, Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev announced to the United States and Western World that “We will bury you!” Understandably, the formerly chilly Cold War erupted into a full blown blizzard which lasted for decades.
Khrushchev, however, was more than a little confused. You see, the saying “My vas pokhoronim” didn’t exactly come across as intended. While many perceived it as a threat, he simply meant that history and time was on their side and the Soviet Union and Communism would see the Western World die out.
Had Khrushchev immediately sent out a press release and explained his position, how many years of the Cold War would’ve been averted? Unfortunately it was several years before he explained his remarks, and the damage had already been done.
It’s common knowledge that Napoleon was a short little dude. In fact, we have a complex named after him, the Napoleon Complex. It’s where a person is so short they feel like they have to act tough to make up for how short they are. Yessir, Napoleon was a shorty.
Except none of that is actually true! Napoleon was roughly the average height for a man of his time, about 5’6”. Some depictions and paintings of him made him out to be shorter than he was, some of which is attributed to different units of measurement. Of course his opponents and detractors took the rumor and ran with it.
In the early 1900s, psychologist Alfred Adler declared Napoleon to have had an inferiority complex because of his size. If Napoleon had just sent out a press release detailing his size and his disposition, we would have a totally different name for this complex.
People Think Jaws is Real
After watching the movie Jaws, were you deathly afraid of water? A friend of mine said she even refused to take baths after seeing the movie. Sure, sharks are in the ocean and not bathtubs…but who knows, right?
By now you know that Jaws isn’t real, and sharks don’t come flying out of the water onto your boat to try and chomp you. After the movie came out in the 1970s, though, people freaked out. Sharks were suddenly seen as killing machines, that even going near one spelled certain death. It increased shark killings to an alarming rate.
Luckily, this mania died down, and interest in sharks went up. A press release from the sharks (ok, maybe shark activists could write it instead) would’ve kept the irrational response down at least a little. At least the same thing didn’t happen to other animals, like bears, when the scary bear movie Prophecy came out a few years later.
What historical press release would you like to see?