I’ve always thought skunkworks projects were pretty sweet.
As a kid, I earned the name Fingers Armon because my friend Jimmy Fiddler and I disassembled lamps, radios, and other gear – rarely managing to put them back together properly. My respect for electricity came early, too, as I occasionally touched the wrong two wires and sustained some nasty shocks.
Fortunately, a career in media and PR has allowed me to avoid 110-volt jolts in favor of the intellectual and commercial buzz emanating from skunkworks inside the larger service providers and smaller shops alike.
Here are three innovations that PR practitioners should consider trying:
Every industry has its own vocabulary.
“ANFO” was lingo I learned in my first PR agency job, writing a monthly column called “Shot Rock” for Pit & Quarry magazine. My account was a commercial explosives business that had been spun off from DuPont, and ammonium nitrate was a mainstay for blasters.
At UPI, articles we promised to write for newspapers were called “skedders,” because they were scheduled ahead of time.
PR Newswire loved to refer to its clients’ heifers. It was newsroom lingo for “HFR — Hold for Call.” Nothing to do with cows.
Reviews from day one of the inaugural GoogaMooga food festival in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park were downright ugly. Gothamist advised attendees to:
- Bring your own toilet paper
- Prepare to wait 30-40 minutes in line for a wrist band so you can prove you’re over 21, and then an equally long time just to buy a beer
- Expect the beer to run out