Prairie Chickens

With the conclusion of the NFL Pro Bowl (yawn) and all the hype leading up to Super Bowl 50, you would think the title of this piece is referring to the free-range media scavengers dotting the landscape in preparation for the Big Game between the Broncos and the Panthers.  Well, the terminology I use for them is reserved for a site that is rated NC-17. Thankfully this is a family show. Pull up a chair.


I came across this story yesterday which deserves a second glance:  A young Native American found a lone eagle egg that had been abandoned.  To be helpful the Native American placed it in the nest of a prairie chicken.  The little eagle grew up with the prairie chicks – clucking and pecking around on the ground. When he flew, he never got more than a few feet off the ground.  One day, as he was looking for food, something caught the eagles’ eye.  He glanced upward, and soaring in the clouds was the most splendid bird he had ever seen.  The eagle raced over to the head prairie chicken and asked, ‘What is that stunning, noble bird?’ The senior prairie chicken looked up and replied, ‘Oh, that is the Eagle, Chief of Birds.  But he is far above you.  Keep scratching.’ So, following the advice of others, the eagle went back to scratching the ground and never realized he was more than just a prairie chicken.

Read that story through the lens of personal potential and you will realize the importance of surrounding yourself with the right group of influencers.  Such a positive environment will encourage a chicken to reach for the sky to soar with eagles.  It will also remind you to be aware of negative influencers – those people whose message is designed to convince eagles they have no right to fly.

Now let’s take a look at this story through the lens of the most valuable, cost effective advertising medium at your disposal: the on-hold portion of your own telephone system.  Treat this medium like a prairie chicken and you will subject your callers to the cheapest, royalty-free loop of music your IT person can find.  If this is how you currently handle the on-hold concept of your company I have one thing to say:  Really?!? Why take such an important, image-reinforcing customer interaction out of the hands of advertising professionals?  That makes as much sense as trusting your marketing department to deploy the risk management and compliance profile for your network security.  Not a great idea - unless, of course, you want your private cloud’s IoT accessible to the world on Shodan.

Invest in your on-hold concept with advertising professionals who understand how important it is to craft your caller’s experience with a campaign that reinforces who you are and reminds your customer why they wanted to do business with you in the first place.  This intimate advertising medium is your own eagle, perched and ready to spread her wings and fly.  Treat your on-hold advertising as the powerful vehicle it is and your ROI will yield the most powerful of returns:  repeat business.

Tom McTee, Super-Genius

Tom McTee