The Idiocy of PR Companies

I’ve had three videos go viral this week, and loads over the last few years. When I used to work for production companies PR agencies would spend a fortune trying to make a ‘viral’ video. All of them got literally no views. Teams of ‘creatives’ would spend weeks scripting it, analysing other videos, running their ideas through layers of marketing management. They never got that you can’t make a ‘viral’ video – that’s up to the public. All you can do is react quickly to events and that the idea is more valuable than the production. I did always say this, but they never listened. Gotta spend those marketing budgets on something I suppose.

This is a genuine conversation I had with a PR person:

PR: We want to do a PR stunt for the Signs premiere. We’d like to land a UFO in Leicester sq.

Me: It’s a pretty large prop to build, and there’s not much time. It will be expensive.

PR: Can’t we just hire one.

Me: That’s pretty niche, I could phone around props departments and see if they have old ones from Doctor Who sets and stuff like that, but most of them are just scale models.

PR: No, we actually want to land a REAL UFO in Leicester Sq.

Long Pause

Me: You do realised functioning UFOs don’t exist, and if they did the Pentagon is hardly like to hire one out for the weekend.

Another classic.

Marketing Guy at Global Radio: It’s back to the 80s week at Heart FM. We want to do a video of the presenters flying around London in the Back To The Future car.

Me: It’s quite a big job, and there’s not much time. We’d need to find a Delorean and hire a warehouse with a massive green screen, then we’d need to source arial stock footage of London.

MG: Can’t we just film it in my car in the basement car park.

Me: No. What’s your budget?

MG: We have no budget.

All these people earnt far more money than I ever have!

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