Fifteen hours after arriving in Kathmandu I thought it was a good time to check out the sites and get my bearings. And maybe figure out how to ride a motorcycle through Nepal.
I hired a driver out of the Summit Hotel to shuttle me around first to Swayambhunath Stupa (i.e. the Monkey Temple) then to the Thamel area to see where the tourists do their touristy things. As I was strolling through busy streets full of cars, people, bicycles and motorcycles moving in just about every direction one thought came to mind:
How exactly am I going to ride a motorcycle out of here in two days without hitting something?
Most companies start shopping for PR well after they need it. I see it a lot and am sure you’ve also heard way too many times executives say things like “get in here and get some early wins” by “picking the low hanging fruit.”
If this was football and I heard my coach say that, I’d think this is not a team built for the SuperBowl and I’d be calling Jerry Maguire to get me on a Chuck Knoll-led team ASAP.
So many companies shop for a PR solution in the way you run to Home Depot for a generator. The lights are out, the milk is getting warm and the kids are getting bored with Monopoly. Emotions run high and that strategic thinking that should be driving the decision for PR to support your business for the next few quarters gives way to buying tactics and ideas that feel good today.
Those are usually sexy and fun ideas or trick hook and lateral passing plays that get everyone stimulated like chugging a Red Bull to get ready for work – when you probably should just eat better and get more sleep.
As anyone who has ever worked with me has heard me say: Ideas are like belly buttons, everyone has one and most of them don’t work. I’m more interested in creating the right organizational design from which to execute ideas that align against specific business goals. And I want people on my team who thought to buy the generator on a sunny day. Those people win you championships and have great ideas!
Chuck Knoll won four SuperBowl championships as head coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers and was famous for saying that “Three things can happen when you throw the football. Two of them are bad.” He was renowned for running the ball in a cloud of dust and punting on 4th and inches. What gets lost is the foundation he built as an offense and defense that allowed him to run any kind of play.
Oddly, I’m a lifelong San Diego Chargers fan and love the passing game. But when it comes to PR, I am more in Chuck Knoll’s camp than Don “Air” Coryell’s of the 80s Chargers — and so should you.
SuperBowl championships as a franchise:
- Steelers: Six
- Chargers: Zero
I rest my case.
- Jose Mallabo
How the most and worst educated states voted in the US Presidential Election of 2012. There seems to be a correlation between college education and voting for Mr. Obama.
Who says education is overrated? Well, Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said so. He claims that an ‘uninformed electorate’ helped vote President Obama into a second term this past week. But apparently that is not the case. The states with the greatest levels of college education voted for Mr. Obama, not Mr. Romney.
You can have your own point of view but you can’t have your own facts.
There’s this great New Yorker cartoon of two women sitting at a meal. One woman says to the other:
“I started my vegeterianism for health reasons, then it became a moral choice, and now it’s just to annoy people.”
The fondest memories I have growing up weren’t of going to Disney Land or road tripping up the California Coast in the Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser (see the car from That 70′s Show). It was of hanging out with my family at a park in Long Beach on July 4th, 1976 — and every 4th of July after that. For the bicentennial, I wore some crazy red-white-and-blue plaid Garinamals outfit that looked like a wardrobe in a blender. My cousins were in the Navy and lived with us and it was so cool to hang out with them and tell other kids “they’re in the Navy!” In my head, that won me some social cred points.
What I remember most was the food.
It didn’t matter what the holiday was, what the state of the economy was, whether my parents had money or not — the spread was always big, always Filipino and anyone was welcome to it. My food is your food.
Straight out-of-the-ocean crabs, pancit, fried fish, rice, lumpia, dinuguan and desserts that challenge my Tagalog to remember. And if we were ‘lucky’ one of my aunts would bust out the much fabled-Filipino style spaghetti — yes, it has cut up hot dogs in it. I remember kids from other picnics at the park coming over and trying our food — some of them liked it, some ran back to their picnics thinking WTF was that?
My parents went through a lot to get to the the US and become citizens — and left a lot of family behind. But the food comes with us.
As my California-Northeast-Filipino palate woofed down some Southern inspired cooking today and sipped on sweat tea, I remembered those meals and this New Yorker cartoon and realize just how much picky eaters annoy the living crap out of me.
Picky eating is a first world problem. People in the developing world aren’t turning down hamburgers because there is a tomato on it and it annoys me when people do that. And no one ever died saying “golly gee, I sure am glad I never tried that plate of . . . that nice man offered me.”
The Fourth of July is the celebration of this country’s birthday — a birthday of immigrants and their food. So when you’re at that park BBQ or picnic reach over and grab a piece of something new or something you might even call foreign on any other day of the year. Remember, your exotic is someone else’s normal. Grab a little exotic even if you are a picky eater. It’s the American thing to do.
You can go back to annoying me tomorrow.
Happy Birthday, America.
And thanks mom and dad. I’m grateful to be here, but now I’m hungry.
- Jose Mallabo