I just got a brand new puppy. Lula Belle is a black toy poodle and is absolutely delightful. Even my other dog, Theo, a golden retriever at least 10 times her size, seems smitten. I’ve only had her a few days, but I can already see a lot of similarities between puppies and good marketers.
Puppies and good marketers are both…
Lula loves being around people. It doesn’t matter if she knows someone well or if it’s a stranger, she’s just excited about the possibilities (and loves the attention). In the same way, good marketers should naturally like people and be able to communicate well. The foundation of marketing and public relations is building relationships. Whether with a client or a journalist, we are at our best and provide the biggest benefit when we can be a true partner.
My puppy is a little ball of vitality. No matter what is happening she is ready and eager to take part. It also takes a lot of energy to do what we do – at least to do it well. Public relations can move very quickly; things are happening or changing all the time. From pitching to event planning to blogs and in everything we do, we are enthusiastic about delivering great results for our clients.
When there is something that Lula Belle wants – like Theo’s bone for example – she works at it until she’s finagled how to realize that dream (see photos below). Similarly, those aforementioned results for our clients require dedicated efforts. We combine patient and pleasant persistence with thinking proactively and strategically about new and creative tactics. We are tenacious about achieving set goals and providing desired outcomes.
Promoting a brand message.
Okay, maybe puppies don’t have a brand message per se, but they certainly have their own agendas. Lula can be quite calculated in the way she gets me to do something (granted I’m a softie when it comes to her). In the same way, PR people are constantly promoting a specific message regardless of the medium or method.
Lula is fast; she is a black blur when she does her puppy sprints around the house. I mentioned above that our field moves quickly, so we ensure that the work we do is fast, smart and effective for our clients.
Curious about new things.
My puppy is not intimidated when she encounters something new. In fact, her curiosity drives her to learn more about this newfound item and understand how it could potentially benefit her. It’s an opportunity. Likewise, there are always fresh ways to market something. We’re constantly learning about new platforms, tactics and media, and we are not afraid to try them out.
Like my puppy, we are tenacious about achieving set goals and providing desired outcomes.
As Lula learns new things, she is modifying her behavior. From grasping how to go down stairs to becoming house-trained, she is adapting to her environment. It’s a corollary to learning new things (above), just like a marketer’s ability to adapt or add services and offerings and plans as trends and needs change.
I don’t see how a person can’t smile when they see a puppy. Puppies instantly bring joy. PR people are also just enjoyable, at least the ones at the Bradford Group. I’m grateful to like and respect my colleagues, and that we can sometimes just stop work and have fun.
And just to show that I understand puppies are not the end all be all, here is a short list of why puppies would not be good marketers:
They can’t talk – at least not with words. It’s a little hard to do public relations when you can’t actually communicate verbally.
They can’t write. So much of what we do is written content – for social media, blogs, releases, brochures and more. No matter how smart the puppy is, I guarantee she can’t write very well.
They aren’t very organized. Even my Lula – a relatively picky and clean dog as far as dogs go – likes to leave her toys (and the toys she gets from her golden retriever brother, Theo) strewn in the walkway. Granted, they are all usually within about a two feet area, showing she does like them somewhat close together, but they are still hazards to passers-by.
They can’t read. This one is really the buzzkill for a puppy’s career in public relations. No matter how it’s written – from a short tweet to an article in Braille – a dog will not be able to interpret it. It’s hard to recover from that and be a marketer.
What do you think? Does this list make you want a puppy or PR person of your very own?