There are some very dumb things going on in public relations and marketing at present. Is it a reaction to declining effectiveness of traditional marketing techniques, such as advertising, that organisations are using creative ideas without thinking through the consequences? Or are the creatives becoming lazier in not researching their suggestions? Or is it public relations in press agentry mode – let’s go for the press coverage/headlines regardless of whether anything strategic is achieved We have the bomb squads called to unattended packages containing electronic devices that were left around Boston to promote a cartoon show – and other buzz/viral/sneeze marketing techniques that are questionable on ethical grounds, or leave you wondering, what was the point of that?But I don’t mind the amazing Mexican baby who weighed 14lb 8oz – which is a genuine human interest story and offers a great photo making it a news story with meme potential. What is most amazing is that this superweight delivery isn’t claimed to be the result of global warming! Neither is the stunt of two Southampton schoolboys who drew a phallic symbol with weed killer outside their school which has been captured on Google Earth – and has marvellous echoes of the Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset. Mother Nature, teenage boys and ancient Britons are just so much better at stunts than many PR/marketing luvvies who are trying too hard.
Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant. View all posts by Heather Yaxley