Friends,I must share with you today one of the craziest, and coolest, public relations activities I have possibly ever heard of. So, I was watching tv over the weekend and there came an ad for Domino's Pizza (one of my favorites). It talked about how sometimes when you are driving home with your freshly baked pizza, you may hit a pothole and your toppings will slide off your pizza in the box. And the ad talked about how unfortunate Domino's thought that was to lose all your tasty toppings because of hitting a pothole. And so, the ad went on, Domino's took it upon themselves to start the "Paving for Pizza" program, in which you can call up Domino's if you hit a pothole on the way home from picking up your pizza and they will come fix the pothole. As I was watching this ad, I started wondering if this was a joke, like the Mayhem-guy was going to pop up. But he didn't. And, the ad sounded like this was something they were literally going to do. So, I did what any curious person in the 21st century would do, I jumped on the internet and learned that, sure enough, Domino's has created a program to provide grants to cities and towns to provide funding to repair their streets. And the program is indeed called "Paving for Pizza."
Of course we can be cynical about it and say "oh, they're just doing it as a PR gimmick." Of course they are. But, they have gone about it in the best way possible - they have done something that is a win-win. It is a win for Domino's because it is creating quite a stir and generating exactly what Domino's was hoping for - interest in their product, and their company. It is a win for the communities because they are getting some extra cash for some very specific projects that some towns probably don't have enough money to take care of themselves.
One person posted this comment on social media: "Dominos is paying their own money to pave over potholes in cities because cities aren’t taking responsibility and this is the greatest PR ever and honestly so sad that a pizza chain is doing the government's job." I do agree with this being the greatest PR ever, but I don't fault the cities for not taking the responsibility themselves, and I don't think it's sad that a pizza chain is doing the government's job. On the contrary, I think this is a perfect example of how we need to start re-thinking how we help meet needs. I don't think it's sad that "a pizza chain is doing the government's job." I think it's exciting! Not only are they paving roads, they are paving the way for a new way to invest in the communities in which their businesses are located, and they are creating a new form of publicity that benefits many. As a company that delivers pizza, they have a vested interest in a community having good roads. So, they are taking it upon themselves to ensure that is the case.
We have become accustomed to a certain way of "giving" and "giving back." Perhaps it's time to start re-thinking that on many levels, and getting creative, as Domino's has just done.
So, maybe for supper tonight - Domino's Pizza?....yum....
Peace, my friends,