PR Stunts and Virals of Note


Country Music Television (CMT) announced that it has appointed a vice president CMT Dukes of Hazzard Institute. He gets paid 100k USD to sit at home and watch the Dukes of Hazzard in a PR stunt that was brilliantly designed to garner coverage. The role attracted applications from 1,900 candidates throughout the US. The nationwide search included recruitment ads in national magazines and newspapers and online job postings at Web sites.

Job description:

• watching The Dukes of Hazzard every weeknight on CMT.
• knowing the words to The Dukes of Hazzard theme song, “Good Ol’ Boys,” written and performed on the series by the legendary Waylon Jennings.
• serving as media expert on The Dukes of Hazzard for the CMT Dukes of Hazzard Institute: participating in TV, radio and newspaper interviews to share his expertise and passion for The Dukes of Hazzard on CMT.
• writing The Dukes of Hazzard Institute online blog for www.CMT.com
• being passionate about The Dukes of Hazzard on CMT.
• making appearances at special events such as CMT DukesFest 2005

Burger King has decided to use the power of the dark side to peddle its fast food. The restaurant chain has teamed up with Lucasfilms to create an animal, mineral or vegetable based viral. Pit your wits against Lord Vader at Sithsense

82 per cent of statistics are made up by journalists or PR people


ITfacts.biz is one of them invaluable sites that make you seem brainy in front of clients or pad out content in an article. Looking through it reminded me of the time I had a chat with a journalist who broke the Claire Swire story. It was late in the afternoon and he needed to file copy for his news site so he took a wild-ass guess about how many people could have seen the email which was then quoted and added to by more mainstream medium titles. ITfacts is great when you are not feeling creative enough with numbers. Before you ask I made up the title on this posting.

Irony of Ironies

I work in public relations promoting companies in the telecoms, technology and media sector. I have done for the past seven years. I, along with my competitors communicate primarily by phone and email with the occasional use of Yahoo! Instant Messenger. I was surprised by a recent request for a reference from a company that is one of my competitors for a former work colleague.I was not surprised by the request for a reference itself, nor the fact that my colleague would use me as a referee. In fact I was happy to recommend him as a PRO with the potential to do great things.

What really shocked me was the feedback mechanism for the reference. I received a letter on letterhead that only had an address and company registration number. There was no phone number, no email address and they asked for reply by letter. As you can imagine that did not create a great image with me since they are supposed to be representing technology firms, yet are not eating the dog food. Hell, I know friends grandparents that at least have an AOL email address now.

Maybe this explains why iPod bribery is now rumoured to be used in some pitches.

Yet another PR salary survey

According to Media Appointments the PR recruitment market started off with a bang in 2005! As a reflection of this buoyant market, many of their clients are continuing to hire at all levels and across all sectors: technology, consumer, lifestyle, corporate, B2B, consumer tech and healthcare.

Average Salary Scale 2005 (for your information)

Managing Director £75000 +
Board Director £65000 +
Associate Director £45,000 – £65,000
Account Director £37,000 – £45,000
Senior Account Manager £32,000 – £37,000
Account Manager £26,000 – £32,000
Senior Account Exec. £22,000 – £26,000
Account Executive £18,000 – £22,000
Graduate Trainee £15,000 – £18,000

New Fangled Interweb Guide for Laggards

PR colossus Hill & Knowlton have posted a guide to web logs, podcasts and RSS on their website. First of all the old biblical saying of pointing out the stick in the eye of others, but ignoring the plank in their own sprang to mind: H&K have not updated some of their own webpages for what looks like four years, in particular the page pertaining to the technology practice.

 

There is a great phrase in the brief about blogging When the likes of the FT and Forbes talk about it (blogging) and the outspoken vice-chairman of GM starts doing it, you know it must be big business. Hmm, I remember when the agency I worked at launched General Motors e-strategy with a web cast: round about the time the Internet bubble peaked, right before the pop! and if a phenomena is being talked about in Forbes and the FT on a regular basis then I would say an organisation have already missed the boat on taking advantage of the trend in question, if you want competitive advantage look for the next things coming along and focus on doing them well instead.I can see fund managers waiting for the next H&K ‘new-new-thing’ brief coming out and using it as a flag to start selling stock in that technology area as it had become overcooked.