TJM & Company

Meet Purpose, the PR Giraffe

Purpose the Public Relations giraffe

When I was about six, my parents took me on the safari ride at Six Flags. I was absolutely intrigued by the giraffes. They were so tall and regal; and unbothered until they weren’t. Their curiosity peaked when you had something for them to eat, but after a snack, they moseyed on about their business. I talked about the giraffes so much that my uncle gave me a stuffed giraffe from FAO Schwartz that was as tall as I was then. It became my favorite stuffed animal.

Fast forward to the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey. I was reading T.D. Jakes’s book Instinct and in it, he uses an analogy of giraffes and turtles to represent people with big vision (giraffes) and those who are a bit short-sighted (turtles). He advised that giraffes should not listen to the chatter of the turtles because they are speaking from their perspective and cannot see very far. At the time, people thought I was crazy to leave Corporate America to start my own business at almost 40 years old with the responsibility of a family and a mortgage. However, I knew it was what God wanted me to do, and my instincts kicked in. I felt like a giraffe in a forest full of turtles.

That book reignited my affinity for giraffes, and I knew I needed to incorporate a giraffe theme into the TJM & Co brand. I told my story to one of our graphic design interns and asked her to draw a giraffe for TJM & Co, using our brand colors, feminine but not cartoonish – elegant and unbothered. And Purpose the Giraffe was born!

Giraffes are naturally peaceful yet very social and very strong. Their acute eyesight allows them to, from long distances, keep an eye on their herd (assess the landscape), to spot food and water (identify opportunities) or danger from a distance so they can prepare to defend themselves (mitigate risk). Sound familiar?

Did you know that a giraffe is most vulnerable when its head is lowered in order to drink water? A giraffe knows that it cannot relinquish its high perspective for too long, as danger might be looming nearby. As Bishop TD Jakes puts it, “when you lower your perspective, you can endanger your position.” Now if that’s not a PR lesson!

Read more interesting thoughts about giraffe personalities and leadership: