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From 1983 until 1994, PBS aired The Joy of Painting, which featured the always good-natured Bob Ross demonstrating wet-on-wet oil painting. While it doesn’t sound like a show that would attract a large audience, the show—and Bob’s folksy, conversational teaching style—enjoyed a surge of popularity thanks to reruns that appear on YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime and other streaming services. I rediscovered the show when I was looking for something relaxing to watch during a bout of insomnia, and it struck me that some of his frequently expressions could apply to PR, marketing and other media intelligence professionals.
The Joy of Painting might not have achieved its cult-following except for one fact: Bob Ross kept the banter flowing, entertaining audiences with, as Mental Floss puts it, his charming “verbal poetry.” How can they be applied to working with media data.
1. “Everyone wants to enjoy the good parts—but you have to build the framework first.”
Before getting to the good stuff—including media intelligence that drives smarter decision making—PR, marketing and others need the right strategies in place. This includes identifying the KPIs that actually prove ROI of your PR and marketing efforts, establishing a process for finding and analyzing relevant media data and investing in the right media monitoring tools to empower discovery and sharing.
2. “It’s hard to see things when you’re too close. Take a step back and look.”
Should you be looking at a challenge from a different point of view? When it feels like your PR or marketing is falling flat, media monitoring can bring emerging trends, new audiences or competitive threats to the surface, allowing you to stay flexible and adapt as you gain new insights.
3. “All it takes is just a little change of perspective and you begin to see a whole new world.”
Faced with a constant onslaught of media, it’s easy to lose your way. Media analytics can help you filter out the distractions, so you can see you brand reputation the way others do—and capitalize on this different world view.
4. “There's no trick to pulling a rabbit out of a hat; it's getting the rabbit in there that's hard.”
Your C-suite, colleagues and clients are looking for the end-result—the rabbit-out-of-the-hat moment that informs them what their next move should be. But delivering those insights requires some hard work, especially if you’re chasing rabbits across the open web. Utilizing a media monitoring and analysis solution that brings together print and web news, as well as broadcast and social media, helps you avoid going down another rabbit hole and really wow your stakeholders.
5. “Go out on a limb—that’s where the fruit is.”
In the corporate world, risk and reward often go hand in hand. By capturing business intelligence with media monitoring and analysis, you can not only identify the ‘limbs’ that will likely bear fruit—such as finding key influencers to champion your brand or new markets to explore—but you can also spot the low-hanging fruit that is ripe for the taking.
Not all creative advice from Bob Ross applies to PR and marketing. He was fond of saying, for example, “We don’t make mistakes—only happy little accidents.” A perfect attitude for paintings (or Pinterest projects), but not one to embrace in the midst of a PR crisis. Still, after a long day at the office, what could be more relaxing than this soft-spoken PBS painting guru and his majestic mountains, happy little trees, fluffy clouds and permanently positive attitude?