I recently had the esteemed pleasure of taking an opportunity extended to Florida students by the Florida Public Relations Association to take a PR tour of the Disney headquarters. I was too excited! We heard from people in all areas of PR at Disney, and I learned ohhhh-so-much.
· It’s all in the details. Disney considers everything down to the type/color of leaves on the trees. With such a huge campus (Disney spans 43 square miles – twice the size of Manhattan), why be so excruciatingly thorough? Disney understands that details add to their competitive edge, and they continue to invest in every aspect of their brand and product.
· Monitor the press and be the first to tell the story. With a name as hefty as Disney’s is, press, both official and unofficial, always want to be the first to report on what may be going on at the parks. By Disney being the first to break a story to the audience (before rumors circulate), it allows them to control the message – its content, look, feel, etc.
· Everything is based on a strategy. No strategy is a waste of resources. The most gianormous of ideas have to start from a foundation or a baseline. If you don't have a blueprint to refer back to when navigating your PR journey, you can very easily lose sight of how to be most effective in your tactical methods.
· Success results from great partnerships. They’ve recently created a commercial that had Samantha Brown, from the Travel Channel. Disney has also made what I consider to be a brilliant PR move – worked with Travelocity, Expedia & Orbitz to help establish them as leaders in the travel industry. For obvious reasons (Disney is one of the top travel destinations in the country), this partnership is a strategic one.
· Storytelling is important in PR. Go ahead and call yourself Dr. Seuss. Why should anyone listen to you if you don't make your news relevant? Or interesting? Part of what I've learned in PR is to make sure that your news is actually news. Can't do that unless the public cares about your story.
· Study your publics closely. Disney is now a global brand – moving to different continents to share the happiness. When working with countries who aren’t as familiar with their brand, they have to be sure to tread with caution and respect all cultures, and their respective audiences.
Quite a few lessons can be learned from the people who run the happiest place in the world, right? ;)
Smooches - until next time,