Tom Ciesielka Lost on An Island

Sometimes a blog posting just writes itself. Recently an associate from the Society of Midland Authors wrote this mock bio of my life and career:

“Born in a log cabin on a barren desert island (all of whose trees had been cut down to build the cabin), Tom Ciesielka lived a life of grinding poverty until he discovered Gilligan on the other side of the island, along with the professor, Maryanne, the Millionaire, and his wife. From that moment on, he became aware of the power of public relations to relieve his plight, and using a satellite radio, created a website that he named Subsequently rescued and transferred to Chicago without a dime in his pocket, he went on to build the largest and most successful author-promotion PR firm in the city, despite a total lack of formal education. Tom also serves as a member of the board of directors of Save the Stranded, an international nonprofit that scans the globe for isolated islands that may contain marooned individuals.”

To avoid embarrassment (not sure to whom), I decided not to give full credit.


Bad Music Makes for Bad PR

Earlier this week I took the TC Public Relations team out for “TCPR Healthy Day.” The goal was to encourage our staff to think healthy while at work. I treated for lunch (had to be a salad or something non-greasy).

We went for a walk to Millennial Park because walking and salads are both very healthy. The connection is awesome for “TCPR Healthy Day.” Anyway, there was a band, if you can call them that, performing at the Pritzker Pavilion. They were simply awful. Everyone on my staff agreed, even though some have more progressive tastes in music than I do.

Here’s my point: many people from around the world come to Chicago to see a first class city and everyone within earshot of that “band” heard crap, to put it simply. The quality of the music was laughable in a painful way and gave a terrible impression to any listener (despite the free concert it was clear that most people wanted to stay away).

When it comes to public relations, keep in mind that what you say is heard beyond the scope you might have intended for it. So if you are making bad noise, there may be people who are listening that don’t want to listen and will remember your sour notes.


Scientist Names Catfish After Mailroom Boss

The headline for this post is taken from something in today’s Chicago Sun-Times. The story is that Frank Gallagher, who spent 37 years as a mail room supervisor at a natural science museum in Philadelphia (my home town), had a species of catfish named after him – rhinodoras gallagheri.

He got this new fame because of his dedication as an employee of this wonderful institution. While this story may seem funny, it brings forth an important truth – good guys and gals do win in the end. It may not happen right away or when you expect it. However, a good work ethic and persistence does pay off.

Many times clients of public relations agencies get frustrated when the media coverage does not come in as soon as possible and the amount of coverage is not to their liking. That’s understandable. Hiring a PR agency can be an expensive investment and a client wants to see a return ASAP. However, if the PR agency can show due diligence and strategic persistence, the client can win big in the end (and when it’s sooner than later everyone is happier).

The moral of this post? Despite the rush to use social media and Internet media to generate “fast” publicity, there is still something to be said for staying the course even when the fish still have not taken the hook!