Why do the same old thing at a groundbreaking? It's a great chance to showcase the uniqueness of your brand.
I attended a groundbreaking ceremony recently. It offered the requisite boring contents -- too many executives droning (Yes! DRONING -- monotone put-you-to-sleep tone). Then out trooped the line of executives (including -- always -- one woman who decides today is a great day to wear stiletto high heels that sink into the mud), bearing shiny new silver shovels and fake plastic hardhats with the company logo, and it's SAY CHEESE time. Why does this happen? I mean, if you can manage to get any press attention focused on your groundbreaking, it's such a great opportunity to do something totally memorable and different -- and tied to your brand. Instead, these frequently become merely vanity opps for the brass.
Two groundbreaking stories I was told by a local CEO that I just LOVED were these: for a big new movie theater chain, they "broke ground" into a mountain of... popcorn. OK, I get it -- very photogenic, too. But my favorite was for a new animal shelter: the groundbreaking was done by the dogs! The staff buried yummy dog treats just a couple inches under the loose soil -- and the dogs very happily did all the work, My CEO friend told me that was the only groundbreaking he'd ever attended where people truly had fun.
If you have a groundbreaking opportunity coming up soon, can you think hard about ways to be fresh, innovative, and creative?
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