It’s the quintessential image of Santorini, Greece, that of pristine colorful structures hugging the cliffs overlooking the azure blue Aegean Sea. For one small boutique hotel, keeping its exterior a perfect shade of white is a full-time job. So important is it that the picture matches the reality that the Katikies hotel has a full-time employee whose job it is to give the exterior of the hotel a fresh coat of paint every single day and to touch up the rest of the hotel’s interior throughout the day to ensure no scuff mark is left behind.
An employee of the property told Money that it spends $29,000 a year on white paint, plus the salary of the full-time painter. Not a big investment for a high return, where guests may spend $1,000 for a night’s stay. What the eye sees, the heart feels. The care and attention to the hotel’s white façade and pristine interior is a priority that makes guests feel special and a part of something beautiful and luxurious.
Does your brand’s image need a coat of paint? Is there someone on a daily basis meticulously tending to the small details that depict the right picture of what your brand stands for? Could it be that there are too many painters — a large brush stroke here, a dab of paint there, a splash of new colors there — all being applied haphazardly that the image is now muddied and convoluted?
Some of the most important tasks are actually the simplest. In the case of the painter at the Katikies, his is to preserve. For the craftsman, it’s to create a work of art or utility. For the storyteller, it’s to captivate an audience with a meaningful narrative. Most communicators come to work each day with a To-Do List that zigs and zags from media relations and social media to crisis management and measurement and so on. It’s enough to lose sight of the big picture, let alone the color palette.
Communications leaders like you should own your brand’s palette. You be the one to decide on the colors. And you be the one to tend to your brand’s image as you’d like it to be seen by your stakeholders. On a daily basis. Not just once a week or when a campaign launches or winds down. Don’t hand off what could be your masterpiece to other painters.
Diane Schwartz is SVP and group publisher of PR News. Follow her: @dianeschwartz