A constant joy – and occasional source of chaos – over the past three years has been our privileged role as Hōkūleʻa’s PR team for the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage. Among the many gifts Hōkūleʻa gave me while leading our PR efforts are a few key lessons I’ll never forget.
- Know what not to plan for. We can always build another contingency, but sometimes it’s more rewarding to focus flawless execution and detailed PR muscle when we can shape what’s on the horizon. Sharing crew outreach stories at that surprise bad-weather port stop? Do not plan. Press event with thousands of Maori children singing Hokulea onto the beach? Plan.
- Stay nimble. When everything about the client is weather-dependent, one learns to be flexible. Building great relationships with partners and journalists and being willing to turn on a dime means we get the story out – with quotes and b-roll – in time for the 5:00 p.m. deadline every single day.
- Laugh. When we chuck the plan out the window and a high-profile event threatens to collapse two continents away, a belly laugh with dear friends and colleagues is a necessary release valve. That, and rum from a certain port in the caribbean.
- Prioritize the team. None of the marquee communications achievements would have been possible without the deep trust and mutual respect on this communications team – at PVS, at ‘Ōiwi TV and here at Bennet Group. We learned to back one another, bolster successes and share big dreams.
Bennet Group was deeply privileged to be selected as PVS’s communications partner for the Worldwide Voyage, and proud to donate nearly $90,000 in pro-bono professional fees above and beyond our contract to ensure we were there, every port stop and every crew call, to help tell this incredible story. Our commitment to PVS continues, and we are ever grateful to be part of the voyaging ‘ohana in our small way.