As I’m writing my second column (hey, who’s counting?), my family and I are packing up our “stuff “and heading back down to our home in Lake Nona. Can’t wait to see all my newfound friends back in the home of palm trees, alligators and schvitzing (look it up!).
In the world of public relations, you never, ever know what might happen from one day to the next. I might be scheduled to work on an advanced media day for Cirque du Soleil or create press kits for the start of the new holiday shopping season for both of my Simon Property Group malls in Pittsburgh.
It never gets old seeing the faces of my clients – or possible new clients – when my team and I tell them, “We’ll do everything possible to tell your story to the general public – but we can’t guarantee ANYTHING. No legitimate PR/marketing company can ever promise or guarantee that the media will cover their story or attend their upcoming press event. Sorry.” As I said in my last column – it’s always best to just tell the truth. I will illustrate why I share this bold truth with my clients.
What an amazing day it was on this incredible September morning 17 years ago. Markowitz Communications was hired to help promote and publicize the first Krispy Kreme Doughnut (KKD) location and its grand opening in the Pittsburgh region. (Who doesn’t love a yummy, hot, glazed doughnut, right?) We began PR-ing a few months before the grand opening. We decided to invite two guys dressed as “secret service” agents to arrive at the construction site driving a car wrapped with the KKD logo. With every major media outlet present, the guys stepped out of the car and delivered the first dozen doughnuts to Pittsburgh. Let the hype begin!!
It took a few more months before the building was completed. We continued building positive hype. Suddenly, people couldn’t wait for opening day and the site of the “Hot Doughnuts Now” sign. We found people locally who would do anything to get their hands on one of these doughnuts. They were all willing to talk to members of the media and help us continue building awareness for the grand opening.
Where to go from here? Got it! Let’s have a contest to help bring more people to and build more hype for the grand opening. Here’s what we’ll do (this worked for all nine previous KKD locations we promoted and opened in the tri-state area) … Are you ready? “The first one in line for the grand opening will receive FREE KKD DOUGHNUTS FOR A FULL YEAR!”