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WET SEAL/VIA FACEBOOK

In a world where some CEOs are in hot water for telling customers only the “cool kids” should wear their clothes, and others refuse to stock larger sizes at all, at least one company has elected to choose humanity over image … and they are reaping amazing benefits.

Not too long ago, the mother of a middle school girl with Down’s Syndrome (DS) posted a “back to school” picture of her daughter on social media. Many other moms with DS daughters commented on how stylishly dressed the young girl was. They asked where “mom” got those clothes that were both appropriate, and still stylish.

Mom replied that she found them at Wet Seal. She also mentioned that her daughter dreamed of being a model for the company. So, in a fit of Facebook pique, the mom and her friends created a FB page showcasing her daughter modeling the Wet Seal wardrobe.

You know what happened next. The page went viral, and thousands liked the positive message. Then Wet Seal caught wind of the deal. What would they do? Condemn the mother? Chastise the daughter for the presumption of being an “imperfectly shaped” person wearing their clothes? Nope. THEY LOVED IT!!!

And rightly so. Ronn Torossian calls what happened next one of the best examples of combining goodwill, and great PR in the realm of social media. Wet Seal challenged Karrie to get at least 10,000 LIKES on her page over the next two days. If she could prove to be a profitable model for Wet Seal, the company would make it official, and make Karrie’s wish a reality.

Bet you can finish the story.

Karrie’s page BLEW UP, and Wet Seal made good on its promise. They brought Karrie in for a full fledged professional modeling shoot. Karrie walked away from that experience with a story that will live well beyond that day, and a memento of her shoot, a photo collage with the words: “Welcome to the Wet Seal Family, Karrie!”

Not only was this girl accepted in the clothes … she was accepted into the family! This is a hugely powerful statement for a person who will struggle to be accepted in many phases of life, and a beautiful sentiment from a Big Nameless Faceless Corporation.

“You know what?”, Torossian said, “In that moment, Wet Seal showed us their face … and it’s us. They care about people, not just selling clothes.” You want to get to the heart of public relations? It’s all about relating to the public. Other companies have forgotten this.

Let’s take a moment to be thankful for one that remembered.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.