Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Wanna be on TV?

Yesterday, my high school made national news when one former student killed two of his friends.

The shooting happened yesterday morning, and while I did not know the three men well, I have friends that were in their class and the news hit them pretty hard.

Shootings and death are a private thing. People should be able to mourn in private, and not have cameras shoved in their face. On the flip-side, the so-called "close neighbors" and "close friends" that crawl out from under their rocks to appear on television are sickening, dregs of society.

Yes, I understand the "if it bleeds, it leads" mentality for television news, and I have many friends that are television producers in Arizona. But, do we really need to profit from death, or let people whore themselves?

On to another interesting aspect of the killing. The accused's family put out a statement that had "attorney" written all over it. Yes, I believe that attorneys and public relations have a place in such a tragic event - particularly PR, that can be a buffer against the press - but try to make it look natural and not so unfeeling and stilted.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Gorillaz on my Mind

An interesting little story in today's Washington Post on using the Internet for guerrilla marketing.

It's an interesting article for a couple things - the comment made by Jeff Hicks, president of Crispin Porter & Bogusky, the wonderful creators of Burger King's Subservient Chicken - the porn chicken that has received 150M hits. Hicks comments that "All this is a reaction to the fact that traditional media marketing is crumbling, just crumbling."

Which should give us PR people something to mull over. If the traditional media marketing is crumbling, what does that say for the content? The Chinese Wall between advertising and editorial seems to be crumbling, being led by television's full-frontal attack to incorporate sponsors' products into everything.

POP! Public Relations has always been a big proponent of satellite media tours, which also cross that line of advertorial sometimes. Those SMTs are pitched to morning television shows, and come across as third-party endorsements.

Plus, POP! has always been a big believer in the different outreach programs - guerrilla campaigns work, but they do cost money. Recently, a client came to me and wanted to spend very little money on outreach for a new product (there was no money budgeted for the product). My thought was to make a cut-out of the logo and go tagging throughout Tempe (but with water-soluble paint). You'd create a buzz, and not get into any trouble because water would get rid of the graffiti.

The campaigns referenced in the article are interesting, and are doing what they need to - getting the word out. But, how quickly passe are they going to become when every company tries to do the same thing?

Title from Redman and Gorillaz on the Blade II soundtrack. Great song.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Updated Links ...

Check out the two new blogs on the side ... Micro Persuasion and Media Culpa.

And, the coolest of cool ... I got a GMail account!! Woo Hoo!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Summertime, and the living ain't easy

Winner for the best non-news news story is ... Summer bummer: Ice cream prices rising.

And, naturally, every news outlet has picked up the AP story and is covering this story and comparing it to the rising prices of gasoline.

Let's be realistic - how many people are going to notice the 10 - 15 cent rise in ice cream? Is this going to lead to a big rush in ice cream purchasing today and the rest of the week? Are the ice cream deprived going to be out in the streets screaming for blood and revenge? Or will it be a replay of the 70's, with long lines at Cold Stone Creamery and 31 Flavors where we wait for the next shipment to come in ... oh, wait, that was for gasoline.

Although, on a pure PR standpoint, POP! Public Relations does respect the efforts and the massive coverage that has been generated.

Thank you Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff for today's Summertime title ...

Monday, April 19, 2004

Badump, bump, bump, bump ...

I'm loving it!

Well, just the irony of McDonald's chief Cantalupo dies from apparent heart attack.

While the death of Mr. Cantalupo is very sad indeed, this is going to be a huge test for both internal McDonald's corporate communications team and Golin-Harris, the AOR for Mickey D's.

This is a major test for Golin. They mishandled Mad Cow, and had to be rescued by Burson Marsteller, who handled the majority of Mad Cow work for the beef industry and lead the PR offense campaign.

Can Golin step it up for McDonald's? It's going to be an interesting PR session to watch - here you have the CEO of a company that just introduced a healthy menu for a fast-food icon that is continously attacked for being unhealthy. And, then less than a month later, he falls dead from a heart attack.

Plus, this has to make the powers that be in Golin HQ a little nervous. IPG is going through shakeups, and rumours have been floated that the Golin brand may be on the chopping block - sorta why MWW distanced itself with Golin in the latest IPG annual report. If Golin messes this one up, they might as well kiss their tushies goodbye.