A Public Relations Plan for the Month of November

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

November is like the Rodney Dangerfield of the 12 months of the year. It gets no respect.

I know:  November has the great American holiday of  Thanksgiving and Veteran’s Day, and lots of football.  General elections are held the first Tuesday in November. And, let’s include the “official” start of the holiday season, although Labor Day is making a strong bid for that distinction.  But I think most people would vote for June, July or August as their favorite months of the year.  I believe Europeans do, because I’ve read that most workers across the Atlantic get those three months off work — with pay.

"Back porch clouds" in Chicago on a November day.

“Back porch clouds” in Chicago on a November day.

I like November.  In fact, it’s my favorite month of the year because it ushers in — not just the holidays, which I certainly enjoy — but the cold, the bleak, the dark and the leafless time of the year.  At least that’s true here in Chicago and throughout much of the nation.  (You can get some darn good blogging in when it’s cold, bleak, dark and leafless.)

MamasPapasThe late John Phillips, leader of the Mamas and the Papas,  must have written the great song, California Dreamin in November.  After a cool minor-key acoustic guitar intro, the song opens with this couplet: “All the leaves are brown, and the sky is gray. I stopped in for a while, on a winter’s day.”

If you want to learn some facts about November, visit this post.  Nothing remarkable perhaps, except to those of us from a certain generation, those of us who remember President John F. Kennedy was assassinated November 23, 1963.

On this last day of November 2012, I offer the following.  I know: This is not a real public relations plan. It’s just a few objectives to begin a formal public relations plan to promote the benefits of the 11th month of the calendar year. But it’s a start.

1. Eleven Down and One to Go: Build awareness for the fact that November is the second-to-last month of the year. Think of the benefits: In November, there’s just one more month where consumers have to pay their mortgage and taxes.  One more month to attend school and work.  One more month of water bills. Then you’re done for the year!

2. Shop in Early November, Skate Through Most of December. The “Black Friday” shopping blitz marks the beginning of consumer madness at retail outlets from coast to coast.  Why not promote acceptance of insane holiday shopping starting November 1?  Why wait until the day after Thanksgiving?

3.  “Thirty Days Have September …” You know the rest of this slogan: “… April, June and November.”  That means November is among the four months of the year with 30 days.  (Let’s ignore the bastard month of February.)  Let’s build a movement to revel and awake during November — one of the four months with only 30 days on the calendar.

Now, it’s your turn: What thoughts do you have to share about November?

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From One PRDude to Another: My Q & A with That PRDude

By Edward M. Bury, APR, aka The PRDude

Those of us who call ourselves “dudes” and also call ourselves “public relations” professionals are a pretty rare breed.  But we’re out there.  Please reference this post from April of this year for more insight into other communicators who have reached the ranks of “Dudedom.”  Hey, there’s even a couple of “guys” out there who practice public relations.

Perhaps the most accurate definition of a dude is someone — more than likely a guy — who works with livestock. That person more than likely resides at a dude ranch, a place where I’m quite sure there are few public relations professionals.  Although, some of us in  the industry or other white collar professions may visit a dude ranch on vacation.  You know, like Billy Crystal and his buddies in the film City SlickersAnd, of course, Jeff Bridges played an iconic character called “The Dude” in The Big Lebowski.

I looked up the definition of the word “dude” in the online Urban Dictionary and got this one:  “A word that americans use to address each other. Particularly stoners, surfers and skaters.”  For the record, I ain’t none of the above, although I did try surfing once and used to play hockey.

Now on to the true subject for this post.  Earlier this week, The PRDude was featured in a post from blogger Hao Nguyen, a PR professional from Australia.  He blogs as That PR Dude and concentrates on a question and answer format as part of his Interview Series.  Frankly, I’m flattered to be featured and I plan to use the Q & A format myself soon.

From his online profile, I’m impressed by Hao, I mean, That PR Dude:

1. He’s a fellow Dude, and one who practices PR.

2. He’s young — 23 years old according to his site — and fully engaged in learning the skills needed to excel in the industry.

3. He’s crafted some pretty compelling posts.

4. He blogs through WordPress — just like The PRDude!

For more insight into my career, please read Hao’s post.  And, please visit his blog to learn more about Hao.  We’re on different sides of the world, and I’ve been in the industry a little longer — okay, a lot longer — than Hao.  But I gather we’re both passionate about ethical, effective public relations and its role in the world today.

Now it’s your turn: What’s your definition of a “dude?”

Seven Days After Sandy: A “Guest” Post

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The  PRDude)

Last time, I wrote a few thoughts about the latest natural disaster to strike our nation, what’s now called “superstorm” Sandy.  I tried to “make sense” of what happened to a big city like New York and small towns down the Jersey coast. If you missed the post, read on.

Tonight, a week after this devastating storm, I’m sharing this space with a very good friend, Paul Fetscher, who lived through Sandy.  He’s a native New Yorker who now lives in the town of Long Beach, New York, right on Long Island.  Here’s what he shared in thoughts and images:

Sandy was not kind to Long Beach. The Ocean met the Bay. Every street and home on the island got flooded.

Still no Water, Sewer, Electric, Heat or … Newspaper Delivery. OK. No mail either.

Needless to say, no internet, cell or email either.  I need to drive to Rockville Centre to batch send and receive emails.  That requires gas which is a scarce commodity. Gas lines if open are best part of a mile and about 3 hours long.

Estimates for water restoration are several days; power 10-14 Days and train service in Weeks.

Teams are here in force from the National Guard to Homeland Security and State Troopers to FEMA.

Apparently the City of Long Beach lost many of their vehicles. So we are seeing ambulances, fire trucks and police vehicles from throughout NY & NJ. The furthest helpers are Serve-Pro trucks from Jackson Mississippi.

Attitude is great!  Everyone is cooperative. Its reminiscent of the “Era of Good Feeling” after 9/11.

Long Beach is getting Red Cross relief and Meals Ready to Eat. Verizon has a station for short calls and phone charging.

We’ve got Helicopter patrols along the perimeter.

For three days we had road blocks manned by the State Troopers. They were assuring we had only residents coming in – keeping out the sight seers or potential looters.

The Rockaways also go hit by both the weather and some looters. No they’re pissed that they’re not getting the same TV coverage that Long Beach is. Same for Staten Island.

See, everyone is simply jealous of Long Beach.

I want to post a sign at the entry to Long Beach.

“Giant Multi Home Yard Sale”

And another in Island Park where there is a 40′ boat stranded just opposite the 7-11 parking lot.

“Boat for Sale
Water Extra”

And the adventure continues!  A good sense of humor helps a lot!

I’m actually enjoying cooking everything on a. BBQ from Bacon & Eggs to Pasta.  Roasting potatoes and Brussel Sprouts just take longer.

Since everyone is Safe and Sound, Its (sic) merely an inconvenience.

Thanks for your support.
Paul G W Fetscher CCIM SCLS

Note the optimism in Paul’s thoughts, and the humor.  How he equates the spirit of cooperation in his town to the “let’s pull together” spirit that arose following the terrorist attacks on September 11.  Yes, there’s no doubt that Long Beach will dry out and people will rebuild.  So will New York and the little towns up and down the Jersey shore.

This shake-your-fist-in-the-face-of-adversity attitude is distinctly American.  It’s present — or it should be — from Long Beach, New York to Long Beach, California.

On this evening, just hours from the opening of polls, just hours from the 2012 presidential election, I hope every American who is eligible will vote. Shake your fist in the face of the adversity our nation faces and cast your ballot. I’ll bet the polls will be open in Long Beach.