VCRs and High-Tech Public Relations

February 2, 2011

By Caroline
Every parent has that one favorite story she loves to share about her kid. You know the one -- the tale that is told repeatedly at family functions, graduations and other milestone events. It's usually embarrassing to some degree, but there is a little part of each of us that enjoys hearing an old story about ourselves.
It was a birthday party. My entire extended family was gathered around the old, circa-1980 television set as my father explained the latest and greatest in technology. Behold: the VCR. As my grandmother marveled at the new machine and my uncles flipped through the book of instructions, my father smiled. He had a trick up his sleeve.
Dad turned around and called for his firstborn (me), then four-years-old. "Hey Caroline, wanna put on the tape?” he asked. So I walked over to the new, shiny machine, pressed a few buttons and voilà. Sesame Street was on the screen.
I don't remember much of this actual event, but I know every word of the story, which is lore in my family.
Today, I hear about the newest innovations firsthand from the people who develop them. I am the storyteller for my clients, and the media and analysts I speak with every day are my audience.
I like to think that my family gathering around the VCR prepped me for my future, at-the-time unknown career. Four-year-old Caroline had no clue about technology and public relations, but she knew how to set a goal, how to find a path toward achieving it, and how to create a story people would tell for years to come.
Tell the truth: did you ever learn to program your VCR before DVD and Blue-Ray players came on the market?
Every good story needs a storyteller. Costumes optional.

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