Ooops. It seems I was mistaken yesterday when I wrote that short item on Facebook about the brains behind F64’s successful PR stunt a few days ago – the one that involved lying to the press when the photo retailer announced it was being sold to a foreign investor. (It was to Santa Claus, it later yucked.)
I apologize. So for all my faithful readers, let me write a correction. And while I’m at it, let me ask you all a rhetorical question: Just how perverse can things get here? (Wait, I’ll show you.)
Now, I was under the impression that F64 acted without a professional PR agency when it pulled that mindless stunt. It must have, I thought. Apparently, I was wrong – as I’m told the press release was issued by some firm called 2activePR here in Bucharest.
Of course, I would never want to suggest that these specialists must be a bunch of juvenile nincompoops to think that tricking reporters, embarrassing them, and wasting their time was a good idea. No. (You think any press is good press? Ask Tylenol or Wendy’s about that one.) In fact, the PR agency’s stated “vision” on its website reads in part that it specializes in “maintaining and enhancing corporate reputation in the eyes of clients, employees, analysts and the media.” At least with the media, I do believe in this case the agency fully succeeded in “enhancing” F64’s reputation – if, in fact, this result was the reputation the company was seeking.
But wait, that’s not the only reputation that has been enhanced here. I’m also told that while reporters were suckered into coming to the fake news conference, the members of the press were all given stuffed animals and cameras – as a gift you understand, as a token of appreciation, as an expression of heartfelt thanks, as an adorable little lagniappe, as – well, I don’t know, what would you call it? I know what I call it. And, I’m told, when they found out they had all gathered there as part of a joke, no one in the press stood up, objected, and told them where to put their cameras. (I suppose if I got a free teddy bear, making a fool of me would be quickly forgiven also.)
And then, just in case you still have your lunch, the retailer announced that all this had been for a good cause (oh my goodness, this is the Sensiblu Foundation all over again) because the store has a place for customers to bring toys and clothes for poor children.
Hey, I’d like to enhance an idea also. Why don’t the reporters put their pencils away, fill the poor kids’ boxes with the stuffed animals and cameras they were just given (maybe some did), thank the retailer and agency for wasting their time and insulting their professional ethics (even if you don’t have any, doesn’t it insult you that people look at you and assume that you don’t?), and then everybody can go home, celebrate Christmas and pretend they’re professionals.