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Hey PR people, I already have a mom

My mom always told me to “listen to your mother,” though she never sent me a press release stressing the point.

She also never sent me press releases telling me to look both ways before crossing the street or to avoid strange dogs. Maybe she knew there always would be public relations people around to send out written statements announcing the obvious.

I swear if there was an Association of Winter Hats, its marketing guru would be sending me press releases reminding me to put on my cap before going out in the cold. He might hasten to add that I should never go outside with wet hair in winter.

Then, according to the latest in marketing strategies and the long-followed protocols of all mothers who email, he would call immediately after sending the press release to make sure I had seen it and to ask if I had any questions.

I’m still waiting for that call from the Snow & Ice Management Association’s public relations woman. She’s late, and I have questions.

During the height of Tuesday’s snowstorm, SIMA offered some eye-rolling motherly advice. The association wanted everyone to know there might be snow and ice on our roofs. Of course, that was not enough. SIMA also wanted to make sure I:

  • Watched my balance;
  • Avoided buying a north-facing house because north-facing buildings may have more ice and snow accumulation due to less sun exposure;
  • Bought a house on the sunny side of the street because more ice forms on shade-producing items, such as trees and high fences;
  • Was aware that conditions were “nice for ice.” There are some areas, according to SIMA’s press release, where melting and freezing commonly occur, creating persistent icy conditions.

When that woman finally calls, I will be respectful. I will tell her I know press releases serve a purpose and can be helpful in spreading important information.

But I also will want to know what, exactly, she thought was helpful about suggesting that all people move into southern-facing homes in shade-less yards. I will, as I only wish I could do when my mother offers inane advice, let the sarcasm drip when I say there cannot possibly be enough room for all of us on the sunny side of the street.

And then I’ll wait for the marketing wizard from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation State Traffic Operations Center to call. Shortly after I deleted SIMA’s press release, WisDOT sent me helpful tips for driving in the snowstorm.

They wanted me to give myself extra time, drive at a safe speed, drive sober, keep my cruise control off, wear my seatbelt, keep my cellphone handy, make sure to have a half-tank of gas and make sure to alert friends and family of my travel plans.

At first, I thought that last bit gave my mom away. It was just her sneaky way of keeping tabs on me.

But, no, it was WisDOT. Mom proved it later that day by sending me a text with the same advice.

Joe Yovino is the Web editor at The Daily Reporter. He can’t wait until he gets motherly advice on better column writing.

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