Giving thanks for turkey, loved ones and safe travels

Thanksgiving is a time for reflection, celebration and, well, let's be honest... overindulging in food and drink. But, while we're enjoying the holiday, let's not forget those less fortunate than ourselves.

Butterball's Turkey Talk-line will be taking calls for the 38th year running from 6am to 6pm on Thanksgiving Day.
Butterball's Turkey Talk-line will be taking calls for the 38th year running from 6am to 6pm on Thanksgiving Day.

Today, we endure the hell of holiday travel and brave the wind, rain and snow to spend Thanksgiving with the ones we love.

Tomorrow, we give thanks for the blessings in our lives and celebrate some sense of normality in these febrile and tempestuous times.

We get to eat turkey or whatever meat or vegetable-based alternative you choose to plump for. In such an uncertain world it’s comforting to see that some things still sustain decade after decade.

I was particularly reminded of this while reading a piece in the New York Times about the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line, which is still going strong 38 years after it was devised by Pam Talbot, Dan Edelman and the team at what is now the world’s largest PR firm.

Dan’s eponymous agency was still working hard in recent weeks selling in stories about the Talk-line and a quick Google search or Butterball Twitter scan yields multiple media hits about an enduring tradition.

Some of the stories are amazing. And it’s clear that, perhaps after a cocktail or two on Thanksgiving Day, many have tried - unsuccessfully - to prank the 50 lovely turkey experts taking thousands of enquiries from 6:00am until 6:00pm on Turkey Day. But the hotliners always remain calm and, er, unflappable.

By the way, should you find yourself in turkey trouble tomorrow, you can call 800-288-8372, text 844-877-3456, or email via butterball.com/contactus.

Incidentally, when social media marketers and communicators return from their Thanksgiving breaks, one thing on their agenda should be Twitter’s plans to deactivate accounts by December 11 that haven’t been signed into for six months or more.

This radical move will free up the dormant handles for others to use and is a significant development. Brands that haven’t tweeted in a while should be on notice that they risk losing control of valuable brand equity and having squatters moving in on their social media territory.

After Thanksgiving we will also no doubt be inundated with articles and media activations looking back on the last decade and projecting forward with predictions about the 2020s. All good fun, and no doubt PRWeek will be indulging in a little of this as well, though these days it’s hard enough to look ahead 12 months, let alone a full 10 years.

The only certainty is uncertainty and continuing rapid-fire change, which will require everyone in PR, communications, marketing and media to stay on their toes constantly to keep up with new developments. PRWeek has just gently dipped its toe into the world of TikTok, and we will also be building on that after the holiday turkey has been washed down with a few nice glasses of red wine.

On the subject of drinking, as I revealed last week we are launching the #PRWeekPubCrawl this holiday season to celebrate the regular drinking haunts of PR pros across the nation, and more details will be unveiled after Thanksgiving.

But, amid all the celebrations over Thanksgiving and in the lead-up to the December holiday season, please be sure not to drink and drive. Many people in my home city of New York don’t own a car and have no desire to do so, including myself. But I know throughout the country that is most certainly not the case.

And it never ceases to amaze me how many people in the New York and New Jersey areas still do drive after having had a drink, or many drinks. Indeed, today is commonly known as Blackout Wednesday, due to the high number of DUI incidents.

I would just say to anyone who considers driving after having a drink: please, please, please grab a cab or jump in an Uber or a Lyft instead. The potential consequences in terms of endangering yourself, your family, or innocent parties who could be the unknowing victims of a drink-fueled accident are just not worth it.

At Thanksgiving, let’s remember those who are less fortunate than ourselves and don’t necessarily have family and friends to hang out with. I know a lot of people volunteer during the holiday and kudos to you if you are one of them.

Let’s also give thanks for the people who are working during the holidays, whether it’s on the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line or in essential services that look after us or who transport us to be with our loved ones - or those who are serving overseas in the armed forces.

Lastly, as I cast my eye over Haymarket Media’s office with tumbleweed blowing through it as so many people have left early for the holidays or are working from home, it’s good to see the PRWeek editorial team still tapping away at their keyboards bringing you the essential news and content that will send you into the long weekend informed and educated. Thanks as always to them for their continuing dedication, effort and expertise.

PRWeek is taking a well-earned break on Thursday and Friday and there will be no Weekly Online Edition, but we will still send out the Weekender Newsletter on Saturday, so look out for that if you have missed your fix of PRWeek.

On that note, I wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving and look forward to reconvening next week as we push on to the end of the decade.

Take care all.

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