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.

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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 and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.