COLONY HOTEL |With the public relations and brand building firm she founded operating out of the Northeast in New York City, Nancy Behrman naturally relishes any opportunity to head to Miami, Florida, for a break from the cold city winters in exchange for the warmth and sunshine of the popular South Florida destination. Each visit to Miami reveals something different about the city, including its culture, heritage, cuisine and even its nightlife, and there have been many occasions in which a trip to Miami has served as the inspiration for one of Behrman’s signature public relations campaigns.

While Miami has indeed been a source of inspiration for Behrman and countless others, perhaps the most valuable concept to be shared with the PR expert during a trip concerns a relatively new approach to PR and brand building. A longtime advocate of a relational approach to brand building, it is quite possible that the work of Jose Marti played a role in the development of this recently introduced concept.

A Cuban hero of the fight for independence from Spanish rule and a poet whose work is among the first studied in school systems with sizable Cuban populations, Marti authored what is perhaps the most well-known poem to find its way from Cuba to the mainland in the United States. The poem, “Cultivo Una Rosa Blanca,” discusses how the author tends to a white rose so he may present it to both “the sincere friend who would lend me his hand,” as well as, “the cruel one who would rip out this heart with which I live.” Marti’s poem can be applied to both personal and professional relationships, as there is much to gain — particularly on a level in which there is a clear mutual benefit as in relational brand building — from treating everyone with warmth and compassion in equal measure.