What is your mask saying about you and your organization? There are 4381 political face masks for sale on Etsy, and they cost $11.94 on average. The most common political face mask material is cotton. The most popular ones appear to be making statements including that worn by Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Green who's recent mask was emblazoned 'FREE SPEECH.'
“If you have to put this thing on your face – an actually visual representation of a paradigm shift in society – why not make it as crazy as possible,” said Brad Thompson, chief of operations for Brea-based jogging company Built on Athletics, or BOA.
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Hi, welcome to this episode of speak PR. My name is Jim James. And I want to ask what you're wearing on your face. Because there are over 4,000 political masks available for sale on Etsy. And as governments around the world are insisting that we all wear masks. When we go out, it has to be now the. Greatest form of pr signage for those of us running businesses. Now what made me think of this was watching Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor green. And. She had a face mask saying free speech when she was up having her rights to be in political committees. Taken under consideration by the house. And it struck me then watching how the Americans especially have taken onboard the opportunity of having to wear a mask. To be a way of expressing what they are thinking. Which they can't say, but actually most importantly, in this day and age of social media and photographs, Making a statement when speech can't. The face mask is people an amazing opportunity to have their message seen and therefore heard around the world. We saw when the insurrection happened on the sixth. Of last month when the group of Trump supporters. Went on Capitol Hill. That many of them were wearing Maga hats, but also they were wearing. Stars and the stripes face masks. So it's definitely now something that we should all be thinking about, not just if we've got something political to say, but also if we've got, for example, a team or staff on board, That are going to be representing the brand. In front of customers, it may no longer be a smile that the customers remember. It may be the face mask that they remember. Now I mentioned there are over 4,381 political face masks for sale on Etsy. But you can also make your own or you can buy them. I just sorta have a quick look around. We've got Marjorie Taylor green, where in one saying free speech, Shakira Starmer. The leader of the labor opposition. Just wears a black one. President Joe Biden is wearing one with a presidential seal. And there was a chap in America called Brad Thompson. Who's the chief operations director at a company called belt on athletics. And he says, if you have to put this thing on your face, And actually visual representation of a paradigm shift in society. Why not make it as crazy as possible. So let's just have a look at some of those masks that people are wearing out there. Now we had Dr. Fauci wearing NIH research, keeps us safe, making a statement. Not the necessarily the most amusing, but one that is topical as he's looking out at us all. Addidas have got their own branded face masks. In fact, all the sports, whereas they're doing the same. The United States postal service has got on board and they've. I offered an issued out face masks to all of there. All their staff. Now, when I look at our British postman, he's actually not wearing a mask. You certain not wearing a British postal service mask. Now we have another mask. Here where it says. Quit staring, whereas yours. So. Semi political semi judgmental. There's another one. Where it says more concerned about losing my constitutional rights. Then catching COVID 19. That's of course, one of these people that doesn't want to wear the mask. Then we have restaurants. And Italian restaurant called the black trumpet has made a mask, for example. And then not every company has taken such good care of their employees. There is one mask, which is just the paper thin mask. With a lady of Asian descent were saying, my employer refuse. To give me a mask. And so obviously making a statement there about the fact that their companies are not doing it. And there's another one that says, if you're reading this, you're too close. There is a website called maskclub com which has got thousands of masks, but also branded. For men, for women, for children and so on. So it's now possible. To think of the face mask, not just as a protection. Against COVID. But as an extension of the brand guidelines for a company. And I was thinking of this because. As we all start to think about going back into the communities later on. Why aren't we having masks, for example, with individual names on them. It's not impossible to do that. People are making masks by hand and low volumes. We could certainly have brand on the masks or brand slogans. The sort of thing where maybe if you were to go into a restaurant, people greet you. There's no reason why that couldn't be on their mask as well. There's different colors. And different layouts and different styles of mask. And if masks are going to become part of our day-to-day. Wearing and for our teams and our staff. Then creating some kind of consistency around mask look and feel. Could actually then become one of the statements that accompanies making about how organized they are. We see this now for example, some of the soccer teams as well wearing branded team masks. Thinking about the expression, the statement that can be made by a mask, it can be witty. It could be political. It could be judgmental. Or it could be silent. But one way or another, the mask is becoming an expression. Of what is being not said, or certainly not seen. So just maybe consider that as you're looking at low cost ways to help your team to reintegrate and too. Continue to feel like a team. Maybe masks made for the team representing the company. And maybe with a slogan of some kind, even if it's just a smile, could be a really nice way. To give everyone the expression that you're all in this together and keeping your team safe. So thank you for listening to this very short. But just observational podcast about the impact of masks and what people are starting to use them for and what you might want to use them for within your organization. My name is Jim James. Thank you for listening to this episode of speak PR. If you'd like more comments and tools and tips like this, then you can go to dot com for our newsletter. Or if you're really interested in a mastermind with me, come to speak PR. Dot co. So until we meet again, I wish you the best of health. A sustainable business. And next time you put your mask on, just think about the statement that he's making to those people. They get to see you. And when you're looking at the masks from other people, what message are they giving you? Maybe it's something to think about this weekend. Thank you so much.