“Downton Abbey” returns to PBS on January 6th.  Americans have fallen in love with this idealized version of the past, ranging from formal dining every evening to cooperative arrangements between the employer and employees.

Clients and prospects ask us at Image Marketing Consultants how they can leverage this amazing bit of pop culture for marketing and public relations.  Well, there are infinite possibilities to capture the good spirit and style of the series and use those to bond with customers and prospects, get the attention of media, and produce engaging material for your own social media.

For example, eating establishments can christen a certain dish or snack after a character in “Downton Abbey.”  A fine chocolate or elegant dessert could be listed as “Mary’s delight.”  In addition, there can be an evening a week designated for serving all the courses the family at the Abbey traditionally eats.  Formal attire required. Invite the media to sample the sweet fare and settle in to an old-fashioned dining experience.  Owners can also promote this special event through their social media.  Have members of staff live blog and tweet, video tape, and take photos. Some of those can be takeaways for guests.

Another approach is to partner with one or more other businesses and nonprofits for a contest to depict in print, digital, video or audio the specialness of “Downton Abbey.”  Through this kind of alliance the prizes can be significant and the media could be attracted to the story. There are also fun ways to play with this meme on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and Google+.

A third suggestion is to declare a “Downton Abbey” day or retreat in the workplace in which management and labor try fresh ways of becoming an authentic team.  That could include guest speakers, panels, and role playing.  Your communications department can generate plenty of internal coverage on this experiment.

Every so often, a bit of pop culture embeds itself into the national consciousness.  That won’t be forever.  Yes, it’s a use it or lose it.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation about your marketing, partnerships, public relations, special events, and social media kate@imagemarketingconsultants.com, 203-404-4868.