Brilliant New Yorker Cover Captures Sandy Psyche

The New Yorker revealed the cover of this week’s issue, which comments on Hurricane Sandy, the blackouts of lower Manhattan, and the upcoming election. Artist Adrian Tomine described how he ended up connecting the storm’s destruction with the election: “Where I was in Brooklyn, I don’t think I would have even known that there was a major storm happening,” he said. “So I spent the whole night glued to the Internet and watching everything unfolding, just being shocked that this kind of dramatic destruction was happening just miles outside my home. And I started thinking about how it would affect the election…and somehow these two significant events just came together into that one image for me.”

New Yorker Cover Sandy Psyche

Creative Bra PR in London on Zero Budget

Chillisauce, UK event management company, creates world's largest bra for "Wear It Pink Day" - raising awareness of the fight against breast cancer - auctions the bra on eBay to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign“What can you do for no money?” was the challenge a high-powered venture capitalist (VC) shot at me after I pitched my business idea that required, I thought, $13 million to launch. He was testing me. How committed, driven and passionate was I about my idea. How creative could I get? I think of that line from the VC often when testing my ideas, or considering the aspirations of others. It’s easier to be creative with a lot of money. What can you do with just your imagination?

Chillisauce, a UK event management company, had a super-sized bra (a whopping 1222B), on its hands after they hoisted the world record bra on a building over the Thames in 2011 to raise awareness of the fight against breast cancer.  It’s officially the world’s largest bra, weighing the equivalent of 1,800 bras – big enough to cover a building and just smaller than two tennis courts.

This year Chillisauce auctioned the World Record Bra on eBay and raised £3601 for Breast Cancer Campaign. That’s thinking creatively, for zero budget. From Chillisauce:

As yet the new owner’s intentions are unclear. However what started life as the World’s Largest Bra could easily become a giant hammock, a catapult for firing yourself over the neighbour’s fence, a pop-up bra type building, the easiest tent to find at ‘Glasters’ or just the ultimate way to add character to a outside of a modern property.

PR needs more creativity. You don’t need a lot money to make a splash. It’s old but it’s relevant. The old IBM slogan: Think. Thanks to Rebecca Lee, press contact at Chillisauce, for sending this our way.

Election Sound Bites

blah blah blahIt’s over, the noise, the confetti, the attacks and counter attacks. All that’s left is the sound bites.

From Big Bird to Clint Eastwood, this election spawned some sound bites that few will soon forget. Hark, a web site that touts itself as a “sound bite platform,” announced its list of the most listened to sound bites from the 2012 presidential election.

Hark compiled the list based on the number of listens each political sound bite got during the first 72 hours of its appearance on the Hark website between Nov. 1, 2011 through Nov. 1, 2012.

“The Presidential election produced some dramatic moments, resulting in powerful sound bites that, at times, completely dominated social media channels,” said Hark CEO David Aronchick. “As the world’s sound bite platform, we are proud that our content on Hark can help in the democratic process by informing voters and assisting those covering the election to tell a more informative and entertaining story.”

The top 10 most listened to sound bites on the Hark web site were:

1.         “I like PBS, I love Big Bird.” – Governor Mitt Romney

2.         “. . . they brought us whole binders full of women.” – Romney

3.         “What do you want me to tell Romney?” – Clint Eastwood

4.         “If it’s a legitimate rape. . .” – Missouri Senate Candidate Todd Akin (R)

5.         “. . .there are 47 percent.” – Romney

6.         “. . . it is something that God intended to happen.” – Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock (R)

7.         “The third one, I can’t. Oops.” – Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

8.         “With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey.” – Vice President Joseph Biden

9.         “The 1980′s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.” –President Barack Obama

10.       “Rape is rape. It is a crime.” – Obama

Brilliant New York Magazine Cover

This says it all. New York and the Dark Zone during Hurricane Sandy.

New York Magazine cover for Hurricane Sandy

Measuring the Unmeasurable in PR

Mark Rose, Partner, Influence Consulting GroupMeasuring the value of PR is a constant struggle.  Some clients still insist on the print advertising equivalent of media placements, a completely antiquated metric since most of the value of publicity is online. How do we measure the value of online publicity? I spent a week trying to figure it out with one client and came up empty. That’s why I was heartened to see Courtney Seiter’s post Why Social Media ROI Can’t Be Measured – And Why That’s OK

Some blog posts on PRBlogNews spike in traffic years after they were posted. Why? Something happens that makes the post timely and relevant again. There’s an anniversary of an event. Keywords trend and the post rises in search results. Each blog post, if done right, is a digital asset that compounds over time.

Blog posts, like online news stories, are picked up by Google alerts and are fed into uncountable in boxes.

There’s a cumulative effect to online publicity and blog posts that defy measurement. Quality content that’s delivered in a search-friendly way accumulates and is the foundation of online reputation.

Also, online publicity impacts Wikipedia, which needs verifiable online sources as the basis of its content. This may be the biggest benefit of online publicity, and the most difficult to quantify to clients.

In the Internet age, public relations requires a lot of labor-intensive work that doesn’t yield an immediate, obvious benefit. Convincing clients of the value of these activities remains a challenge.  As Seiter suggests, quantifying and measuring what we can is a good start (page views, click-throughs,Tweets, etc.). The rest involves education about the nature of online content, and a leap of faith about the value of online conversations. – Mark Rose