In 2010, I wrote one of my favorite blog posts ever: Communicate Like A Pro Wrestler.
From Hulk Hogan to Ric Flair to the Ultimate Warrior, I loved linking professional wrestling (a passion) to public relations (my profession).
One of the tips included in the piece was to find the right spokesperson.
The example given was the incredible Paul Bearer, the ghoulish, ghastly mortician who served as the mouthpiece for The Undertaker, one of the most unique wrestlers of all time.
When you have a character who is a virtual zombie, like ‘Taker, the more he talks, the more the mystique dissolves. So pairing him with Bearer amplified his presence. Bearer carried around a golden urn, which reportedly contained the “power of the Undertaker.”
So, you’ve got a silent grave-digging, cold-blooded dead man following around a rotund man in a suit and pale makeup carrying ashes.
Ah, can’t forget this detail: Bearer, in the early days, carried around body bags. After victories, The Undertaker would shove his opponent in it and zip it shut.
While, to some, it comes across as cartoonish, to the target audience of young boys, it was frightening (until he started beating up bad guys, at which point it was awesome).
William Moody, the man who portrayed Paul Bearer, passed away on Tuesday night, leaving behind children and grandchildren, along with legions of fans.
Looking back on his body of word as Paul Bearer (get the name?), one can see a perfect analogy to the power of a spokesman.
Someone that speaks for you should be able to communicate clearly.
Someone that speaks for you should have a presence, but not BE the presence.
Someone that speaks for you should know when to slip to the background and give you the stage.
Someone that speaks for you should provide sage counsel and guidance, a strategic plan.
Today is a sad day. A man is gone, but it’s clear that the iconic character…the publicist…he perfected will live forever.
As The Undertaker says to close out his interviews: Rest…in………..peace.