Gini Dietrich

Old PR Stunts Don’t Drive Sales

By: Gini Dietrich | September 14, 2011 | 
164

If you regularly read Spin Sucks, it won’t come as a surprise to you that I’m a really big believer in using PR and marketing to build income (and, in some cases, profits and higher margins).

Measuring results has become even easier during the past five years and, because of that, we have to stop doing things that grab media attention, but don’t make sense for the brand nor drive sales.

It’s our responsibility to measure results; it’s not the responsibility of our clients or our executives.

Our responsibility.

That’s why, when I see things like the following news segment with the Guinness Book of World Records-seeking World’s Finest Chocolate, I go a little nuts.

In fact, when Patti Knight brought it up in our staff meeting, I said, “Hello World’s Finest Chocolate? 1980 called and wants their PR stunt back.”

Before we talk about why this stunt won’t work, go ahead and watch the video. Don’t worry. I’ll wait for you.

(Click here to watch if you can’t view in your RSS feed.)

I’ll give them that the stats are pretty impressive: 12,000 pounds of chocolate that is 21 feet long. And they’ll win the record (or have won it). Pretty cool.

But answer me this:

  • Why is a “Think Big, Eat Smart” campaign coming from a chocolate bar company?
  • Why is a chocolate bar company talking to kids about portion control?
  • Why is a chocolate bar company that has nothing healthy in it talking to kids about eating smart?
  • How is this going to help them sell more chocolate? As Patti said, “I love chocolate, but this makes me sick to my stomach.”
  • How does this kind of media attention help them?
  • Is it disturbing to anyone else that they said, “Once we have their attention, we’ll talk to them about healthy eating and portion control.”? Um, Mr. CMO? Spin Sucks.

Maybe you’re saying, “But Gini. There is no such thing as bad PR. I mean, you’re talking about this stunt.”

Baloney. My talking about it isn’t going to make you find your nearest Cub Scout so you can order their chocolate, is it?

Why do we still insist on using old tactics that don’t drive sales?

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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