Feline theory of public relations

5 Feb

A man and his moggy What's the connection between cats and public relations?

I've noticed many Twitter followers declaring that they're cat lovers. I am too, though men are much less likely to let this be known in public.

Consider a cat's characteristics. It's fairly inscrutable and discreet – but somehow always gets its way. How do we know what cats want? They're good verbal and non-verbal communicators – withouth ever having to spell it out.

They can be grateful and affectionate, but have their agenda and aren't quick to compromise with humans. They're funny – but hate being laughed at. They rely on us but never seem too dependent.

In a word, cats are charming. We want to please our cats.

Now, as any child knows, the opposite of cat is dog.

A man's relationship with his dog is so much more direct. They take instructions from us, they love to be in a pack. They show off and like to please us.

You will have guessed where my metaphor is leading:

Dogs are like advertising. Cats are like public relations.

15 Responses to “Feline theory of public relations”

  1. Natalie Torbett 05/02/2011 at 12:35 pm #

    Brilliant post and observation! Oddly it is very true, myself and several others on the PR course have all expressed our love for the feline kind at one time or another. Maybe it is something innate in PRs?!

  2. Oana Jinga 05/02/2011 at 12:39 pm #

    Oh you have no idea how much I miss mine 😦 Wish I could get one in the UK, but I travel too much 😦

  3. jazz chappell 05/02/2011 at 12:47 pm #

    funnily enough i have two cats, had them since i was 9, and my family disklike dogs strongly. Personally i prefer cats as they are smarter and more independent, they go and do their own thing and don’t let you tell them otherwise, dogs are forever the slaves of their owners!

  4. Michael White 06/02/2011 at 7:21 am #

    Couldn’t help but giggle at the end of this post due to the profound ending! It could be true. Peculiar as I have grown up with cats all of my life (only a brief flirt with a dog) and I’m more of the feline persuasion. Although I have found myself working in Digital Advertising recently which is a lot different from the charm of PR but isn’t a;ways as direct, instead playful using video and occasionally gamification methods. I suppose in that sense digital advertising could be said to appeal to both the natures of dogs and cats?
    Whoa, this cats and dogs metaphor has a lot of life left in it yet!

  5. Richard Bailey 06/02/2011 at 8:05 am #

    But it’s not a case of cats or dogs. This theory is built on a metaphor of cats, dogs and other domestic animals.
    Digital advertising is clearly like a rabbit. Still cuddly, but designed to replicate itself very quickly.
    Charm (cats), directness (dogs), ability to breed (rabbits).

  6. Brian Cheese 07/02/2011 at 1:12 pm #

    These are domesticated animals conditioned by generations of selective breeding and reinforcing of behaviour stereotypes to act in a way we find pleasing.
    Inferring comlex empotions in them says nothing about cats, dogs, PR or advertising, it just shows you are very willing to allow your own anthropomorphic prejudices cloud your judgement.
    That being said this post does say a lot about PR…but probably not what you wanted it to say.

  7. Carli Ann Smith 07/02/2011 at 5:26 pm #

    Brilliant! I love this post and couldn’t agree more with your analogy 🙂

  8. Paul Seaman 07/02/2011 at 5:39 pm #

    Well, I don’t buy this puff about the persuasive power of cats. My dachshund Toto is a better schmoozer than any cat. His command of rhetorical gestures knows no match – particularly when he wants a walk, or a treat late at night from the kitchen cupboard. Of course, if cats embody our trade’s ethos, or what PR stands for, it is perhaps because our loyalty also cannot be fully relied upon despite the spin that pretends otherwise… (p.s….I’m having fun… I love most animals, including PRs).

  9. Claresiobhanpr.wordpress.com 08/02/2011 at 11:51 am #

    I love the analogy of rabbits and digital advertising. Though some creative digital campaigns go hand in hand with PR, which from my experience cats and rabbits don’t do too well.
    I’m a big lover of dogs and cats, but whilst a dog’s repeated pleas for attention can become annoying over time, I find people are always pleasantly surprised when a cat comes over looking affection and so stand up and take notice…

  10. Judy Gombita 08/02/2011 at 7:43 pm #

    The conventional phrase:
    “Dogs have owners, cats have staff.” (Could still work with your analogy….)
    PR Cat Lover Judy
    P.S. What is the name of that lovely beastie?

  11. Gail 08/02/2011 at 8:56 pm #

    This has absolutely nothing to do with the PR vs advertising debate, but all the nicest men I’ve ever met have liked cats!

  12. Andrew Davies 09/02/2011 at 9:52 am #

    I couldn’t love my cats more. They are often found laying across my keyboard or laptop and have even been seemn using Facebook and Twitter to promote their latest blog entry.
    You can’t beat cats!

  13. gold exchanger 09/02/2011 at 10:45 am #

    that was really beautifull…

  14. Charlotte Deighton 10/02/2011 at 10:41 am #

    Loving this analogy! I’m also of the PR cat-loving clan. In fact, my blog is named after my cat! I’ll have to ask around and see if how many dog-lovers are among my cohort. Catherine Sweet is one of them, I believe.


  1. How you doin’, -digital- PR? | - 11/05/2016

    […] anymore. They want information that stimulates them and that stuns them visually (preferably using cats). This is the age that saw the fight against boredom, and PR has to know how to win this […]

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