PR, Branding, BP, Tragedy, and Comedy

I once came across a quote from Charlie Chaplin that said, “Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.” I’m not really sure what he was exactly referring to, but I can kinda pretend I know what he’s talking about.

I just read this: Meet Leroy Stick, the man behind @BPGlobalPR and just had to copy and paste to my blog the part that got me going, “liberté, egalité, fraternité!” (okay, not quite, but you know what I mean.)

So what is the point of all this? The point is, FORGET YOUR BRAND. You don’t own it because it is literally nothing. You can spend all sorts of time and money trying to manufacture public opinion, but ultimately, that’s up to the public, now isn’t it?

You know the best way to get the public to respect your brand? Have a respectable brand. Offer a great, innovative product and make responsible, ethical business decisions. Lead the pack! Evolve! Don’t send hundreds of temp workers to the gulf to put on a show for the President. Hire those workers to actually work!

Don’t dump toxic dispersant into the ocean just so the surface looks better. Collect the oil and get it out of the water! Don’t tell your employees that they can’t wear respirators while they work because it makes for a bad picture. Take a picture of those employees working safely to fix the problem.

Lastly, don’t keep the press and the people trying to help you away from the disaster, open it up so people can see it and help fix it. This isn’t just your disaster, this is a human tragedy. Allow us to mourn so that we can stop being angry.

I think this made me feel inclined to write a blog post because I’m a little worn out from all the “top 5 ways to use Twitter to increase your brand value” blah blah blah.

At times, it can feel awfully empty to me. So, thank YOU, Leroy Stick, @BPGlobalPR, guy in boxer shorts, whomever you are. Yes, the issues are always more complex that meet the eyes. But above it all, the ability to make another human crack a little smile in the midst of a tragedy, that, is something I can raise a glass to.

Facebook Survival Guide for Awkward Adults, and Best Xmas Decoration Evar

These two really, literally, made me el oh el’ed this week.

Facebook Survival Guide for Awkward Adults – What you need to know to avoid embarrassing your kids (and yourself) by Daniel Harrison

First Daniel started out by explaining what Facebook is:

Anyway, it’s fun! The two tricks to getting along well on Facebook are, don’t trust anything, and if you want to remain hip, don’t try so hard. Preserve that hard-won dignity you earned by surviving puberty, the prom, and possibly parenthood.

The rules for profile picture:

For instance, if you’re not an actor or model, use a glamour shot at your own peril. You don’t look reflective, brooding or perky. You look like a narcissistic jerk. Sincerity is (always) hipper than hair gel, you smug peacock.

How to manage friends

Besides, you don’t have to accept or reject “friend requests” as soon as you get them. Wait until the requester does something useful like hit the lotto.

How to update your status

Your sainted Grandma never threw wide the shutters and bellowed, “What up haters? I’m pregnant!” to the assembled townfolk, now did she? Use some judgment — it’s the Internet, not a barnyard.

How to deal with applications

To recap: Applications are irritating; you get them from your friends. And they’re easy to spread inadvertently. This is how venereal diseases roll, too. So there’s that.

And groups

Don’t presume just because a digital Teddy bear was enough to get you interested in curing malaria that we’re equally shallow.

And the best advice of all: Nothing stays in Vegas – nothing!

Best Xmas Decoration Ever

Okay, it’s December, and surely you’ve seen all the typical Christmas decoration going up in your neighborhood, and you’ve probably even seen the house with the Ditto Christmas lights.

But I’m gonna say this one took the cake for making me laugh until I rolled around holding my stomach crying: The Fallen Ladder Decoration (thanks to my friend Brett McCully’s tweet.)

Don't worry, it's a Christmas Decoration!

Don’t worry, it’s a Christmas Decoration!