By Rose Tantraphol
July 16, 2012
At staff this morning, we discussed our plans for tomorrow, when we’ll shut down the office for a few hours in the afternoon to head over to the beautiful Forest Akers Golf Course on Michigan State University’s campus for some golf instruction. We rarely shut down the office — even for a few hours — on non-holidays, but we’re making an exception this time, because high-quality golf instruction like the kind we’ll be receiving from PGA member Bryan Harris feels nothing short of being strategically critical to our firm.
If it sounds like I’m using fluffy business terms to justify our golf outing, please be assured I am not.
You see, we think we do a ton of things well when it comes to being a public relations and marketing communications firm — and we have the awards to prove it. We even joke around here that we’re the best-looking PR firm in town (before you guys at other firms protest, take a look at this cute face and tell me there isn’t some truth to that).
Where we don’t excel is . . . the golf course. Yes, we win awards — but of the “worst team” kind (not kidding). There is actually one person in the firm who plays golf quite well and actually likes it — and he’s one half of the dynamic duo who founded the firm. (His partner in crime would rather be fishing.) But these days, he doesn’t have time to get to the course much, between client work, being a good family man, raising a puppy (well, in the office we still call her a puppy, even though she’s technically not a puppy these days), and nursing his Martin obsession.
The rest of us? Amy could train a dog to kill you, if she wanted to (luckily, she doesn’t want to); Andrea can create a website and save the world in the time it takes the rest of us to take a good night’s rest; Naomi can out-cook, out-design and out-dress anyone; Scott is a black-belt in Okinawan karate and could mess you up if he wanted to (whether he wants to or not probably depends on your taste in music); Stacy is an Army mom who knows enough about explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) training that you wouldn’t want to get on her bad side (really — I don’t recommend it); Adrienne, our student practitioner this summer who commutes to our Lansing office from Ann Arbor four days a week, writes a weekly opinion column in The Michigan Daily and helps staff her family’s flower shop.
I’m a yoga instructor who practices yoga six days a week. I don’t bike, I don’t run, I don’t do cardio machines at the gym. I practice, teach, blog about, and travel to trainings specialized in Ashtanga yoga, which looks something like this.
The point is — like the rest of you, we are all really busy people. When we’re not at work, we’re doing something we’re equally passionate about. Golf happens to not be a passion for any of us.
But we know that when you work in the state’s capital on Capitol-related matters, it’s almost a matter of course that you’ll have to hit the course a few times during the warm months for various golf outings. Don’t get us wrong — we love our clients, colleagues and friends, and we want to support all their golf outings. The problem is, except for Roger, we so — um, don’t excel at golf — that we don’t know if we’re helping or hurting the cause when we step on the fairway.
So, to prove we’re a full-service firm, we want you, our clients, to know that we’re trying our best.
And Bryan, sorry man — you’ve got a tough job ahead of you tomorrow.