One of the things I love about Eddie is that he is both lovable and loyal – he’s never really met a human that he doesn’t love, while, at the same time, he’s never backed down from the ‘monsters’ behind the front door… at least until they come inside.
And even though Eddie is great about loving family and strangers once we invite them in, his initial reaction to protecting the family is what impresses me.
There’s a lesson for PR professionals here: Protect What’s Important.
Your Client’s Reputation
If it comes in the form of an interview or in the process of getting some news out about the company, we, as PR pros, must protect our clients. We do this in media training, as we streamline their messaging and when we push back…yes…when we push back.
Just because a client may think that they have something that comes close to being worthy enough of being featured in the Financial Times, that doesn’t necessarily make it true.
Sometimes we have to save our clients from themselves.
Your Own Reputation
Much in the same way of protecting a client from putting out some lackluster news, we cannot allow this kind of thing to happen for ourselves either. Think about it. The moment we start presenting members of the press with “ho-hum” news from any of our clients (even a brand name one), they start putting you in the “look at it later” pile (or, even worse, “ignore” pile).
We have to be ready and willing to push back on bad ideas. Our clients hired us not just because of our expertise, but because of our counsel – our advice is just as important as setting up an interview with USA Today.
Moreover, like my little corgi, we have to differentiate between what’s worth fighting for and what requires drawing a line in the sand.
Don’t get caught up in the chaos or drama of your team or client – not everything is as imperative as saving kittens from a fire (even though they may think it).
So, we should keep ourselves and our teams in check. While we may not be in the business of saving lives, it’s safe to say that we’re certainly in the business of saving a brand’s livelihood.
Image: Joel Goodman, Creative Commons