By: Sam Harakal Jr.
Well, Public Relations is everywhere, really, when you think about it. It can be event planning, being a spokesperson for your company, writing speeches for politicians, managing crisis for companies, and a lot of bla bla bla. ANYWAY, that is really what I love about it. It’s such a versatile area to pursue. I. I love the idea of venturing into that which has not been done before and, in fact, my greatest long term P.R. ambition is to run my own firm that specializes in the most out-of-the-box public relations campaigns for clients. When I say out of the box, I really mean out-of-the-box. I plan to tear up marketing and P.R. textbooks at the first board meeting I run and tell my employees to open their minds and to dare, just dare, to venture into the world of crazy ideas. Why? Because I really believe that sometimes the wildest ideas that people have are some of the best ideas that people have, at least that has been the case in my life experience.
Some people have criticized my decision to pursue a career in P.R. given the magnitude of the economic turmoil that the world is currently facing. They sometimes say things to me like, “Oh, ya know, when companies need to make cut backs the P.R. and Marketing divisions are usually first to go.”All I hear is a bunch of monkeys moving their lips around making Charlie Brown teacher sounds. Are you kidding me? The crazy way the world is turning these days means it really is time for change, its really time for companies to move in a new direction with fresh ideas and P.R. divisions of companies are going to be the brains behind these operations.
Last week I was reading an article in USA TODAY and it was discussing Starbucks new strategy with the economy. Their plan was to raise the prices of premium drinks in order to maintain their status as the premium coffee brand and lower the prices of their simple coffees so they can remain affordable to the average Joe. Personally, I think that plan is kind of snooty. I think that plan has the potential to create a weird class division between customers.
The rich man might sip on his frappacino while the poor man counts his quarters for a black coffee. It’s just not right.
So what would be a better P.R. move for starbucks? Personally, I think they need to stick to their guns as the premium brand but do so in a way that people won’t even have a clue they are being reeled. An campaign slogan to the effect of, “Ya times are tough, but you deserve it. Take a break with starbucks, the QUALITY BRAND THAT YOU DESERVE.” All that’s happening there is some slight persuasion that can appeal to everybody. The Rich business man will be saying, “You’re effing right I do, while his secretary might be thinking. I’ve worked my ass off to reach this status and drink this coffee.” Meanwhile, his secretary might be thinking, “Ya know what, I do deserve a break I’ve been working hard trying to make ends meet and I deserve it.”
They need to get inside people’s heads instead of doing the old price changing economic analysis B.S. that probably won’t have much of an impact on their net revenue. Can I prove my starbucks theory? No, I am not in a position to do that yet, but someday I will be. Intuition is not something to mess with. Think about the richest man in America, Bill Gates, a third year Harvard drop out. Why? He had a vision that no one else saw and pursued it. My future P.R. firm will be one of vision providing a fun working environment while getting employees and clients rich, or so I hope…hahaha, time will tell the tale.