(Meant to post this weeks ago! lo siento)
If you were not fortunate enough to be a spectator of this, the most "dramatic season ever" of The Bachelor .... s'okeh.
This will be quick and painless, I promise.
All you need to know is that no one got engaged and that everyone now despises the once loveable, La Vida Loca-living, soccer ball bouncing, Venezuelan bachelor - Juan Pablo.
After a few post-rose debates with frien...I mean...colleagues, I started asking was he really all that bad - or did he just have some severe communication issues?
I think I can boil down Juan Pablo's demise with a couple of simple PR rules: 1. Know your audience and 2. Culture Communications 101.
1. Know your audience: more importantly, know what page they are on and how they need to hear from you. The phrase "s'okey" (#itsok or other versions) will go down in dating guidebooks as the most despised phrase of indifference to ever be uttered in a relationship.
Juan clearly wasn't taking into account his female partners reaction to this phrase. While he may have meant it to come off as easy-going and non-invasive; when uttered repeatedly during a heartfelt confession or emotional revelation, it was in fact, making the girls feel devalued, deflated and patronized. s'not okey.
Use your key messages JP; here are some sample phrases that you could switch out on your next dating show:
'I hear you'
'That makes sense’.... or even the old stand by...
'Fine by me'
2. Culture Shock
Now, I enjoyed playing devil's advocate in some of these discussions and thought to myself, is he really the world's biggest douche bag, or is it perhaps a culture barrier?
The truth is that culturally, people's reactions and inferences are quite different. Anyone who has dabbled in marketing or distribution overseas could speak to this point. The gestures, tone and inferences of someone who might be born in another country don't often 'come off' as they would from an individual who has been brought up in that same country.
To me, Juan wasn't really being any more of a jerk than he was when the show started - his demeanor, attitude and actions remained fairly consistent while I found the girls needs, perceptions and interpretations changed as they became more emotionally involved.
In the end - they came to the same realization that we could all plainly see from the start;
this ain't gonna work honey. In any language.
From Ju-an PR pro to another - hope you've enjoyed this playful pun of a blog.