Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Never Drink Your Own Bathwater

This will be short, but hopefully to the point.
Whether you are powerful and mighty like the recently emancipated Georges Kern, or the scrappy upstart that has morphed into growing microbrand, always remember that your current situation is just that - current. 

I was speaking to some colleagues in the Fifth Estate and we all were sharing the latest "hello my friend" messages that we had received from either recently departed brand managers or those who had been "uncoupled" from their mother ship some time previously that had finally managed to find a new (decidedly less fancy) landing pad with a brand that they clearly feel is below their station. 

Oftentimes it is a brand that their former "besties" at the bigger sites, blogs and online magazines aren't falling all over themselves to cover unless the newly re-employed brand manager is ready to pony up advertising money (which they now have in incredibly short supply) or pay for "advertorial".  And let's be honest, the advertorial is only a step away from the kid who has to have his mother tie a pork chop around his neck to get the dog to play with him.  Not exactly validating...

They had another thing in common - they had fairly consistently never returned our messages, ignored us in public, and essentially acted as if many of us who write about them did not exist.  And no, that is not an exaggeration ; )

It is remarkable how a prolonged bout of unemployment and the cold shoulder from the great and the good who used to cover them exhaustively will suddenly instill a sense of fond reminiscence for previous interaction and a wistful desire to re-connect with their long lost friends from the press.  

So CEOs, brand managers and PR Mavens remember one important thing: 
All of the folks you meet on your way up the ladder?  You are very likely to encounter them on your way back down.

Or as that other great commentator on the industry observed at the end of the movie Patton:

“For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeters, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conquerors rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.”

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