Bill Ackman made a serious short wager against Herbalife, and now he’s looking at big numbers in the loss column. Can he PR his way out of this pickle and regain part of his fortune? (And to my fellow PR peeps – doesn’t if feel validating to see our services being called in by the finance titans? Sort of like the average joe who sees a Roto Rooter truck in the driveway of the local mansion.)
One of the most frustrating aspects of the contemporary PR scene is the fact that public relations has become inextricably linked with technology. The medium and its viewership is king, and as a result, PR must now keep step with every tech and platform change that rears its pointy head. If we want to take a snapshot in the present, though, this report is a pretty good summary of what PR pros should be focusing on. (Dangling prepositions be damned.)
A recent PR stunt from Douwe Egberts has airport patrons receiving a free coffee when it senses that they are yawning. Obviously that’s a clever trigger, but is it enough to push through a brand? I’d be very surprised if this really got their sales pumping, especially as it seems they have a distribution issue. (I’ve never seen them anywhere before this.) Is the cart being pushed before the horse? (Am I falling into antiquated cliche?) And just on a conceptual note, does it make sense to associate yawning with coffee in the customer’s mind? Wouldn’t a coffee manufacturer want to associate alertness with a specific cup of java? If I’m sleepy, a yawning trigger would make me think of Douwe Egberts but not neccesarily as a wake-up inducer.
President Obama, already known for his wily use of the PR machine, is now turning to Hollywood to “educate” the public. Healthcare reform is not the most user friendly of topics, (and it certainly hasn’t been the most popular,) so where does an aspiring history maker turn when he needs to get the message out in a favorable way? To Amy Poehler, Jennifer Hudson, and Kal Penn apparently. While this move may not be good for the country going forward, (cue the Hollywood government in Idiocracy,) it will certainly produce a few delayed yawns in the here and now. “Oh look, Jennifer Hudson! (pause) And she’s talking about healthcare. Hey, what’s on Animal Planet?”
Read more on this story in Variety.