Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Microsoft Cloud, Cognitive Computing , Release Management , CMS

Agile Computing: Article

Top 10 Craziest PR & Social Media Requests

I couldn’t make these up if I tried

As PR professionals we’ve all been there - a client or colleague enthusiastically asks, “Can you get us on Ellen?” or “How can we make this go viral?” While we’d rather explain that the company makes construction equipment lug nuts and that getting on that show doesn’t even hit the target audience, for some reason we always reply “We’ll definitely work on that!” It’s another classic PR or social media shake my head moment.

With this in mind and through the assistance of Help A Reporter Out (HARO), I wanted to document some of the craziest, most absurd requests or assignments PR and social media professionals have received. Here are some of the more interesting responses from our colleagues in the field:

1) My kid does karate…get us a reality show
“A client in the healthcare industry said to me ‘My kid does karate, my wife does arts and crafts and I am a doctor. I don't understand why you can't get us a reality show.’ There was almost nothing I could do to keep a straight face. - Emily Taffel, owner, Mugsy PR

2) Get us on Oprah…even though her show ended over two years ago
“In mid-June, I was asked if I can get a product on the cover of the July issue of Vogue. It is a small, organic face scrub that is not yet approved for sale in the United States and whose website is a disaster. He said he would settle for SkyMall, as long as it was printed before his vacation which was the following week. This same client also wanted to be on The Oprah Show by the end of the summer...not realizing the Oprah show went off the air over two years ago.” - Amanda Grosgebauer, principal, Spot Strategies

3) No NYT waste container feature? You’re fired!
“A client who sold industrial waste bins insisted I get him in The New York Times. And not as an expert in green technology, waste disposal law or any other subject on which he might have a long shot at snaring a quote, but an article devoted exclusively to his plastic waste containers. I laughed. Then was fired. Which is OK because the story helped me land and educate new clients about reasonable and ridiculous expectations.” - Katherine Kotaw, CEO, Kotaw Content Marketing

4) Please have Matt Lauer read this exact script
“A prospective client contacted me about getting her boss on The Today Show to talk about an upcoming auction of rare coins. In her initial email she sent a near complete script for the interview segment including specific questions she wanted Matt Lauer to ask.” - Donn Pearlman, president, Donn Pearlman & Associates

5) Mine is better than yours
“While visiting our gallery, a hopeful [artist] exhibitor showed me some of his photos on his iPhone, then made it clear his photos were better than any we had on our walls. He suggested we immediately replace our current exhibition with his photos. The man strongly believed his collection would gain him an audience with vice president Joe Biden if I pitched it correctly. Safe to say he is not on our artist shortlist…or long-list.” - Bennett Rea, marketing director, The G2 Gallery

6) Man the phones – the press release is about to hit!
“I co-own and operate a press release distribution site and had a client who was soon announcing the launch of his new website. He asked we keep him posted on when the press release would be published so that he could ‘man the phones.’ Man the phones! I had to break the news to him that the act of submitting a press release would probably not make him a star. It’s about the substance of the message and not the application of delivering a message that makes waves.” - Christine O'Kelly, co-founder, Online PR Media

7)  Forbes? Thanks, but no thanks

“A former client in the food industry received a feature profile in Forbes (online) and was interviewed by the reporter via phone. It's important to share I landed this within 30 days of the client contract beginning. When presented with the placement, the client was ecstatic and shared the piece with the brand's energetic online followers via Facebook and Twitter. At our next meeting, the client said to me (I'm paraphrasing), ‘Being inside the magazine was good, but what about the cover? Why aren't I on the damn cover of Forbes?’ Needless to say, the room went quiet. - John Forberger, communications group account manager, Oxford Communication

8) Get King Abdullah & NASA on the phone
“I once had a non-profit client ask me to get him a call with Queen Noor because ‘she and I are similar.' You know, because it's just so easy to get King Abdullah on the phone. The client also wanted me to convince NASA to help him build a time machine to travel back in time and also produce his music career about rockets and flying into space.” - Sasha Muradali, director of consumer media and technology, #OpenCommunications

9) If Salvador Dali wants an anteater, make it happen
"Salvador Dali once insisted that he appear on the Dick Cavett Show with an anteater. It was no easy task getting an anteater from the Bronx Zoo. There was more paperwork than contracting an A-list celebrity. The segment was a sensation, though, and he got to promote his new art series, Memories of Surrealism." - Diane Terman, president, Diane Terman Public Relations (hat tip Karen Brooks)

10) Can you help my tortoise get famous?
“One of my client contacts sends me a note about his pet tortoise named Rambo. Apparently he ties bandanas around Rambo, straps a knife to his back and takes him for walks on the beach in L.A. (sometimes he even lets Rambo wander on his own!). People who meet Rambo always want to stay connected with him, so he wondered if I could make a website and social media for the tortoise. I reluctantly agreed. I loved the idea of Rambo the Tortoise roaming the internet as well as the beach, but I had never had a pet client before and wanted to make sure I could provide a good value.

After creating rambothetortoise.com, a Twitter and Facebook account, someone spotted Rambo on the beach, posted a picture to Reddit and it ended up on the front page! The problem was the post was about a “mystery tortoise” - no one knew his name or connected him to his online accounts. So I made a BuzzFeed post about Rambo, which also ended up on the front page. Now he was officially famous. Around this time, Facebook offered us a coupon for $50 worth of advertising. The ads were extremely successful - the most popular Facebook ad I've ever seen, actually. We took it as a sign: the world is hungry for Rambo. We're now planning a charity event around him.” - Jason Simms, owner, Simms PR

While I’m sure many folks can relate to some of the stories, I’d love to hear your craziest requests from clients or executives at your company. Feel free to share in the comments section. Who knows, maybe we’ll have a follow-up list or even a series?!

More Stories By Ryan Greives

I am the senior public relations specialist at cleverbridge, a proven leader in global subscription billing technology, services and expertise. I lead the development, execution and measurement of the global PR and social media strategy. Prior to cleverbridge, I was vice president of BLASTmedia’s B2B Practice Group, providing strategic counsel, while driving tactical execution for a diverse range of clients. I led some of the agency’s largest campaigns, conducted launch campaigns for numerous startups and helped many emerging brands build their profile. Working with a wide variety of companies at all stages of growth, I have managed client strategy and messaging for clients such as 3Tera (acquired by CA in 2010), Bluelock, iGoDigital (acquired by ExactTarget in 2012), Code 42 Software, Tanita, NuCurrent, Woopra, Gordano, Ontario Systems and Mi Media (FRA: 8MK).

You can connect with me on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Silicon India has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Published in Silicon Valley, Silicon India magazine is the premiere platform for CIOs to discuss their innovative enterprise solutions and allows IT vendors to learn about new solutions that can help grow their business.
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "IoT Now" was named media sponsor of CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York, which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER gives detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPOalso offers sp...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...