It is every good PR Pro’s most fervent nightmare to be featured in one of Hamilton Nolan’s PR Dummies columns on Gawker.
Normally, out of respect for my fellow practitioners, I try not to share the stories because we all do stupid things some times and I have a bit of a “there but the grace…go I” mentality. But, this one…man o man…this one really really takes the cake.
It’s a promo video from Brookline PR that begins with the agency founder citing some of those god-awful “pillars” that are so popular now with firms trying to define who they are in single-word shout-outs that are as meaningless as they are uninspired. For BPR, it’s “fresh” “creative” “solid” and “professional.”
And, if you think that’s bad…just wait because it gets worse…oh so very much worse. You see, the women of BPR have made a lip-synced rap video complete with 80’s style hair and make up and very very bad dancing.
Apparently in the world of BPR, “fresh” means to do something that’s been done many times before … and never well. “Creative” has come to mean cliched. “Solid” means vapid. And, “professional” – according to the women in the video – means shaking your ass in tight clothing and jumping into a pool fully clothed. (article continues after the video)
I hate to be so blunt about it and as someone who has spent her career in agency life, I really don’t like dissing any agency’s attempt at differentiation. But, this kind of thing makes us all look bad. There are ways to stand up and stand out. Demonstrate your skill and thought leadership. Showcase your smarts. Make us sit up and listen to what you have to say.
You can be edgy with it. You can have fun and a sense of humor about it. Shift Communications made their brand a household name in the industry with their Did You Know videos. Agency Fusion made their point and cracked us all up with their Make My Logo Bigger Cream mock-u-mercials. Believe me. It can be done.
So, please y’all – before you do stupid things like this…ask yourself, would I represent a client this way? Do I really think this will make anyone want to entrust me with their brand? If the answers are no. Then, spare yourself the Gawker call out and think of something else … anything else.