Communicating Lasting Impressions

3 Public Relations and Marketing Lessons Inspired by Nature

<< back

Nature can teach us, if we’ll listen and observe. Recently, I was inspired to discover the amazing connection between what nature knows and the work we do in public relations and marketing.

public relations marketing lesson from butterfly and chrysalisHere are three lessons I’ve learned:

You must get noticed

A peacock fans its feathers producing a show-stopping display of color. Sunrises and sunsets are so captivating that television meteorologists include viewers’ photos of them on their broadcasts and social media pages. A spider weaves an intricate web that gives one pause to observe, if you’re lucky enough not to walk through it first! Examples are everywhere in nature.

Likewise, in public relations and marketing we use a variety of strategies to get clients noticed. We work with the media to tell their story. We use social media to connect and build engagement with target audiences and influencers. We create marketing collateral to explain products and services.

Relationships matter

Hummingbirds draw nectar as nourishment from flowers while serving as pollinators. Cows stir up insects that egrets gobble up. Ladybugs eat aphids on daylilies, thereby enabling the flowers to thrive.

In public relations and marketing, our very survival is based on mutually advantageous relationships such as those found in nature. That’s why the Public Relations Society of America defines PR in this way:

Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

Sometimes we meet with stakeholders in one-on-one meetings. At other times, we gather a larger community together and ask for feedback. Regardless of the format, public relations professionals know that building relationships matters.

Change is good

Chameleons change colors. Crawfish molt. Deciduous trees drop their leaves. Butterflies burst from chrysalises. Just as nature changes, those of us in public relations and marketing must adapt and change with our profession.

In recent years, we’ve embraced new technologies and media channels. We’ve added permission-based marketing strategies to our toolboxes and become masters at content marketing. We more quickly and efficiently deliver news to information-hungry consumers who expect instant news. And as the influential voice of these stakeholders has grown, we’ve engaged them in meaningful dialogue to build valuable relationships.

I love this saying from Albert Einstein, as he obviously understood the power of nature: Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.

So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to step outside for some fresh air. Maybe I’ll be fortunate enough to see a bird or a butterfly and learn a new lesson from nature about public relations and marketing.