Warren Weeks is selling what he calls "swag for hardcore communications nerds."
Weeks, principal of Weeks Media, has created mugs and t-shirts adorned with crisis communications tips. The shirts go for $40 and the mugs are $24.50.
The crisis comms tips are pulled from the 365 pieces of advice that Weeks published between March 2020 and March 2021 on LinkedIn and Twitter. He plans to pull them together into a book by the end of the summer.
When the pandemic started, Weeks, a media trainer, said that he lost one-third of a year of work, with his planned sessions getting canceled.
"It was the first time in my career I had a break to look around and think what else I could be doing," he said.
That's when he came up with the idea to share one crisis comms tip per day.
"The genesis was boredom, wanting to give back and a little bit of curiosity," Weeks said.
One fan suggested that they'd look good on a shirt.
"I think they may have been kidding, but I had some time that day so I created some items and posted them to my ecommerce store on May 25," said Weeks.
Within two minutes he made his first sale. Since then, he has sold about a dozen items with crisis comms tips. "It's not like Jeff Bezos or anything," said Weeks. "This is just for kicks, for fun, to see if I can do it."
The most popular item is a mug that has two tips: "Crisis tip 134: When developing a crisis plan, pay at least as much attention to your communications people as you do to your lawyers." And "Crisis tip 223: To get better media coverage, think like a journalist."
Thank you @warren_weeks for my new Crisis tip mug! It has found a happy home here in #Alberta.— Shawna Bruce (@sbrucecanada) June 8, 2021
Can’t wait to order another one, and to read your book. #CrisisComms#EMGTwitter pic.twitter.com/JjqqcByYnh
It’s not the first time someone has tried to monetize PR terminology. Last year, Lauren Russett, who runs consultancy Russett PR, created a line of hoodies, mugs and phone cases imprinted with the most overused phrase from any PR pro who pitches a journalist: "Just following up."