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Chuck Hughes – one of my fave Montreal chefs – recently defeated Bobby Flay in the Iron Chef series.

If you come to Montreal and can get a reservation, go eat at his resto Garde Manger.

Even if you don’t get to my town, you can learn from Hughes’ defeat of Bobby Flay. Here are 3 lessons for PR pros:

  1. Goliath is a construct. Had Chuck Hughes’ – a big name himself – been in awe of Bobby Flay, he’d have lost. If you don’t think you can get a client in the NYT/on CNN/on Oprah, guess what – they ain’t gettin the coverage. If you’re good enough and understand the news value of your pitch, anything is possible. 
  2. Unorthodox – when done well – works. Hughes secured victory with a lobster poutine dish. Lobster AND poutine. Yes, it sounds weird but I’ve had it and its good. More to the point, it is unique and memorable. If you wanna succeed in PR – whether it be as a content creator or in a media relations context – what you produce and offer to various publics better be like a poutine with crustacean – one of a kind and hella notable!
  3. Existing perceptions about your story matter. Hughes won with a twist on the Quebecois classic, poutine. That he was from Montreal – and perceived as being knowledgable about what real poutine is – surely mattered; moreover, the table-side romance quotient (i.e. – the story behind the food) was off the charts. When you plan a new campaign, one of the first questions you should ask is ‘Do existing perceptions about our identity/our client’s identity bolster our strategic and tactical plans?’

What do you think? Anything to add here?

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