Read Time - 6 Minutes
You should be thankful.
Yes, for family...for friends…for health…blah, blah, blah. What I really mean is you should be thankful this blog contains not one but TWO lists! Lucky you!
Dialing back to when I was creating the schedule for these blog articles, I got to this spot on the calendar, and I was trying to find a way to tie in recognition awards to something related to Thanksgiving. So I hashed through some obvious symbols. Pilgrims? Nah. The first feast? Yawn. Cornucopia? Hmmm…maybe. How cranberries were originally known as crane berries? Pretty obscure—not bad, but not sure what the connection might be.
So, much like the Mayflower Pilgrims, I settled on Plymouth Rock. Which I’ll get into in a bit.
But FIRST, a bit of self-indulgence! (It can’t really be self-indulgent if it’s not first.) Since it was April at the time I came up with that, I can’t really say I had my turkey on. So I didn’t really embrace the seasonal aspect of Thanksgiving as it pertains to Plymouth Rock. Instead, I kept circling back to the word “rock”. Which naturally (at least in my mind) led me to think of songs with the word rock in the title. Which led me to creating a list of them. Which will lead to the voice in your head singing these songs for the rest of the day. Sorry, not sorry!
So here are 22 songs, for better or worse, that will prove to be earworms. If you let them. (And you will…)
Rock Me Amadeus
For Those About to Rock
I Love Rock N Roll
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Rock This Town
Rock the Casbah
Rock and Roll (Parts 1 & 2)
Rock You Like a Hurricane
Rockin in the Free World
I Wanna Rock with You
Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo
We Will Rock You
Old Time Rock and Roll
I Wanna Rock
Rock N Roll High School
Rock N Roll Fantasy
And the Cradle Will Rock
Still Rock and Roll to Me
Rock the Boat
(Okay, maybe I am kinda sorry about that last one.)
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Anyway, with that out my system—and now that you have a rock-solid soundtrack in your mind—pilgrim hats off to Plymouth Rock, and the five ways it totally rocks like an effective recognition award….
It’s just a rock, after all. But it is a highly symbolic rock. We’re not even sure the rock itself was anywhere near where the pilgrims disembarked. And they had already spent most of October on Cape Cod. But it was off-season, and there wasn’t much to do, so they pressed on to mainland Massachusetts. But any twisted facts of history are irrelevant because the rock is a symbol of a significant event. It stands as a reminder of a past occasion or achievement. Recognition, done right, can do the same thing
Plymouth Rock, geologically-speaking, is a glacial erratic that was ditched by a retreating glacier some 20,000 years ago. The rock itself has been zircon dated—whatever that means—to ~607-630 million years of age, which places it in the Bettywhitezoic Era. So it’s been around a while, and, presumably, will be around a bit longer. Designed and built properly, an award will stand the test of time and endure as a legacy.
The chunk o’ boulder that is Plymouth Rock is housed comfortably in a Neo-Classical Revival Portico built around it in 1921. About a million people a year visit the rock. So it lives a pretty public life in a pretty fancy-schmancy house. The rock, like an award, wouldn’t mean much if no one saw it or knew about it.
- Extrinsic Value
Again, it’s just a rock. But so is the Hope Diamond. It just happens that Plymouth Rock is a rather ordinary hunk of our planet’s lithosphere. Technically, it’s a granodiorite, which sounds like an intestinal affliction, but is actually a gentle way of saying a crappy grade of granite. But Plymouth Rock has a priceless value beyond the scope of its mineral worth. An award is made of stuff, whether precious or not, that is aimed to be extrinsically more valuable than the stuff itself. Take an Olympic gold medal, for example. As a “product,” it’s worth about 600 bucks. But that’s not to say you could buy one for 600 bucks.
Snowflakes, finger prints, granodiorite glacial erratic boulders, award recipients…no two are ever exactly alike. A commodity is, well, a commodity. Genuine, unique and exclusive are essential characteristics of effective recognition.
Plymouth Rock, even if you don’t know what it looks like exactly, is pretty identifiable. The inscribed year date is a pretty clear hint that this is no ordinary rock. And every school-aged child is learning about it this week, so we grow up with it. It’s familiar, identifiable…famous! An award can be the same thing—you may not be a hockey fan, but you probably know what the Stanley Cup looks like.
- Clear Messaging
Plymouth Rock’s inscription is pretty straightforward: 1620. I would think most people understand this as a year date and not as the numerical integer with 30 divisors that is sandwiched directly between two prime numbers, for instance. An award, in the same manner, is most effective when the message is straightforward and tells a story.
So, having rocked it, I will sign off. Before I hit rock bottom with the wordplay.
And have fun with those earworms!
Hero Image Photo Credit: Wonderopolis
Dave Miller is VP of Sales & Marketing at Bruce Fox, Inc. and a professional writer by virtue of the fact his company is paying him to write this blog. He has been with Bruce Fox since 1990, which somehow sounds more palatable than 26 years. He is a fan of Dwayne Johnson. The goal of his blog is to “edu-tain” (educate + entertain) promotional products distributors, with a focus on custom work. Dave also finds it very awkward to write about himself in the third person.