Posted by Amanda Chapel
This just into the news desk...
I was just complimenting Kevin Mercuri a vice president at 5W this morning. 5W was also in the news this week for their client Proshade. There they offered to pay $4 million to adorn the presidential faces on the Mount Rushmore National Monument with larger-than-life Proshade visors. Not surprisingly, the offer was declined. BUT, the subsequent ink was still tremendous.
According to Mercuri, "Seventy-five percent of what we do is textbook PR, the other fifty percent is fun."
What a classic line. A quote to remember.
With regard to "textbook," how about Bill Veck's playbook? If you are not familiar, Veck is White Sox legend. Among a myriad of promotional things he instituted, "exploding scoreboards" at ballparks was his signature.
Listen... I kind of took a whack at 5W a month ago for being less than discriminating when it came to clients. But frankly, this stuff I highly admire. It's "real" PR that understands that the public first and foremost wants to be entertained.
So to that I say, "Bravo!" Keep up the good work 5W and continued success.
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It's pretty sad that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie sold pics of their daughter for $4.1 million. Don't they make enough money?
No, what's sad is that people are so infatuated with celebrities they see on the big screen, and thus think they "know", that there's enough consumer demand for a publication to justify spending $4.1 million on this rubbish.
Disney World cost how much? Entertainment is very valuable to a society. Rightly so. I've got no problem with $4.1 million for a picture. That's showbiz.
What I find problematic is when celebrity poses as expertise. That's fraud.
I could care less if they want to pimp their child, that's their business. And good for 5W for getting the placement, a coup I am sure. But "one of the most important product placement opportunities in the world ever," is indicative of a vacuous and insulated world I'd just as soon avoid.
Ha! I do know (or at least know of) people who can't live without constant Brad, Angelina, Jennifer, et al updates. But tuning out the crap that doesn't matter to me is hardly suicide (not even career suicide, of course that's only because I thankfully don't specialize in pop culture.)
I hear you... and agree. I think where we may differ is that I have no problem with even schlock as long as it isn't pretentious. I am FAR more offended by what poses as "expertise" in our business than I will ever be about things like Brangolina.
Personally, I have a problem with schlock masquarading as PR (regardless of whether one specializes in pop culture or not). We wonder why our profession often isn't taken seriously or lacks credibility in the C-suite, yet we can shamelessly crow about product placement on Brangelina's tyke as a serious "PR coup".
I'm sure others will disagree, but I think entertainment PR types should be in the business of tooting the horns of their clients/masters rather than their own (but then I believe that about our work across industries). Such public accolades don't help/improve PR's reputation or image problem among those who quite often label our profession "vacuous" in the first place.
I think you may underestimate the audience some. Generally speaking... I think business thinks of PR people three ways: as crisis consultants, as showbiz publicists and as snake-oil hucksters. It's the snake-oil hucksters that give the business a bad name. Unfortunately, there's a lot of 'em.
With regards to a good crisis consultant... couldn't be more valuable. With regard to the showbiz publicists... that's just good clean (honest) fun.
As I said, I'm sure others will disagree ;-).
But I do beg to differ on one point. I don't underestimate the business audience at all; I pretty consistently underestimate those in our profession -- whether justified or not. I would argue that what you list as business' perception of PR is vastly over-simplified and part of the problem. Crisis consultants are there to clean up problems that arise from the absence of serious inclusion and engagement of PR/comm counsel at the C-level during all phases of business (from strategy to daily process).
Ok, I lied. I also beg to differ on the point that show-biz publicists don't give the business a bad name. I question what Lizzie Grubman -- and even Ronn Torossian -- have done for the image of PR in the minds of business and/or general public. And I doubt I'm the only one.
I hear you s. And I admit; I am oversimplifying. Let me modify crisis consultants to include your strategists. That makes sense.
With regard to the likes of Lizzie... she's an anomaly. She out Strumpettes me! There's just something smarmy there that frankly, I don't want to put my finger on. Kinda Studio 54 at 5:30 in the morning.
But Torossian is Ringling Brothers to me. Call me old fashioned but that showbiz part made PR what it is today. Be careful about throwing the baby out with the bathwater there.
But if I were Ronn, or worked for Ronn, I would have approached his announcement/release differently. Brangelina actually exploited the papparazzi and public's infatuation w/celebs by requesting $4+ million (or whatever) for the pics... and donating that $$ to a worthy and neglected cause. That's the only news there worth printing (and obviously not known by most), and Ringling Bros. and Co. could well have pointed that out... while more subtly getting across their involvement with the effort. Would have better served the cause of their client. Ultimately, would be less debate over just how tasteful the entire incident is from "PR coup" perspective if it weren't so self-serving. Again, just my .02.
sorry, didn't mean to leave off my "signature" from above post ;).