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LEGOs Are Like Public Relations

LEGOs are awesome. We have too many pieces to count in our home, as many families do. Coming in every size, shape and color, they form a happy rainbow that (despite my wife’s warnings) I have ineffectively tried to tame by sorting into plastic containers.
Spilling one of those boxes of unsorted bricks onto the floor, my kids and I can spend hours shaping creations limited only by our imaginations.

But as the creations become more complicated, Daddy realizes the most amazing builds need to be guided. So we begin to devise a plan to complete the most amazing spaceship-dinosaur-dump-truck-with-laser-cannons-and-wheels-for-lunar-landings that you’ve ever seen. (Patent pending.)

Same goes in the PR world: You can’t possibly secure great publicity or spread your client’s message without first devising your plan.

Here’s what building LEGOs has taught me about public relations:

  1. Understand what you want to accomplish. What are you trying to create, and why? What should the finished product look like, and how much room do you want or need to leave for spontaneous creativity? A balance of careful planning and flexibility for unforeseen opportunities for creativity can be a good mix.
  2. Have the raw materials and the time you need to do the job. Do you have what you need to make your vision come to life? Where are the gaps? Can you create what you need to in the time allotted? Have you considered what happens if you need to delay something? Do you need to make changes based on these criteria, and will the changes negatively affect the final product?
  3. Sketch out the final product and the steps needed to get there. Before you put the roof on your house (or the LEGO satellite dish on top of your moon base), you need to build foundations, walls, doors and windows first. They need to be strong enough to support what’s being piled on top of it, and they need to stand up straight. Similarly, get your facts straight about your subject matter before you go emailing reporters with ideas.
  4. Execute with joy. Get to doin’ and make your thing. Keep moving ahead. Don’t get stuck on a singular detail, or you will never get to the end. Quality check every step. Mistakes are costly and force you to retrace your steps to correct the error.
  5. Share and make people happy. There’s nothing more satisfying than giving your creation to your little construction buddy for him or her to play with. Similarly, deliver the fruits of your labor to your client. Savor the success.

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Vice President, Public Relations

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