Favorite Stories & Jokes

“The objective of public relations is not to win over people … but to win people over”

Part of Pat’s charm in his presentations was the odd (true!) story or related joke he would weave expertly into the content to make a point.  Here are just a few he would use, kept in a file naturally labeled, “stories and jokes”!

About Human Nature: “I was at Glassboro State (now Rowan University) in New Jersey, having received an award from their public relations program.  I had gone into the men’s room and attempted to dry my hands at one of those machines that blow hot air at you.   The directions  stated:  1) Shake hands of excess water, 2) Press button, 3) lightly rub hands together in hot air.  Someone who obviously understood human nature had been there before me, for scratched below was 4) wipe hands on pants!”

About Media Relations:  “Media relations  is unpredictable, often unsettled, like a chimp who escaped from the zoo, found in the library with a copy of the Bible in one hand, and Darwins’ “origin of the species” in the other.  When asked why he had come there, he said he had been dying to find out if he was his brother’s keeper or his keeper’s brother”.”

About Strategy:  “Abraham Lincoln knew that one can certainly overdo blowing their own horn when he said: ‘What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself'”

About Unique Selling Proposition:  “Catholic parish near me plays Bingo in Latin so us Protestants can’t win”

About Expectations:  “Like the young boy who wrote the National Geographic Society — ‘I am studying the world — send me everything you have.”

About Expectations: “Man on his knees praying … “and give me good abstract-reasoning ability, interpersonal skills, cultural perspective, linguistic comprehension and a high sociodynamic potential”

About Segmenting:  “Public is ignorant & apathetic.  If you ask’em why, they say, “I don’t know and I don’t care”

About StrategyOn the Cherwell river which runs through Oxford, you might come across the reserve after punting about half-mile downstream from the Cherwell boathouse.  As you round the bend towards a weir you will be confronted with the vision of several sunbathing dons rising from the tall grass like great white hippos.  They very rarely enter the waters but just stand pondering the punts as they pass below or pointing out interesting specimens of bird.  One don knew more than others what was important when a party of familiar female faces drifted along.  The other dons grabbed their newspapers and hid the relevant parts.  This gentleman merely shielded his face and said: “I do not know about you fellows but in Oxford I am recognized by my face.”

Raising Our Sights Speech: “In order to change others’ attitudes and perceptions, we must 1st analyze our own.  And we must be careful that what others see of us is what we intended, that we communicate precisely.    I got a lovely picture of Scott Cutlip and I taken in New Orleans by one of those college pr majors.  He worked very diligently with us, asking us to back up, turn this way then face that way.  When the picture arrived, I  realized just why he had been so persistent.  There we both stood, our bald heads gleaming in the Louisiana sun … under a sign that said “Completely Nude Dancing”. 

About How Perceptions Move Through Society:  “Priest was preaching Sunday sermon with an unusually big crowd in church. He decided it was time to “lobby” for a raise.  During his homily he ended “I make 42 dollars a week and that is not enough”.   The Bishop who was visiting heard this and decided he too should put in a pitch.  Upon rising for his reflection, he ended his homily with “I make 63 dollars a week and that is not enough”.   The organist heard both the priest and the deacon from his bench above.  When he finished the final hymn he broke into the same homily: “I make 575 dollars a week … and there’s No business like show business….” 

A perception story about Patrick’s bald head:  “You may think I’m bald.  Actually, I am a hair transplant donor”

About How hard it is to change behavior:  It still may be difficult to change what Gates (CIA head 1992) acknowledged is a dep-set penchant for secrecy at the CIA. Asked, for instance, for a copy of the report on the task force on openness, an agency spokesperson declined to provide it yesterday, saying it was “an internal document” and portions were classified.”

About The Lens of Perception: “In the 1959 Field and Stream, they ran a review of all things, ‘Lady Chatterly’s Lover’.  You probably wonder why F&S would run a review on this, a book of quite explicit, very graphic sexual experiences between a gamekeeper and the lady of the house? Perhaps you need to see it through their lens … they write: “Although written many years ago, Lady Chatterly’s Lover has just been reissued by Grove Press, and this fictional account of the day-by-day life of an English gamekeeper is still of considerable interest to outdoor minded readers as it contains many passages on pheasant raising, the apprehending of poachers, ways to control vermin, and other chores and duties of the professional gamekeeper.  Unfortunately, one is obliged to wade through many pages of extraneous materials in order to discover and savor these sidelights on the management of a Midlands shooting estate, and int heir reviewer’s opinion this book cannot take the place of J.R. Miller’s Practical Gamekeeper.”

About Building a Message that Meets Many Needs: 

Nature — The Bear

1st Person – The Bear & Me

Passion – I Kissed a Bear

How To – How I Kissed A Bear

Foreign – How I Kissed a Russian Bear

Mystery – How I Kissed A Russian Bear for the FBI

Religious – How I Kissed A Russian Bear for the FBI and Found God