Off The Record: I Have a Motherload of a PR Problem.

May 3, 2010

Every now and then I’m compelled to write about something that doesn’t really have to do with tech PR. That is one of the many things that separates us (BPR) from them (cookie cutter agency). While they feel their blog is only a new business driver – hence the silly “we’d love to chat with you about how you can make your XYZ campaign come to life” – I choose to mix it up a bit, like a big bowl of Jelly Bellies. You get some PR, some social media, occasional rants about the nonsense of big agencies, a little bit of rock n roll, and sometimes…other. Today’s post falls in the other category, however I’m sure for many it’s a relevant topic nonetheless; how to navigate Mother’s Day when you have wacky family. The PR part of this is how to uphold the perception that we’re a “normal family” while the reality is…well maybe we are normal.

I come from a big, loud family where nothing is ever off-limits, and there is no such thing as off the record. It’s nice having a family that’s so passionate about everything, but it also creates the occasional mayhem which is magnified during family events and holidays. Since Mother’s Day is just around the corner, the Barokas Crazy Train is chugging up the rails headed toward a crash come Sunday morning. And since I see the world through the lens of a PR person, I thought I’d look at this situation as a PR problem or a case study. Something like this:

Situation: Three siblings, three spouses, their six kids, a crazy aunt in California, and mom and dad. At any given time someone isn’t talking to someone because of something that happened or was said.

Challenge: Holiday approaching – meal(s) being planned – person 1 won’t attend if person 2 is going to be there. People 5&6 also have issue with person 2. And person 8 has issue with person 6 – which means those two cannot be in the same room.

Solution: Well this is the tricky part. We could have three separate Mother’s Day celebrations on the same day, but I’m pretty sure Mom Barokas wouldn’t want that. We could be out of town – good option but it’s too close to the day to plan a trip now – we’d be caught. Ban everything: a sure way to not see anyone, but likely to piss off mom. Try to use the holiday as a way to bring everyone together and let bygones be bygones; yeah like that would ever happen.

I think the only way we’re all going be together on Sunday is – unfortunately – if one of us ends up in the hospital. That seems to be the only guaranteed way to move the family in the same direction. Either that or we need a miracle. That’s it – a miracle. A miracle that only someone as mighty and powerful as Michael Arrington can make happen. I need to find Arrington in the Emerald City and have him wave his wand to make everything okay. He’d wave his wand for a family in need, right?

I’m off to find The Arrington. Good luck with your Mother’s Day plans and your normal family.


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