You like music, right? Sure you do! Inspirational stories? Check. And you have a spare couple hours, yes? (Don’t worry, PR pro – Twitter will still be there if you leave it alone for a while. Promise.) Then make sure to watch Standing in the Shadows of Motown, the excellent documentary film that chronicles the legendary history of the Funk Brothers.
As the house band for Motown Records artists, the Funk Brothers are the musical groove and vibe you hear alongside the vocals on such diverse classics as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “Reach Out (I’ll Be There),” “Baby Love,” “What’s Going On,” “Papa Was A Rolling Stone,” and “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” amongst others. As the film notes, all together their songs produced more #1 hits than the Beatles, Elvis, Rolling Stones and Beach Boys combined.
Still, while the film coasts on emotional highs, it doesn’t mince words when it comes to the flimsy credit the Funk Brothers received for their master work product. Almost entirely overlooked for their unparalleled contributions to popular music, the Funk Brothers lost much-deserved fame and glory while their singing counterparts grabbed the spotlight. Their music is the soundtrack to our lives, but we don’t even know who they are!
And that’s where we find a key lesson in smart business public relations: The most effective publicity, hands down, recognizes and values all customers, stakeholders and parties that contribute to a company’s success. The feedback you get from these groups no doubt has helped improve your business, so why not honor that effort? Your PR outreach will never suffer from a few extra thank-you’s to those who make it happen.
Take inventory of everyone who’s helped your company grab market share, and empower them to talk, chatter, tweet, and brag about how great your widgets are. Besides, if third-parties are encouraged to celebrate your business, you’ve eliminated a good chunk of work-load and can leverage your resources toward other key pursuits.
The most revolutionary ideas are rarely born in a vacuum, so give credit where it’s due. The Funk Brothers will certainly thank you for it!