Saturday, January 22, 2005

Sydney Falco's Top Ten Rules for PR Stunts, err uh, Promotions



Heidi Cohen contributed this good ClickZ Network article on how to create and measure buzz with online promotions.

Tip o'the hat to colleague Peter Shankman who receives several mentions.

Sydney Falco, another colleague, who insists I always use his nom de publicité when blogging, sent me the following Top Ten Rules for PR Stunts:

SYDNEY FALCO’S TOP TEN RULES FOR A SUCCESSFUL PR STUNT:

1. Keep it simple – the fewer moving parts the better.

2. Make it "high concept" -- Can you describe it in 10 words or less?

3. Make it sexy -- If you can't make a story like managed web hosting
sexy, then go work for Amway.

4. If you can't make it sexy and you don't want to work for Amway, then
make it sensational -- add emotion, scandal, danger, humor or weirdness.

5. Tie it to your business goals -- Will streaking through Shea stadium
actually sell more widgets?

6. Maintain your news cycle -- Name a baby Turok after a video game and you get one wave; hold traveling baby Turok challenges in large states with big media towns and the story lives longer.

7. Ratchet your concept up a notch or two and get more coverage --
Example: A beauty contest for geeks is OK, calling it Sexiest Geek
Alive to poke fun of the popular kids in People Magazine is better, and
pointing out to the press the scandalous chauvinism of your own contest -- even better.

8. Create seasonal tie ins -- If you keep one reporter from doing one
more Easter egg hunt
, you earn a life-long friend.

9. Keep in mind that PR stunts are ultimately about building long-term
media relationships -- Make them laugh and editors will always return calls, years after the fact.

10. Allow the reporters the opportunity to be reporters -- allow for
clever word play and snarky puns; be willing to make yourself a target
while keeping a straight face.

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I might add that when it all goes wrong, see Avoiding PR Disasters to try to contain the crises.

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