Artisan Marketing Communications offers clients PR and marketing communications advice, practical support and implementation.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Should PRs always tell the truth?

Manchester PR agency Brazen has apparently incurred the wrath of the Manchester Evening News by issuing a PR release for a publicity stunt that had a fib.

Brazen, according to creative industries portal How Do, set-up a PR stunt that involved a guy filling a bath full of melted chocolate for his girlfriend. The diary editor of the MEN recognised that "the couple" were not a real life item: one was a Brazen exec and the other the boyfriend of a Brazen director.

I asked an editor recently if a new client I was taking on should publish a story about a major account win they won within 14 days of being formed. It was a great story but I pointed out they were formed a few months ago and I couldn't say they had just won it. His advice was do not to get caught if you do tell a fib. He has a long memory and I suspect other journalists do as well. I decided that opportunity was not viable and not worth the risk however small.

Brazen probably just see this as being creative and the amount of coverage they have had creating such scenarios is worth it all things considered.

I cannot help thinking that this debacle might have been staged by Brazen to get some publicity, create a little viral marketing (debate) and to show that they have some cunning and initiative.

By the end of this entry I really beginning to wonder what the truth of this is and at the same time I am not sure if I care anymore as I suspect many readers will.


Anonymous tom said...

Hmmm - not sure about the idea this was deliberate. I think a relationship with the MEN is to valuable to risk for a regional agency.

The fact is that PRs lie every day. It's part of the job, to a certain extent. The lies may be tiny ("sorry, we don't have a spokesperson available to comment") or enormous ("the manager has the full backing of the board"), but they are still, sadly, part of what we do.

3:28 AM


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