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.