For the first time in 33 years, we experienced the combo platter of a lunar eclipse and a ‘Supermoon.’ And while the astronomers of the world were freaking out, as well as the random Wiccan, this special moment created many special pictures.
Oddly enough, as darkness loomed overhead and we strained to watch for a different view of something we see every day, that created another picture for some us—there are some stark reminders about the PR industry here.
You laugh, but wait and see how that earthen shadow reminds you of this fabled industry. Here are this week’s #5Things: the five things PR pros can learn from the lunar eclipse.
1. It may feel like it, but it’s not the end of the world.
Ever had one of those days? You’re in the cube, head down, pining away at your latest document and then it happens. Your client calls with a fresh batch of hair en fuego! You forgot a deadline, didn’t delegate properly, or something happened that you don’t even control…and now, someone wants to have a chat.
That’s what this bloodmoon eclipse does to certain religious groups of people—just ask the Mormons or this preacher guy. For some this bloodmoon (or that dreaded phone call) create the fear of God (literally). For others, it’s just another day. How you respond is all up to you.
2. Things always get in the way.
Show of hands: How many PR cats and kittens out there make a daily or weekly to-do list? Now, put your hands down if that list is blown to hell within 10 minutes of your Monday coffee. That’s what we thought.
Much like the earth refusing to get out of the way of the sun, the looming shadow of that “Oh crap” moment is much more frequent than every 33 years. And when it does slam in front of your assumed momentum, you have to roll with it. PR is not one of those careers where you can write a schedule in permanent marker. But that’s what we love about it… even if the view does get obscured from time-to-time.
3. Teamwork makes the dreamwork.
The astrological anomaly that occurred this past weekend is actually a mix of a couple of things—the moon is closest to earth in its orbit (a big moon), will coincide with a lunar eclipse, leaving the moon in Earth’s shadow (the crimson hue).
The two happen but rarely together, and when it does, magic happens. (Literally. Some coven was probably out smacking on some 2 a.m. popcorn this morning.) Your agency is the same way—things work well when you are huddled over your laptop but tend to work better when have people helping the ideas flow. Clients appreciate that stuff too.
4. PR bites sometimes.
Admit it. We’ve all had those days when we write something carefully, proofread it meticulously, and then the first person that looks at your document says within 10 seconds, “Is that how you spell p-u-b-l-i-c?” You know you left out that one letter causing you some serious embarrassment, but just never saw it. Sometimes, it’s as if PR was meant to take a big wet chomp out of your behind.
Did you know the lunar eclipse really was meant to convey that? Back when the first eclipse was seen in ancient China (@1050 BCE), it caused a good scare. In fact, the Chinese navy fired cannons into the sky because they thought some mystical dragon named Suphattra China (that’s him pictured) was eating the moon. Yes, eclipse means chih or, in English, “to eat.” See? PR isn’t so bad. Even the moon gets a chewing out every once in a while.
5. Good thinking can save your work (among other things).
It was his fourth trip to “the United States” (shout out to history conspiracy theorists) when Christopher Columbus found himself in a life-threatening ballyhoo. It was on the island of Jamaica during a balmy February in 1504. He, and his merry men, were wearing out their welcome, eating like pigs, and taking many natural supplies for the trek back home. The natives—as it were—got a little restless and voiced their opinion to the point of death threats. Columbus had an almanac and said that if the men didn’t mind their manners and continue to feed his crew, that the moon would disappear. It did and Columbus made it back home in one piece.
Good thinking like that can help your outreach. What do you know that others don’t? What can you do that the others can’t? Figuring out how to use your skills and apply your knowledge makes you stand out in this industry. That’s how you gain credibility, visibility, and a little liquidity (that’s cash for those of us not caring about economics). What big idea have you been sitting on? What tool can you use in PR to gain a one-up on the competition? Don’t be afraid to stretch when you think it’s dark. You may just end up in the spotlight.
[PHOTO CREDIT Featured Image: NASA/Bill Ingalls]