This post isn’t entirely about wall decór, but it’s going to start that way. Recently, between meetings, we stopped into a popular New York City coffee house (which will remain unnamed), and emblazoned prominently above framed photos of mugs was a single, massive word: Integrity. While it’s nice to know that they aren’t out to rip off their customers, isn’t integrity sort of table stakes for…any business? Who would take the opposite stance and value, say, dishonesty? What does integrity mean, specifically, for this coffee house — that all their coffee is from fair trade organizations? …
At Pramana we talk a lot about inflection points. We see these as moments of truth that set your course for years to come. For some organizations, it’s their beginning, an introduction to the world. For others, it’s a moment to double down, to scale up, or the call to reinvent for a new era. In these critical moments, the organizations that succeed know to take a step back and understand who they are and how that identity positions them to turn a challenge into an opportunity.
Pick someone you only sort of know. A friend of a friend you’ve sat next to at, say, two dinner parties.
(If you’re in San Francisco, like Pramana Collective HQ, this shouldn’t be hard. All people do here is go to dinner parties and hike trails with “moderate difficulty” ratings.)
Or maybe pick a newish love interest or a colleague. And instead of asking them about their plans for the weekend or their astrological sign, ask this:
How do you feel about email newsletters?
People’s attitudes about newsletters, how many they subscribe to, and which they loyally read say a…
Founders, executives, and board members often come to Pramana with statements like: “Our message isn’t resonating — we need someone who understands us”; “the media doesn’t get us”; “recruits don’t know why we’re special”; and, “competitor X gets all the attention, but we’re better.” A common assumption is that some high-level media connections mixed with a few creative tactics and a dash of dark arts will be the fix.
Yet, invariably, the afflictions cited to us are soon exposed as symptoms of employees who have lost the plot on the company story — or have never known it.
Pramana Collective started five years ago with some simple premises: truth matters; truth is hard to see; we find truth together; trust is built on trust; and everything Pramana does ties directly to operational and financial goals. Oh, and we don’t work with assholes.
Roughly 100 client projects and just as many pronunciations of Pramana later, we stand by our reasons for being. Digging deeper, here are five perspectives that keep us going:
If your message isn’t resonating in the world, ask yourself if your message is landing with your employees — it’s probably not. We’ve encountered numerous situations where…
“Expanding The Horizon/Expanding The Parameter”
After nearly three months on board as Pramana’s NY partner, several Tough Mudder competitions, a ritual bloodletting, and the required application of a Pramana Collective tribal tattoo, the other partners saw fit to allow me to write a blog post. So, here’s the news:
“We are pleased to announce several additions to the Pramana Collective that not only expands our physical footprint, but the capabilities and creative thinking of our organization as well.”
It is a trite and immutable law of nature that the only constant is that everyone will eventually become a VC and cat photos on the Internet drive views. In the meantime, there are more pedestrian forms of change.
At The Pramana Collective we have prided ourselves on creating an environment that entices the best public relations strategists to join us to take on the most interesting opportunities; and also to create a space where those who have served with us can find the next, perfect challenge in their career path. …
“Pramana partner Larry Yu is leaving to join venture firm Accel as marketing partner.” There you have it. That’s your real news hook for this post.
I would then follow with a paragraph that acknowledges Larry’s tremendous contribution to establishing and growing Pramana, the results-driven approach he applied to our diverse group of clients, and his incomparable skills as a communications strategist. I would also console myself by reminding you that Larry has long been a dear friend and colleague to all of us and assure you that nothing about that will change. I’d add in some pertinent facts, like…
We have two main roles at The Pramana Collective. Partner and principal. Put roughly, partners are semi-mature people like myself who have led large communications teams and accrued experience over a couple decades. Principals have held big internal jobs and have been doing this kind of thing for roughly ten years. Principals keep us progressive and challenge us to do things better. We tolerate this because they’re smarter than us.
We’ve got a great team of partners. We need to do a better job of bringing on more principals. We’ve made a big step forward in this regard today.
When we started The Pramana Collective, one of our formative philosophies was to build an organization that excites other communications and marketing professionals to join our team — no matter what job that they may be coming from. To fulfill this, of the new models we created (or co-opted) was the Executive in Residence role. My partner Sean Garrett explained ithere.
We were fortunate to have Mike Mayzel join us as our first EIR in February. …
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