One Hot (Maybe) Strategic Mess

“You can watch that performance and think that’s a hot mess,” she said. “But it’s a strategic hot mess. … If I wanted a raunchy sex show, I wouldn’t have been dressed as a damned bear.” So says Miley “Twerker” Cyrus in the New York Daily News.

Give me a break.

Miley is now spinning that this was a PR ploy to game-change her brand from innocence to “inner bad b-tch.” 

Since the VMA performance, Cyrus broke off her engagement to Liam Hemsworth, posed topless for Rolling Stone, got “Rolling Stone” tattooed on her feet, admitted to smoking marijuana, spanked a twerking little person onstage and bended over onto all fours so that a monkey dressed as a cowboy could hop on her back.

Weeks after the VMA Awards, Miley is still all over the news, and has definitely exposed her inner bad b-tch. So I guess you could say her strategy was a success. Did she sell any more records, get cast in any new movies, find a new beau? Time will tell. But in the process she sure did trash her reputation. And I mean trash.

So, take it from Professor PR: Whatever you do, don’t ever try rebranding á la Miley. Promise? Or you could end up nothing more than just a piece of garbage.


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How to Get the Wrong Kind of PR


Let me see if I have this right:

1)      Hundreds of bratty kids break into a private, vacation home, party like there’s no tomorrow, do thousands of dollars of damage, and Tweet their pix.

2)      Seeing the photos on Twitter, the shocked homeowner calls the local sheriff, who shuts the place down.

3)      The parents of the bratty kids are now threatening to sue the homeowner because their precious babies might now not get into college.

4)      Huh?

Naturally, the media is all over the story and the PR for these kids just gets worse and worse. Parents, take it from Professor PR, you want to drop it. You are doing your children no favor by keeping them in the news. I know, it’s difficult to walk away. Media attention is just so darn alluring. But keep your eye on the prize: college. And from now until acceptance, keep a low profile.

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Starbucks No Guns Allowed Policy: Will it Backfire?

Well now, I’m a little upset. It actually hadn’t entered my mind that Starbucks could be a dangerous place, but now that Chief Executive Howard Schultz has put out his “Guns Not Welcome” decree, I may just have to stay home and sip solo.

Was this a good PR move for Starbucks? Will others follow suit? I can see it now:

Burger King: You Can’t Have it Your Way.

McDonald’s: You Deserve a Break Today…Without a Gun.

Taco Bell: Think Outside the Bun, No Gun.

Subway: Eat Fresh, Keep Your Flesh. No Guns Allowed.

You get the picture. While I understand Starbucks wanting to make a political statement about guns, it may just backfire.

And I may need to go elsewhere for my morning Joe.

Starbucks no guns

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Mommy, I Need New PR

Years ago, when my daughter was just a few months old, I was doing the new mommy juggle. You know, diaper changes, late-night feedings, walking the cranky little monster around the block, answering a few emails. Okay, scratch the emails. We didn’t have email back then. Heck, I don’t even think we had fax machines.

One thing I can tell you I wasn’t doing was worrying about my PR team. Life was pretty simple.

Woe to today’s celebrity diva. She’s got so much on her mind, like, “When is this damn weight gonna come off already, so the paparazzi don’t snap a shot before I can sell the cover shot to People for a gazillion dollars?”  Or, “Can I just take a stroll to Starbucks looking like the exhausted mother I am without every Tom, Dick and Harry taking a photo on their smart phone? Geez.”

But, alas, times have changed. Poor Kim Kardashian needs a new PR flak so she can distance herself from her krazy kinfolk. One sis with a drug beat hubby. Another sis blowing air kisses into her iPhone video while driving. Yet another sis stripping down to her skivvies to show off her curves. Oh, and her mom, the Big K, talking sex tapes with Big Bruce. I mean, c’mon, what’s a girl gotta do to protect her image around here?

Kim, I have to admit, Professor PR is proud of you. You are definitely doing the right thing. Protect your brand at all costs. You’re already heading North. It’s definitely better than heading South. Business is business. Families are complicated. Your family is, well, I don’t know a word for your family. Are you guys even human anymore? Or just walking ATMs?

Yes, protect your brand, absolutely. Otherwise, the rest of us will have to collect unemployment since there won’t be anyone nearly as interesting to skewer.

I take that back. I’m twerking on Miley. Now, THAT’S a girl with a PR problem.


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Stand (Way) Out in the Crowd

Standing out from the crowd in a unique way not only is a smart business move but it’s also a surefire strategy to entice the news media. Take New York real estate broker Christopher Burnside of Brown Harris Stevens. Guys like him are a dime a dozen. But when selling the Hamptons to his upscale clients, he goes to great heights, and I mean great heights.

Burnside charters a four-seater Cessna and takes to the sky, thereby creating an unusual bond, a lasting memory, a compelling story, and for him, hopefully, a big fat real estate sale. Not surprisingly, The New York Times was right up there in the clouds with him.

The next time you’re thinking about getting your name in the press, consider something unique. That’s what people want to read and that’s what the media wants to write about.

Read more.


Jabin Botsford/The New York Times

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PR Stunts Take to the Sky

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a hotel room in the sky?

That’s what I call one heck of an original PR stunt. You want to know how to attract the media? Look no further. Be original. Call it art.

For a limited time, the Curtis Hotel in Denver is offering a package with a one-night stay in a pop-up, inflatable room that rises 22 feet in the air.

According to an Associated Press story, architect Alex Schweder created the 5-foot-by-7-foot, see-through room atop a van for the Biennial of the Americas festival of arts, culture and ideas in Denver. It has a chemical toilet, shower, sink, inflatable bed and couch, and curtains.

“The Hotel Rehearsal,” as it’s called, will be hoisted mid-air through August 23. A one-night stay costs just $50,000.

The good news is…you’ll always be on the top floor.

The bad news: no smoking allowed.


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Mayoral Candidate Needs PR Rehab

Mr. Weiner, take it from Professor PR, your PR clock has hit zero. You are not going to be able to overcome this latest revelation. Your reputation is in the dog house. Your wife may be smiling but she will put you in the dog house, too. Whatever you may think about your ability to win, you won’t. Nobody wants a lech for a mayor. My advice: go away for awhile, do something good for the world, write a book…but don’t ever again run for public office.

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