St. Patrick’s Day Lessons for PR Professionals
“Something terrible has happened; the Irish have become hard-working and sober.”
This was the view of Homer Simpson’s when he and his family visited the Emerald Isle, back on St. Patrick’s Day 2009. It was a positive stereotype, which was nice for a change. But there is no fun in that.
We’re all looking forward to celebrating the national day of Ireland (and apparently Montserrat!). So to put everybody in the mood, here are some lessons on what to do if using St. Patrick’s Day for PR.
1. Know your flags
It’s an easy mistake to make. Last year it was the turn of Wayne Rooney to confuse the flag of the Ivory Coast with that of Ireland. He quickly spotted his mistake, so I’m sure his Irish Granny would forgive him.
2. Know your Shamrocks from your clovers
I could use this as an opportunity to bash Donald Trump. Instead let’s look closer to home and Guinness. They really should have known better than this promotional poster…
3. Know your history
It pays to do your research, especially when you’re going to brand your product using a term from the annals of history. Bottom of the class is Nike. Here is a lovely pair of runners, launched just in time for St. Patrick’s Day 2012. In tribute, seemingly to stout, they called it the ‘Black and Tan.’ Face palm!
4. Know your geography
If you’re going to trade off St. Patrick’s day it’s useful to know where Ireland is. Or indeed where it isn’t. Check out McDonald’s launching this year’s Shamrock Shake. Is that Stonehenge and bagpipes I see? At least it wasn’t a clover shake.
5. Know your Patricks from your Pattys and your Paddys
Every year we are subjected to an epidemic of “St Patty’s Day” from our diaspora across the big pond. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never met anyone called Patty. If you must abbreviate, and please try to avoid it, “Paddy’s Day” is the only one that is acceptable.
6. Be Authentic
Finally (because there had to be a serious point), be authentic. To successfully use any special day, event or occasion for PR, you must be authentic, genuine, and heartfelt. Your customers will thank you for it.
With that in mind, why not take 3 minutes out to watch the 2014 gold star effort of the Irish Government, “Ireland Inspires.”