Give ’em the old Razzle Dazzle

For any musical fans out there, you will notice that this line is taken directly from the musical “Chicago“. The term “razzle dazzle” basically means to blind someone with embellishments, so they never really see that you don’t know what you’re talking about. A specific part of the lyrics is as follows:

What if your hinges all are rusting?
What if, in fact, you’re just disgusting?
Razzle dazzle ’em, and they’ll never catch wise!

Richard Gere stars as Billy Flynn in Chicago... He's the Ultimate Razzle Dazzler

I know at this point you are probably all thinking “Ok, Emily’s lost it, she’s singing a song from a musical in which wives kill their husbands,” but I swear, I have a point. This whole “razzle dazzle ’em” technique is a valid, and often used, technique in the public relations industry. I don’t say this to be cruel, it is just a fact of the business. In fact, I’d be surprised if every single corporation and organization out there hasn’t turned to the “razzle dazzle” technique a few times.

Some specific examples of razzle dazzling people when it comes to public relations is the use, or arguably the overuse, of pictures, links, video clips, related articles, what have you when just trying to tell a simple story. Sometimes I find myself trying to read through a simple news release or statement on an organization’s website and I can’t seem to get through it without watching seven YouTube videos, being led to three other websites, and IMDBing every celebrity mentioned in the article. Sometimes I just want to throw in the towel and say that I’m SICK of it all!

To have a successful blog, one is even supposed to incorporate media like pictures, hyperlinks, and videos. Obviously, there is no problem with the addition of all these tools, but what ever happened to just reading someone’s opinion without being blinded by the additional media attached to it? I also wonder if sometimes public relations professionals use the ol’ razzle dazzle technique to help their audience forget certain flaws of their organization, or what they are attempting to propose. I gotta say, I think the writer of Chicago the Musical had it right when he said “Razzle Dazzle ’em… and they’ll never catch wise.”


~ by emily074 on December 9, 2009.

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