Commerce versus Climate Change

Usually, I’m not one to advocate cheap PR stunts, but the Yes Men impressed me with their fake news conference and what has become a public kick up the backside for the US Chamber of Commerce who support clean coal as the only viable energy solution.

The Yes Men step way outside the boundaries of conventional PR. They consider themselves activists who practice identity correction by posing as spokespeople for target organizations. Setting up fake websites to resemble their targets as part of their strategy, they lure interested parties in and receive invitations to speak at conferences, symposia and on TV. This most recent PR stunt drove the point home that climate change policy lays hostage to corporate greed.

Rightly or wrongly, these strategists target the bad guys by employing the same dirty tactics that they use. It’s like karma or justice.

As a side note, if coal was so good, why would Santa give it to naughty children at Christmastime?

Something is Rotten in the State of Denmark

September has been a month of bloopers. While I shudder to think that Kanye’s mishap at the MVA Awards was nothing but a publicity stunt, topped off with an appearance on the debut Jay Leno Show and the all-too-familiar celebrity outcry ~ I gotta get away for a while ~ something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Imma let you finish

While it’s fun to see the US President candidly talking about something so mainstream and mundane as the MVA Awards ~ pop culture meets politics ~ I have to question the integrity of the communications department behind this blooper ~ was it really accidentally leaked? The cynic in me wants to know.

While the Kanye and Obama bloopers both prove the theory behind the adage, there’s no such thing as negative publicity, this wasn’t the case for the WWF. The release of their September 11/Tsunami campaign before sign-off prompted an apology posted on their website and left them a little red in the face.

Sept 11 WWF Campaign

Unreal Real Estate

Real estate and PR clashed in Ireland last week. This fake queue outside real estate agent’s Templeton Robins proves that successful PR requires integrity and authenticity. First you have to gain the trust of your audience and in so doing, you build a relationship. Today’s consumers are too intelligent to be pulled in with stunts like this. 

Templeton Robins

Another element that has been overlooked is a connection to the audience. Just because you see a queue outside a real estate agent, doesn’t endow you to buy property. This is more like a hit-and-miss kind of tactic with little to no success rate. 


Souce:  The Irish News

The Rise and Fall of the Reusable Grocery Bag

I witnessed PR in the making today by sheer coincidence. It was so exciting, it gave me goosebumps and at that precise moment, the needle on my nerd monitor spiked.

There I was on, up to my neck in research and popular opinion on reusuable grocery bags, when in the matter of minutes it changed. Breaking news shot out over the Twitter waves from CNW, declaring reusable grocery bags a health hazard.

Reusable washable grocery bag

As this message spread out over the Twitter waves, I found myself up to my neck in dissenting opinion about reusable grocery bags. The National Post was quick to get the message out, and then, a couple of hours later came the damage control and this article in the Toronto Sun stating “the plastics industry is fighting back against the growing popularity of reusable grocery bags with a study that warns of health risks.”

As a sigh of relief filtered out over the Twittersphere, public opinion turned to common sense — of course it makes sense, the obvious solution is to wash your reusable bags and don’t use them for anything else like transporting your sweaty gym clothes. I can’t imagine the kind of skanky-assed bags they must have conducted their tests on. You think something like “the presence of fecal matter” would have a certain odor.

Nevertheless, to see this whole situation play out in real time, as I sat there recording every detail of it, is something I don’t think happens too often. It was quite the thrill. Yes, I’m a nerd, but at least I don’t poop in my grocery bags.

How Community Brings out the R in PR

Here’s a campaign that has all the right ingredients for success – music, community, and feeling good. Take a simple song everybody knows, one that has a lot of na-na-nahs, give them a mic and let the magic happen. 

So what? I hear the cynics out there say – it’s a phone company. What has that got to do with music, community and feeling good? Where’s the message in that? Cell phones connect people together – much like this event – and when we come together and celebrate, we feel good and when we feel good, we sing. Now every time these people hear the word T-Mobile, or hear the song Hey Jude,  they’ll think of that moment and feel good all over again – kind of like Pavlov’s dogs. If you don’t believe me, watch this video: