As PR professionals, we know that transparency is an important attribute for any marketing campaign or brand image. Embracing reality is a wise strategy–even if it means being candid with details that the public may find ugly, undesirable or disturbing.

A lack of transparency breeds doubt, suspicion and distrust. The public won’t remain loyal to any brand that greets challenges with obfuscation or employs evasive tactics when dealing with customers. Venerable soda brands Coke and Pepsi seem to understand these points, and they are now taking a big public relations step by offering calorie counts on vending machines that stock their beverages.

In the midst of a much-publicized obesity epidemic, Americans are prone to place blame–and hopefully reverse the circumstances that got us into this peculiar situation. This means the public is taking a closer look at what they put into their bodies and taking more responsibility for their dietary habits. In order to do this the public needs information to make educated decisions, and calories counts are a sensible place to start. Read more