Tears for Fears

Which of the following offers the most cutting edge PR tactics?

  1. A large multi-national public relations agency
  2. A large corporate communications department
  3. A small, specialized digital PR firm (if there are any)
  4. A non-governmental organization
  5. A political campaign
  6. The U.S. government
  7. The government of Iran

It’s hard to say. After all, a number of the presidential campaigns (#5) are effectively using social media to capture prospective supporters and a bigger online footprint. Then there’s the real-time war room mentality that pervades the White House (#6), and increasingly besieged corporations (#2). As for the global PR firms (#1), the results are uneven. Who even can name a pure digital/social media PR firm (#3)?

The president of Iran (#7), with his Hitleresque underpinnings, simply controls the region’s like-minded media, e.g., today one of the pan-Arab TV networks broadcast supposed “confessions” from two of the British soldiers captured in Iraqi waters.

Actually, selection #4 gets my vote. Check out the following video clip from the anything-but-green PR team at Greenpeace.

Remember that dopey, I mean weepy promotion last week for which Kleenex set down blue couches in New York’s Times Square to tape allegedly unrehearsed man-on the-street interviews? People were asked to tell a tale that brought tears to their eyes, and, of course, an “impromptu” Kleenex. (Selected finalists got paid $200.)

Kimberly-Clark (#2), the makers of Kleenex, which uses virgin wood fiber from Canadian ancient forests, succeeded in making media waves, but not all the company had bargained for. Leave it to B.L. to expose this tearful ruse.

Ultimately this old school PR promotion will end up on the online video hit parade, but not before that of the edgier clip from a more nimble Greenpeace beat them to the post.