By Andrew R. Spriegel
December 4, 2009
I sat down yesterday with a friend of mine Nancy Binzel Pierce who owns a marketing and public relations firm and Double Dog Day Care, Inc. I met Nancy last year at the “Christmas Story” house in Cleveland. The Christmas Story House is the Parker family’s house as seen in the movie A Christmas Story (1983) and is located in Cleveland, Ohio. Nancy did public relations as well as private tours of the house. Her knowledge of the movie and her enthusiasm for the house was contagious and we have kept in touch. At one point near the end of our conversation I asked Nancy about her PR firm and how the business was doing? To no surprise her firm was doing well in spite of the economy. I asked Nancy what she did in a typical day and if she wrote a lot of press releases. Nancy’s answer surprised me; she said that good PR, in her mind was about common courtesy and treating people with respect. She also said her firm tells clients that PR is a long and continuous process.
My impression of a public relations firm WAS that they are “spin doctors” and do press releases to promote a company and offer spin when people act badly. So as I went about my day I thought about what Nancy had said. I heard the stories and jokes about Tiger Woods and thought he should have obviously made better decisions in his life and he might have done better with less spin and more honesty. I also realize is spite of his golf prowess he is trying to make his way through life like everyone else, with all of our flaws and virtues. I also noticed the employees and/or owners of cars with vehicle wraps as they raced through town cutting people off, not letting people merge, not acknowledging when people stopped to allow them to make turns. Owning a Smart Car with my law firm’s name on the back window and our website, I wondered how often I drive the same way.
Then I received an email that again reinforced Nancy’s philosophy that good PR, in her mind was about common courtesy and treating people with respect. I wrote an article in my blog recently about “Mr. Happy Crack” a brilliant marketing campaign (made millions) by a very successful waterproofing company that involved a trademark and some clever phraseology and a story that I often tell my clients. If you look at their website www.mrhappycrack.com you see that “Mr. Happy Crack has been featured on The Wall Street Journal , Rolling Stone, STUFF Magazine, The Washington Post, The Chicago Sun Times, Business Week, US Weekly, The New Yorker, Brandweek, and on CNN, Fox News, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”, ESPN Radio, Advertising Age, and CNBC.”
Here was the following email that I received from Bob Kodner, CEO, The Crack Team, Inc.: “Andrew: Just a quick note to thank you for last month’s mention of Mr. Happy Crack on your very well-written and informative blog. I am writing to see if we could reciprocate by sending you a free Mr. Happy Crack t-shirt, as this item is truly the gift for the man who has everything. Further, we’re suckers for free press and I thought your piece on The Crack Team was very nice. If you’re receptive to such an act of largesse, please provide your shirt-size and address and we’ll enhance your wardrobe at once………..if not sooner. Regards, Bob Kodner, The Crack Team, 1-866-CRACK TEAM, 314-892-0000 Direct. Of course I accepted the t-shirt and although it may be a “little too edgy” for me to wear I will display it in my office.
I thought about that email and Bob taking a moment to send it and it occurred to me that not only does Bob know marketing but Bob knows PR and Nancy was on point about PR.
If you want to grow your business and work with a great Public Relations Company, I recommend that you talk with Nancy Binzel Pierce, http://doitwithzeal.typepad.com.