Hot and Spicy PR

I have been known to make unusual comparisons. So I will not be surprised to raise a few eyebrows when I compare public relations to chicken wings.  To clear the air, I’m thinking of marketing PR (not corporate PR), when my mind ventures outside of the box and into the nearest Hooters for a fix.    

Believe it or not, there was a time when the chicken wing was just a chicken wing, hanging out amidst the other parts and content to be the least desirable part of the chicken. Then along came mild, hot, spicy, and inferno flavors. Throw in some celery sticks with blue cheese dressing, and  the Buffalo wing never looked so good. It was hot; it’s still hot.

I see similarities in marketing PR. Like the chicken wing, it used to have its limitations.  Rarely was it thought of as anything more than a press release. It was overlooked for some time, patiently waiting amongst the other parts of the marketing campaign. It has been there waiting in the wings (yes, pun intended), for just the right moment, the right breeze, the right aerodynamic conditions to take off. And now is that time. It should be quite a flight, one that even the late Charles Lindbergh would be proud of.

Unlike the ingredients for corporate PR, I’m most excited about marketing PR because I believe it has been buried beneath a mountain of advertising, and now it’s like a volcano about to erupt.  The more I learn about it, the more I want to see that hot lava flow! Now, the conditions are perfect for such an eruption. It’s going to get hot, and stay hot!

With media vehicles like social media, web 2.0, and now web 3.0 to support PR campaigns, the sky is the limit. Whether it’s a news release, an event, or a promotion, new technology is creating new opportunities for PR to reach a more targeted audience than ever before. As technology advances, it’s only going to get better. Moreover, I think it will be PR’s catalyst for disseminating messages in a way that will cross generational barriers.  All generations, from Generation Y on down to Baby Boomers are going to reap the harvest. The reason: it’s not just Generation X that has become consumer savvy, everyone has.

When it comes to conventional advertising, even baby boomers (the old cash-cows) are no longer a sure bet. The old-fashion commercials that used to garnish their attention have become a victim of TiVo and its fast-forward capabilities. Everyone should have seen that coming once TiVo became a verb! Throw in the effects of The Great Recession, and PR now has a valid reason to enhance (or in some circumstances, replace) conventional advertising. Perhaps that’s why the latest text book Think Public Relations, by Wilcox, Cameron, Reber and Shin, predicts that PR will grow by 24 percent over the next ten years.

That’s why I have decided to jump on the PR bandwagon. It’s not just a trend. It’s just a lot like my old friend, the chicken wing. Only now, it’s time to fly. By the way, contrary to most beliefs, chickens can fly. They just tend to do it when no one is looking. In the meantime, I’ll take mine the same way I take my PR: inferno, with extra blue cheese dressing!

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