Why You Want PR People on Your Team for the Zombie Apocalypse

October 30, 2014

Situation: You and your team are trapped in a room with a zombie chained to a wall. You have one hour to escape. Every five minutes, the zombie’s chain will get a little longer, allowing the zombie to feast on your flesh (gross). 

Objective: Find the key to unlock the door to freedom. 

Strategy: Use the clues in the room to find the key.

Oh, and don’t get eaten by the zombie. 

Challenge accepted. 

In October, a few Richards Partners PR pros decided to embrace a zombie adventure as a team-building activity. Little did we know that most victims, including a team of a dozen neurosurgeons, never find the key; those poor souls had their brilliant brains eaten. If a team of neurosurgeons couldn’t get out, who could? 

Apparently a team of seasoned PR pros who solve problems like this every day! (Also, a team of 13-year-old Girl Scouts.)

To survive, you must be observant, quick-thinking, calculating, flexible, creative, collaborative, communicative and most importantly, daring. It takes verbal intelligence, logic, spatial awareness, the ability to spot crucial details amid irrelevant information and unfailing tenacity.  

Collectively, our team had all the right stuff. 

It was challenging. There were sacrifices. A few clues were interpreted incorrectly, and there was something strange about a head carved out of a coconut – it threw us off – but in the end, we got it right with less than a minute to spare. 

Without spoiling the game with hints, let us impart three important lessons to survive in a locked room with a zombie, the zombie apocalypse, business and life. (Other than making sure you’re friends with PR folks before the virus spreads.) 

First, your team is indispensable. Could a single person solve all the clues and riddles in an hour? Maybe Shawn Spencer from Psych. But it took a team of eight a full hour of working together to find the key. When you hire an agency, your ally is not only the person you regularly call and email, it’s all of us. 

Second, there is always a solution. PR people never give up. We don’t take no for an answer; we push until we meet our objective because we know there must be a way.

And last, if you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong. It would have been very easy to let the zombie tear us limb from limb. There were times when the clues were out of our reach, literally and figuratively. But where would the fun be in giving up? We all had a blast working out problem after problem (and distracting the zombie when needed). 

So next time you’re faced with a tough communication problem, a huge milestone to meet or the actual zombie apocalypse, reach for a high-capacity shotgun complete with a fully loaded bandolier (and accompanying katana). Who could blame you? But also: Keep your PR team on speed dial.