Media Relations

What My Rabbit Taught Me About PR

By: Emily Clever

Rabbits are prey animals, and they’re hardwired to be elusive. Bonding with a pet rabbit takes intent, patience, energy and a handful of great ideas.

I’m not trying to degrade the wonderful men and women who follow their hearts as journalists by comparing the two, but regardless of species, building trust and a positive, fruitful relationship looks the same: Be purposeful. Be patient, yet dogged. Stay upbeat. Persevere. Think outside the box, which is an ironic statement intrinsically because it’s so clichéd.

I’ve had my rabbit, Moose, for only a few short months, but she has already managed to teach me so much about the world – and the world of PR. She’s taught me how to think like her (and that hiding behind the couch is not always an option). She’s taught me how far a good meal can go. She’s taught me the importance of being expressive, earnest, curious and respectful.

In this industry, when we reach out to media, we tend to sometimes forget these should-be guiding principles. It’s easy to default into the role of “pushy PR exec with an agenda.” It’s harder to engage, to listen, to ask the right questions, to consider what that journalist is working on or trying to accomplish, to actually be a source – a wellspring – of good ideas instead of a “me too”-type burden.

It’s also easy to chase the rabbit around the apartment and try to force it to like me, whereas it’s harder to learn to appreciate the rabbit and meet it on its level.

“I like to imagine my view of the world is always obscured by a tinted box,” writes Nathan Pyle in what I think is the most brilliant Buzzfeed article of all time. “I can’t see clearly because of this box. It is my own self-interest. Additionally, all of my experiences are like filters that fall into place and further obscure my vision. Everything I view is seen through this very unique set of filters.”

Of course, this is true of everyone … and every creature, too.

Next time you find yourself talking with someone – regardless of whether they’re a journalist, a business partner, a long-time friend, your spouse or your dog – try to see the world from their perspective just for a moment. You’ll be amazed at the results.