Honey and Flies: A Lesson In Good PR
Everyone’s heard the expression, “you attract more flies with honey than vinegar.” While no one’s really interested in catching flies, the sentiment, though clichéd, is true. It’s a good guideline to live your life by, and to also conduct public relations for a company.
Sound silly? Here’s a recent example of a company doing just that.
Normally concerned with crafting top-notch whiskey, the Jack Daniels company recently had to take a stand in protecting their brand. A book that was in no way affiliated with the whiskey company featured a cover design that was very similar to the Jack Daniels trademark. The author, Patrick Wensink, was sent a cease-and-desist letter from the company, and unlike many legal disputes, the content was respectful, helpful, and downright polite.
An attorney representing Jack Daniels talked of being ‘flattered’ by the mimicry. Without being threatening, the letter goes on to request that the cover be changed when the book is re-printed. They even offered to pay for a new design.
What did all of this get Jack Daniels? Besides a few karmic points, they are garnering great press with an incident that normally wouldn’t have been noticed. The company did everything right with this one. They not only protected their brand, but behaved like decent human beings; a win for Jack Daniels, a win for the author, and a win for good PR.
So what can we learn from this? Quite simply, be a human being and be nice. Sounds pretty easy, but in legal matters this can often prove to be difficult. But if a company wants to succeed, it needs to take the time to reach out and be kind in any situation—even if that means writing a cease-and-desist letter that goes beyond the standard boiler plate text.
And then who knows? Maybe someone will pick up the story and decide to write a blog post about it. And in this age of social media, that’s as good as gold.