The 'Squirrel Story' as an Invaluable Piece of PR

Cailley Hammel Headshot

Last week on the AQUA site, we posted a video about a squirrel

But this wasn’t your average cute animal video — this one depicted a pool guy nurturing a nearly drowned squirrel back to life. 

If you have yet to see the video, a recap: It opens with pool guy Rick Gruber tending to his furry patient, draping him on a piece of PVC pipe and squeezing his ribcage with his fingertips to provide CPR. The squirrel is unresponsive, and all seems lost. 

Gruber eventually takes the squirrel to rest in the shade in a “bed,” or a cushy kneepad. Slowly, the squirrel starts to breathe. And then, he slowly begins to move. 

For animal lovers like me, this is one of millions of videos that appeal to my sappy side. Yet it’s far more than that — this video takes the image of the pool professional and gives it a compassionate twist. The pool guy isn’t a stranger in the backyard who leaves a bill behind; he’s someone who cares. In that respect, this video is an invaluable piece of PR. 

Naturally, the video went viral, gaining coverage on TV and online in local, national and international markets. All over the world, even at this very moment, people are stumbling upon a story of a pool guy who did a nice thing for a squirrel, and with any hope, it’s changing the way they see pool professionals.  

I’ve written before about how important it is for pool and spa professionals to get out there in the media. As drought restrictions and pool accidents gain media attention and threaten our industry, stories like this counter that negativity by presenting our profession in a completely different light. 

That’s why I strongly encourage you to share this video. Post it to your company’s social media outlets, include it in your e-newsletters, chat about it among your customers. Give your customers a chance to see just how great pool pros can be. 

As Gruber says at the end of the video, “Pool guys aren’t so bad, are they?” You already know that, but make sure your customers do, too. 

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