Street Performance Art Vs. PR Principle, Part 3

A view of the street performance artist on a Sunday afternoon along Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. (Inside Edge PR photo)

In the first two segments of this three-part series, we examined the actions of a street performer that my family recently came across on The Magnificent Mile in Chicago.

Spray-painted silver, dressed in flashy attire and sporting a bright red head of hair, he cut a striking figure as he stood perfectly still atop a box. There he waited for passers-by to make donations, which according to a sign he had posted were the fuel that put him into motion.

Alas, the money didn’t come quickly or significantly enough to his liking. So he stepped down to the sidewalk and had a bit of a prima donna moment:

“I’m going to take a break,” he declared loudly while shaking his head. “I guess you just don’t have it.”

Little was he aware that he had provided three lessons for marketing and public relations professionals. The first two:

*Our Audience is in a Continual State of Flux—so keep that truth in mind and use it to your advantage.

*Our Audience May Need to See a Little More—so don’t be shy about showing them something of value. It doesn’t mean you’re getting ripped off.

In this third, and final, installment, we dig into perhaps the most important lesson unwittingly conveyed by our prima donna street performer. It’s so significant because it transcends the first-impression scenario associated with the first two lessons.

In fact, this principle relates to every step in every relationship you ever have:

Our Audience Will Always Remember How We Made Them Feel

It’s easy to get angry or frustrated when things don’t go our way. It’s much tougher, and wiser, to exercise self-control and make the best of a less-than-ideal situation.

So rather than vent at a prospect who doesn’t “have it” (to use the street performer’s terminology), keep in mind the emotion that you want people to walk away with. Not only is it much more profitable but it simply feels a lot better to have people feeling positive, rather than negative, about themselves, about you and about whatever it was you were discussing.

Relevant case in point: Pharrell’s hit song, “Happy,” preceded our catching sight of the street performer and laid the groundwork for a feel-good experience.

The memory for everyone involved would have had a much more pleasant aftertaste if the performer had wrapped up the interaction with something other than contempt. One alternative:

“I’m going to take a break. You have been a great audience. If you have enjoyed yourself, please consider leaving a little money behind. In a few minutes, I will be back in action.”

When it comes to that sort of PR sense, though, I guess he just didn’t have it.

Related Posts:
3 Ways to Pump Up Your Next Business Open House
3 Signs That You May Have a Deadbet Prospect–So Run in the Other Direction!

Street Performance Art Vs. PR Principle, Part 2

An accomplished street performer, much of his work entails waiting for someone to make a donation. (Inside Edge PR photo)

In the previous post, we took you along to The Magnificent Mile in Chicago, where a street performer was standing perfectly still atop a box.

Spray-painted silver, dressed in flashy attire and sporting an eye-grabbing hair-do, he was waiting for passers-by to make donations that were a pre-requisite for him to swing into action.

When the money wasn’t flowing swiftly or sufficiently enough for his taste, he stepped down to the sidewalk and lectured the audience.

“I’m going to take a break,” he declared loudly while shaking his head. “I guess you just don’t have it.”

The prima donna moment contains three lessons for Chicago marketing and public relations professionals. The first, already noted, is that Our Audience Is in a Continual State of Flux—so keep it in mind and use it to your advantage.

In this second installment, we address a second lesson:

Our Audience May Need to See a Little More

Surely more than a few of us would have been glad to contribute something to our temperamental street performer. All they needed was a little more time, and probably a little more action from him.

Same goes for professionals in any field. So rather than engage in a stand-off where you try to get the other party to blink (i.e. to hire you), use that “down time” more productively by offering something of value to your prospective customers.

For example, take a few minutes and send a few relevant tips that you come across—or better yet, that you create yourself—and which you think might help someone in leading their organization.

Also, whenever I meet with a prospect, I’m glad to offer some verbal PR counsel based on their unique background, goals and set of circumstances. I don’t give away the store, but offering “samples”—to borrow from the oft-used grocery store practice—is an effective way of showing, not merely telling, how I can help a potential client.