PR takes the proverbial

This morning is a tricky time to read press releases or newspapers as PR practitioners and journalists take the temptation to produce April Fool stories.

BMW‘s release is quite easy to spot as it promotes the Canine Repellent Alloy Protection system intended to ‘stop foul play on the street’.  (I’ve told my PR contacts there that my dog is campaigning now for Piddling in Safe Streets as a response).

Continuing the doggy theme, the Daily Mirror claims ITV is planning to launch Dancing on Ice with greyhound dogs wearing non-slip shoes to compete on the frozen stuff.  I’m not sure if this is a genuine quote from the Greyhound Racing Association, but it would be a great way to respond: “It is great to see the dogs enjoying it. Some are better suited to the surface…probably more so than Greg Rusedski.”

Of course, the real challenge today isn’t to spot the spoof April 1st stories, it is trying to work out which of the others are genuine.  So many media items and press releases seem questionable regardless of the date. 

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Heather Yaxley

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.

4 thoughts on “PR takes the proverbial”

  1. Heather, here are some more pranks from BMW which I found on wikipedia:

    # Annual BMW Innovations see a new “cutting-edge invention” by BMW advertised across British newspapers every year, examples including:

    * Warning against counterfeit BMWs: the blue and white parts of the logo were reversed
    * The “Toot and Calm Horn” (after Tutankhamun), which calms rather than aggravates other drivers, so reducing the risk of road rage,
    * MINI cars being used in upcoming space missions to Mars,
    * IDS (“Insect Deflector Screen”) Technology – using elastic solutions to bounce insects off the windscreen as you drive,
    * SHEF (“Satellite Hypersensitive Electromagnetic Foodration”) Technology, which sees the car’s GPS systems synchronise with home appliances to perfectly cook a meal for the instant you return home,
    * Marque-Wiper – mini-wipers for each exterior “BMW” logo coming as standard on all future models,
    * “Uninventing the wheel” to counter the “EU ban” on right-hand drive cars,
    * Zoom Impression Pixels (“ZIP”) to counter new “Slow Cameras” and,
    * “BMW Instant Messaging” – using Reactive User Sound Electronic (RUSE) particles to display the driver’s words to the car in front on the windscreen.
    * A compact disc available to all BMW owners, which when played over the audio system performed minor service and diagnostic checks; when flipped over it played soothing classical music (Australia).

  2. Thanks Ellee for the BMW update – I understand the advertising agency is involved in the April 1 spoof technologies as a pro-bono, but it is good that their jokes underpin the corporate message of new technology.

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