Navigating an Unexpected Adventure: From LinkedIn to Editors to Actors, Griffin Strategies' Team Wears Many Hats
In the world of PR and communications, it’s funny how something can start off as a simple project and lead you on an unexpected adventure. The Griffin Strategies team is known to wear many hats, but after recently finding ourselves on the set of a “submarine” for a full-length movie, we realized just how often we are called to navigate through uncharted waters with our clients.
It all started with a LinkedIn invitation last June. Throughout the course of my writing and editing career, I’ve managed to take on the role of copy editor in each position, and as a result, had those experiences listed on my profile. (Note to those of you who don’t see the value of LinkedIn – keywords are a powerful tool that will help people find you!) Our now-client David Sullivan was searching for copy editors in Dallas and stumbled upon my LinkedIn profile.
A little background on David Sullivan: David is a member of the DFW Association for Psychological Type, which focuses on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) for different personality types. David is currently producing a full-length film, “Christmas With Winston,” to be used for training purposes within companies to help build self-awareness and understanding of others within the context of multiple business operational challenges.
David approached us with a simple request – to have Griffin Strategies copy edit rough scripts he’d written for the film. So we put on our editor hats and were happy to help. But what started as a very narrow scope began to expand into other areas. Could we look at this training module and see if it makes sense? Of course. We put on our consulting hats and offered some advice. Then after giving each of us an MBTI personality test, he offered us a chance to climb aboard his big adventure, asking if we would like to be actors in his film. So, for the first time since ninth grade, I brushed the dust off my old acting hat and wore it alongside Allison a couple of weekends back.
I think we surprised ourselves that day. According to David, we did a pretty decent job in our acting gigs as sailors aboard a submarine in the midst of stressful conditions and with a big mission to fulfill. He’s already planning the next scene for us. And Allison and I are looking forward to the next part of the journey!
This experience makes me think there’s something to be said about the relationships we build with our clients. David isn’t the first to come to us with a simple request that has ballooned into something much more involved. As PR professionals, clients depend on our expertise to guide them through every step – even for processes they have yet to think up. We, in turn, are open to new opportunities and new adventures that come with this career, performing our due diligence and doing our very best to steer our clients down the right path.
By the way – if your company’s HR team is someday watching “Christmas With Winston,” keep an eye out for two PR professionals steering a submarine!
Every once in a while, there are moments so humiliating and reputation damaging that it’s difficult to foresee any possible way to fix the viral media sensation you’ve created. Last Sunday, the country cringed in unison as 2013 Miss Utah Marissa Powell gave quite possibly the worst response to a Miss USA interview question since the “everywhere like such as” answer Miss Teen USA South Carolina gave during her interview in 2007.
In case you missed Sunday’s round of Miss USA events, Powell was asked to answer a seemingly simple question: A recent report shows that in 40 percent of American families with children, women are the primary earners, yet they continue to earn less than men. What does this say about society? Her response:
“I think we can relate this back to education and how we are continuing to try to strive to... figure out how to create jobs right now. That’s the biggest problem and I think, especially the men, are, uh, seen as the leaders of this and so we need to try and figure out how to create education better so we can solve this problem.”
It was certainly not Miss Powell’s brightest moment. Was it personal humiliation? Absolutely. Could she have let it define her, and thus potentially ruin her future career? No doubt about it. But let it define her, she did not. Three days later, TV personality Jimmy Kimmel invited Powell onto his show, where she cleverly redeemed herself – in song, and she had the chance to explain her fumbled answer on the “Today” show.
How you handle a situation is how you define yourself, and in this case, Powell set a perfect example for how PR professionals should handle their clients’ not-so-shining moments. Rather than hide from it, bury it and hope everyone forgets (they won’t), or let it build up beyond the point of no return, Powell decided to tackle her slip-up head on, and that’s exactly what we as PR professionals sometimes have to remind our clients -- and ourselves -- to do as well. Be honest, explain yourself without over-excusing yourself, and don’t take yourself too seriously. As Tiger Woods said after his far worse moments of humiliation, “If you can’t laugh at yourself, then who can you laugh at?”