The PR un-awards 2004

PR Watch has produced a list of “people and players responsible for polluting our information environment”. At the summit of the “Falsies Awards” we find PR practitioner turned fake TV journalist Karen Ryan. The list also includes some guerilla marketing techniques and astroturfing.

About guerilla marketing, Shawn Prez of the marketing agency Power Moves is attributed with meaning that stealth techniques are especially effective with teens. “By the time the message gets out, they don’t even know they’ve been hit; they don’t know that they’ve been marketed to. All they know is that their interest has been piqued,” Prez said. Umm, I thought that teens were the most critical consumers and the hardest to fool. Ever thought about honesty and transparency in PR?

“Reputation terrorists” new worry for PR

Angry consumers empowered with new technology that allows them to be mini-publishers of their own, causes a severe threat to brands and companies’ reputation. PR agencies and research companies like BuzzMetrics are studying these “determined detractors” to advice clients on how to respond and avoid a serious PR crisis.

“The technology puts the power of the press into the hands of the everyman,” says Paul Rand, managing director at Ketchum Midwest.

But the increased interest in negative online buzz should not just be seen as a means for corporates to nip consumer response in the bud. “If it’s just to better their product or avoid a P.R. disaster, the bottom line is that that benefits the customer,” according to artist and filmmaker Casey Neistat.

New York Times has the story (reg. required). Link via PR Watch.

News story of the year 2004

The least interesting story of 2004 is also the most widely covered, namely the Knutby murder story where a pastor from the Pentecostal movement convinced a nanny to shoot his wife and trying to kill the man next door. Swedish media have written an astonishing amount of articles about this non-story which has all the ingredients that make up the perfect news; sex, religion, murder, infidelity and new technology. The murder took place in early January of 2004 and during the year Swedish media published incomprehensible 11,977 articles (online articles from Retriever search).

Top 20 media in terms of number of articles published:

Aftonbladet 653

Upsala Nya Tidning 630

Expressen 530

Nya Dagen 518

Sveriges Radio 507

GT 467

Helsingborgs Dagblad 338

Svenska Dagbladet 311

Hallands Nyheter 292

Dagens Nyheter 285

Länstidningen Östersund 265

SVT Nyheter 265

Eskilstuna Kuriren 253

Gefle Dagblad 253 245

Östersunds-Posten 233

Tidningen Ångermanland 223

Norrländska socialdemokraten 223

Sydöstran 218