The World Series of Poker is currently airing on ESPN when it’s not talking football or airing SportsCenter. As I was flipping through channels the other day, I noticed that and what song instantly pops into my head?
I know. Welcome to my brain. I got to thinking about how this relates to PR. Why? Well, why not? So, for a click of your mouse, I’ll offer some advice. There are great lessons to be learned from the entire song, but I’m going to focus solely on the refrain.
- Know when to hold ‘em…and when to fold ‘em. In a PR crisis, you have some options. One of those options includes holding off on offering a comment 10 minutes after something happens. Offering a comment before analyzing the situation can do far more harm than good. While “no comment” is NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER an option, telling a reporter that a comment is forthcoming and you’ll have an answer soon is perfectly acceptable. That brings us to folding. Do. Not. Lie. There’s other ways of saying that. Don’t mislead. Don’t knowingly offer inaccurate information. If the situation is out of hand, ‘fess up. Basically, just look at Toyota or BP and do the exact opposite. Toyota, in fact, did learn it’s lesson! Just last week, Toyota issued another recall to repair brake fluid leaks. No announcement saying it’s not a big deal, or nothing to worry about. Just a release that told car owners to get their cars fixed. Well done.
- Know when to walk away…know when to run. Do you read Clients From Hell? If not, you should. There will always be problem clients in our industry; or any industry for that matter. Why? Because some people are just giant pains in the butt. If a client is consistently costing you time and money by demanding revision after revision, it’s time to walk away. If you can’t reconcile the cost of doing work for the client with what the client is paying you, walk away. If you get a client like this, run like hell:
Client: We’re moving to another host, you need to help us!
Me: I’d love to, but my wife is in labor right now.
Client: Do you understand our website is down?
- Don’t count your money while sitting at the table. No one likes a braggart. It’s perfectly acceptable to talk about your accomplishments, or the accomplishments of your business, but there’s a line. No need to loudly proclaim you just landed the million dollar account, because no one cares. People care about the great work done by you and/or your business. Bragging about how much you get paid, what kind of house you live in or how big your boat is will not only limit further opportunities for you, but presents an image very few clients will want to do business with. There’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with getting paid a lot, living in a big house, and owning a yacht that makes it onto Travel Channel. Just make sure that’s not all you’re about.
- Time enough for counting, when the dealing’s done. When your agency DOES land that “lifeblood of the agency” account, celebrate. However, your celebration needn’t include having a banner hung over your table at the bar. Be successful. Appear successful. Be humble. Once you retire, count your money, and if you have enough…buy a Caribbean island. I think I’m beginning to realize why that career as a financial advisor didn’t work out…
The Philadelphia Phillies Roy Halladay threw the second no-hitter in post-season history last night against the Cincinnati Reds. The majority of the Cincinnati Reds gave Halladay his due afterwards, with one exception. Shortstop Orlando Cabrerra had this quote after the game “He and the umpire pitched a no-hitter. He gave him every pitch. Basically, we had no chance.” That statement is wrong in every single way. If you need proof, here’s a graph (h/t to SportsGrid.com) of every pitch that was called a strike by the home plate umpire last night:
Literally ONE pitch was outside the strike zone that was called a strike.
As a manager, in baseball or otherwise, you cannot let control of your team get away from you. Dusty Baker has no control over his team. When a player makes a statement like that after a no-hitter, it’s quite obvious there’s little control in the situation. I could point to comments and actions by Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips this summer towards the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals, but that will take too much time.
Here’s the thing: Baker is known as a players manager, but he has no control over his team. They do and say what they want, when they want, and he is left hoping none of it causes too much drama, or friction inside his own clubhouse.
Think about that in the business world. There are managers who let their employees do there jobs with little or no guidance and/or discipline. They don’t want to step on toes and try to be everyone’s friend. That’s not what a good manager does. A good manager has a good working relationship with their employees that is friendly, but both know who is in charge.
Letting employees run amok without any kind of consequence or supervision causes problems throughout the organization, and ends up being an “every man for himself” type of situation. Get control of your employees and let them know who’s the boss. Which in most cases, is probably this guy: