There’s a mantra in PR that goes something like this: Write, edit or otherwise communicate in terms your mother can understand. The point, of course, is to avoid jargon that might prevent people from understanding a message.
If mothers are a PR litmus test, then perhaps a better question to ask is do our moms understand what PR pros do? That’s precisely the question Lou Hoffman, CEO of The Hoffman Agency posed to his mother, Ruth Hoffman, for something akin to a timely and well-conceived PR stunt.
Lou tipped his hand for his video plans in an interview with the gang of The Friday Hangout in late April. A week later he published the video shown nearby to his blog with a short post titled: Mother’s Day Special: PR Agency CEO Grills Mom on Public Relations Profession.
My favorite part of the interview is when Lou’s mother is asked if she knows the name of his blog. She does and didn’t even need to phone a friend for help. His blog is named Ishmael’s Corner – a reference to the narrator in the classic book Moby Dick – and a fitting title for a blog centered on corporate storytelling:
Ishmael is a fictional character in Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick (1851). A minor character, his importance derives from his function as the narrator of the book. In early literary criticism of Moby-Dick, he has been either mistaken for the author himself or been wholly overlooked. Yet from the mid-twentieth century onward, increasing attention to narrative technique, in addition to ongoing biographical research, revealed that Melville’s prose was no mere autobiography, served to establish Ishmael as a central force in the book.
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