(Advance warning: The following blog contains as many as ten animal / bird / fish / natural world metaphors, and all of them are equally important, to explain how fantastic we are here at Small Man Media)
So. Let’s say you have gone and got yourself a PR team sorted. We know how excited you must be because, like birds of paradise, PR people are rare and beautiful things (well, good ones are, anyway) to be admired and treasured. And, like big old fluffy dogs, they are loyal and affectionate and will repay your interest in them three times over. And, like Mogwai, you cannot feed them after midnight or they will turn into Gremlins.
Actually, PR people ARE like Mogwai, and we don’t mean that we are small (which we are not), fluffy (which we are) and we give birth when you spill water on our backs (no comment). No, what we mean is that you can enjoy a long and loving relationship with us if you remember a few simple… We won’t call them rules because that makes us sound like dictators, when we are in fact your most humble servants. Let’s call them ‘Things To Remember To Get The Very Best Out Of Your PR’ – commit them to your mind and you’ll always get the biggest yield of coverage milk from your PR cow. How many animals is that? Four already, five if you count Mogwai and Gremlins as different species? Wow, we’re on fire.
Okay, on with the things…
THING #1: SYMBIOSIS
Symbiosis. Isn’t that a lovely word? It sounds like the title of a percussion-heavy jazz album from the 1970s, but actually it means a natural relationship that benefits and serves both parties involved, due to the way in which their abilities or activities compliment each other for mutual gain.
A good example of a symbiotic relationship is the one that exists between the cleaner wrasse fish, and larger fish such as sharks. In this relationship, the sharks allow the cleaner wrasse to swim into their mouths. But, rather than being eaten, the wrasse then does the eating itself, nibbling away all the parasites that live in your average shark’s mouth. The wrasse gets a lovely meal and manages to survive a trip into the gob of an animal that would usually want to eat it; the shark gets a fine pearly-white set of teeth. That’s symbiosis at work.
We’re not going to be picking any parasites from off our clients’ teeth – we’re sure there are agencies out there who would but we just don’t need the work that badly – but we like to think of ourselves as industrious like cleaner wrasses, and helping out the big fish which are both the clients for whom we work, and the publications, websites, blogs, radio and TV shows to whom we pitch. Clients provide the very finest, most vibrant products that they can, which means that our working days are more fun; and so we get inspired to come up with genius ideas like the Cross Office Dog Of The Year contest and get them lots of commensurately vibrant coverage. Making the Small Man Media coral reef a happy place, like in Finding Nemo. Symbiosis, kids – it’s the way forward.
THING #2: WE’RE LIKE A BIRD (BUT A WEIRD HYBRID ONE)
When we talk of being like a bird, we don’t mean that we’re channelling Nelly Furtado here. No, we prefer to think of ourselves as taking an owl-slash-pigeon-slash-magpie approach to our work here at Small Man. To explain…
LIKE AN OWL! We may not have a fully-rotating 360-degree-swivelling head, but we like to think that see all the angles, in much the way that an owl can. And this is what makes us so very wise.
LIKE A PIGEON! Fascinating fact: Pigeons process visual information four times faster than humans. Seriously, the way that their brains work is that they work out visual stimuli at four times human speed, so that, to them, a car travelling towards them at 40mph appears to be moving at 10mph.
This is why they always take off so late when you think your car’s gonna hit ’em. They’re not stupid, they’re just in a state of calm because they have a quicker brain than the average bird, and so can exist in a world free of stress and rushed decisions. You see where we’re going with this?
LIKE A MAGPIE! Because we like things with a bit of sparkle to them and we’re happy to take them and use them to form an even finer structure, in much the same way that a magpie builds its flashy nest.
So yeah. We’re a bizarre yet beautiful gene-spliced hybrid of owl, pigeon and magpie – who wouldn’t want one of those in their metaphorical aviary?
THING #3: THE DR DOOLITTLE APPROACH
As Sir Cliff Richard once sang: It’s so funny, how we don’t talk any more. Except it’s not really funny, is it? It’s a crying shame, like the bit in Bambi when his mum gets shot. Poor, poor little Bambi, lying next to his dying mummy… What? No, we’re not crying, we’ve just got something in our eye.
We’ll admit it to you: We’re talkers here at Small Man Media, and if we’re not being talkers, then we’re being listeners. Emailing is fine and everything, but emails get deleted, ignored, diverted unfairly into junk folders or simply shunted to the end of an ever-growing queue. Nope, we’d much rather talk to our clients, preferably over a cup of coffee and numerous biscuit, which is why we’ve just bought the office a fancy new coffee-maker.
You see, we know that it is in the ebb and flow of conversation, the back and forth of the exchange of ideas, that genius concepts are born. For was it not in the swelling and subsiding of the ocean tide that life on Earth itself was formed [we think you may be pushing this theme a bit too far now Pete – Ben and Rach]?
The other good thing about talking is that you also get to listen, and be listened to. Talk and listen. Yin and yang. The very balance of life [see, this is better, keep going – Ben and Rach]. The giving and the taking of information; the absorption of concepts and themes, however bizarre; the offering up of fanciful notions and hare-brained schemes; a chance remark about a stupendously absurd gif or terrible TV advert someone may have seen; even a nice meal we may have had – as Dr Doolittle might tell you, it’s amazing what can come out of talking and listening. And, of course, those are two things that an email or a tweet just cannot do.
So, as you may have noticed, there was a bit of a ‘natural world’ theme to this latest blog, but then here at Small Man Media, we are PR naturals. And as you can see, we’re birds of paradise, big fluffy dogs, Mogwai, cows, big fish, little fish, owls, pigeons, magpies, the ebb and flow of the tides and the very balance of life on this planet, as well, all rolled into a package as fluffy as a gosling. So drop us a line at facebook.com/smallmanmedia or at @smallmanmedia on Twitter and we can tell you how we can give you a sprinkling of our animal magic. You know that Sir David, below, would approve.