Sunday, May 14, 2006

A Day Without Immigrants and PR Dogs

It is always amazing to see how public relations is viewed in the media and by corporations. Some media understand how PR works, and when PR has gone wrong, and the work we do to work with the media.

And, some corporations just do not understand PR, and think that a blog will take the place of all that is needed.

Last week, a (surprising) column appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle that was anti-A Day Without Immigrants (yep, a relatively conservative column in the Bay). Well, anti might be a strong word, but the columnist goes point-by-point through the day and how A Day Without Immigrants was a PR nightmare. If it was supposed to shut down all of the city of San Francisco, and other cities with high immigrant populations ... it did not. Unless you were on Market Street in the City, you had no idea what was going on. In the Financial District, everything was opened, I could not hear any protests or marches or slogans, and the day was like any other day. That, in a word, is a failed PR campaign - when it really has no affect, when everyone was supposed to be affected. Oh, and in the 21st century, most of the US isn't too hep on the hammer and sickle imagery, or the socialist whine. Well, outside the Bay Area, and even here I don't think it plays that great outside the fringes.

Now, corporiations that just do not get what PR is. Well, this seems to be a Web 2.0 extravaganza, but they will learn ... and come running to PR when the shit hits the fan. Trust me, they will.

Or, they will appoint their dog as the PR person. While cute - and, well, Labradoodles are cute, if not the sharpest knives in the dog drawer - it is also insulting. Let's shove our dog out there as the PR representative! Well, reading the site, I guess the dog is also the copyeditor. I hope he has his own copy of AP Style Guide, and if not, he needs one fast.
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