Don’t let your public relations go the way of egg salad
Think about when egg salad was made by hand in a warm kitchen. An apron-wearing lady boiled eggs, peeled them and crushed them with a wooden spoon. She mixed the eggs with mayonnaise and seasoning and applied it all to thick slabs of white bread. Those sandwiches came from their wax paper wrappings at high noon when dusty men would sit beside their pales and talk about baseball.
Today, egg salad sandwiches are in forgotten store refrigerator corners. Fit in a too-convenient triangular plastic package and sealed with cellophane, these egg salad sandwiches are each unfortunate windows into what once was.
Don’t let your public relations efforts go the way of egg salad.
Too much of today’s PR is streamlined and packaged, made ready for the latest blog topic or twitter trend, but public relations at its heart is still the building of a full-bodied story — the construction of a classic egg salad sandwich.
When those men went on breaks and sat high above the sky, the fingerprints in the bread reminded them of the lady somewhere below. Now, fingerprints on an egg salad sandwich are reason for concern — a recall even. The truth is, public relations should be like those old sandwiches. Your efforts should bear the culture of your company and should express the character of your employees, rather than be concocted in some clean-room and shipped out in little triangular containers.
Today’s consumer, growing younger by the day, wants authenticity. Authentic public relations efforts approach the consumer like a friend. Your company answers complaints, requests suggestions and explains its goals. The consumers of tomorrow have such an access to information that leaving the ingredients label off the wrapper and hoping they don’t notice is fools’ work.
Social media gives consumers a chance to voice opinions around the clock and over multiple mediums. Your company must be ready to put in the hours and pay attention. When these conversations begin, it takes significant man-hours to maintain and lead them. Social media can serve as a seasoning and, much like salt, too much or too little can spoil the whole meal.
Public relations takes time and energy. It requires attention and organization to reveal the proper soul of a company. The efforts are cumulative and when proper time is taken there is never a lingering piece of shell. But like that sandwich on a lunch break, your public relations efforts will make the consumer think of you, even when they’re way up there.