The Big Apple has been turning rather sour lately.
In the most recent showdown between the New York Police Department and Mayor Bill de Blasio, hundreds of uniformed police officers publicly turned their backs on the mayor as he delivered a eulogy during the funeral ceremony of Officer Rafael Ramos.
I’ve spent my entire day listening to acclaimed political pundits from both sides of the spectrum debate the underlying causes of this rocky relationship, argue whether aggressive policing tactics are a concern of reality or perception, and squabble over the possibility of reducing tensions between police departments and the communities they serve.
Frankly, the pacifist in me is getting nauseous.
The middle-class, blue-collar, perpetually-tired, tax-paying citizens of New York are simply unable to enjoy the luxury of pondering these subjects for hours on end. We just want to walk to work in the morning peacefully – without getting mugged by violent thugs or encountering overzealous cops. There’s got to be a happy medium somewhere. And as the rightfully elected mayor, it’s in the hands of Bill de Blasio to discover this elusive middle standard.
If I were hired as Bill de Blasio’s mayoral marketing whiz, I’d sit the man down, put on my most authoritative baritone, and tell him it’s high time to patch things up with the NYPD. This is not a time for division; it’s a time for healing.
The plan would be simple: gain trust, win the cops over, create new policing strategies that reflect the issues at hand, make everybody happy, call it a day. In that order.
I’d then hand Bill de Blasio a checklist outlining my 5 career-saving marketing tips that will, with a bit of heaven-sent luck, preserve the peace – and quite possibly, his mayoral legacy.
TIP # 1: WEAR THE PIN
Before winning ’em over, you’ve got to demonstrate that you actually care about ’em. Show solidarity with New York’s Finest and align yourself with the cause by putting the NYPD close to your heart. Or at the very least, by putting their blue logo on your left suit lapel at all times. Barack Obama wears a pin of the American flag; Dale Earnhardt Jr. wears a pin of the NASCAR stripes; why doesn’t Bill de Blasio wear a pin sporting the iconic NYPD logo? It’s simple. It’s effective. It works.
TIP # 2: WRITE A LETTER
Being the mayor of New York has many perks – such as having access to the home addresses of the over 34,450 officers currently employed by the NYPD. Which is why Bill de Blasio should mail a personal letter to every officer, pledging to support their work and promising to foster a positive relationship with the department going forward. Here’s the kicker: he should sign each letter personally. In blue ink. With a tiny smudge at the end to make it look genuine and heartfelt.
TIP # 3: VISIT EACH PRECINCT
There are 76 NYPD precincts strategically stationed throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island. More impressively, there are 466 Dunkin’ Donuts stores stationed throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island. Can you see where this is heading? Bill de Blasio should visit every single police precinct in person. With a smile on his face and box of sprinkled donuts in hand. Smack-dab in middle of the 2AM shift. To show the cops that he recognizes their dedication to protecting the people of New York City. Sweet, right?
TIP # 4: ROLL THE PATROL
As of this writing, Bill de Blasio rides inside an unmarked Chevy Suburban. Let’s change that. He should start rolling around town in a souped-up NYPD cruiser. With bold markings, blue decals, red roof lights – the whole package. Yet another impactful way to show his unadulterated support… and get around those messy Manhattan traffic jams.
TIP # 5: SHOW THEM AUTHENTICITY
No matter how great of a marketing offensive Bill de Blasio launches, he’ll only win back the hearts of the New York’s Finest if his words match his actions. Even the most persuasive, charming, brilliant tactics will fall flat when the person utilizing them is lying. He has to genuinely want change, embrace change, believe in change, and deliver change.
There you have it, folks.
You’ve just read about the 5 career-saving marketing tips that can directly impact the rosy red future of The Big Apple. For the sake of the people, for the sake of the NYPD, for the sake of Bill de Blasio’s political career – let’s hope the mayor reads them, too.