P.R. Wild Pitches, Spring 2017

The first thing is, my sincerest apologies. For the past three months I've been sitting on a blockbuster. I let myself get so distracted by Trump, Facebook, online privacy, business models and other trivia, I never jumped on a story that was handed to me on a silver platter.

BJ Drohan

Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2017 10:54 AM

To: Bob Garfield

Subject: Guest: Winter Home Survival Guide

Winter Home Survival Guide: Seal Potential Money Leaks to Prepare for Severe Weather

Home Improvement Expert Talks Money-Saving Do-It-Yourself Home Winterization Preparation and Fixes

The nub of the story is "La Niña is ushering in colder temperatures and more precipitation across much of the country, and that means money out the window, unless you prep and protect your home from those elements.” And BJ was giving me access to Dave White, Home Depot's Mr. Thermal Leakage, “LIVE to discuss do-it-yourself home winterization fixes and life-saving storm preparation practices."



And I let you down. I let myself get so caught up in “media” and “marketing” I looked at a p.r. gift horse in the mouth. I am so sorry. But what's worse is this wasn't an isolated incident. With a red face, I can now offer you – courtesy of Matt Soberg at the Ruffed Grouse Society – the results of the 35th Anniversary Grouse and Woodchuck Hunt.

Participating hunters (104) harvested 175 ruffed grouse during the two-day hunt, which is a 17 percent increase over the 2015 harvest of 149 ruffed grouse. Each hunter harvested an average of 0.86 grouse per day in 2016, which is the fourth lowest in NGWH history, compared to 0.73 in 2015, which was the second lowest. These results are not surprising as we climb from the bottom of the ruffed grouse cycle. Based upon calculated results, the index to reproductive success for ruffed grouse was 15 percent lower than the long-term average, which means there were fewer young birds in the current population.

I know, right? The fourth-lowest ruffed grouse harvest in society history. This news broke the same week that FBI director James Comey announced a wrinkle in the Hillary email situation, and it technicallyis slightly off my beat, but Matt took the trouble to call it to my attention and I failed to pick it up and run with it. I won't even tell you about the woodcock situation, because then you'll really be pissed off.

This goes double if you've had issues with pain and stiffness for the groin, sacroiliac, neck, shoulder, jaw, upper and lower back. Or headaches, sinus pressure, pinched nerves, disc problems, low energy, trouble sleeping and pregnancy discomforts.  Because that very same week I let another scoop fall between the cracks.  Dr. Evelyn Haworth (yes, the Evelyn Haworth. inventor of the Tru-Align Body System) was made available to me to discuss spinal health and her unique home chiropractic gear.  According to Nicki Thomas, of Veteran PR, “Dr. Haworth and her Tru-Algin (sic) system” has appeared on the Doctors TV and various news affiliate stations nationwide.”

Yes, the Veteran PR. Not that you need a reminder, but in their words: Rooted in the belief that hard work coupled with honesty and integrity is the key to any success, Veteran PR strives to help companies build their brand awareness through strategic and effective Public Relations Campaigns and Social Media Marketing Efforts.

I failed these folks, and you, dear readers, twice. First, your spinal-alignment ship came in, and I was waiting at the airport. Then I insanely let Nicki’s subsequent  personal note go answered. I'm afraid it speaks for itself.

From: Nicki Thomas
Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2017 11:05 AM
To:  Bob Garfield
Subject: Maybe in Your Past Life.....

Hi Bob,

Past Life Regression Therapist and Author, Ann C. Barham is bringing the "new age" practice of past life therapy to the mainstream....and people are LOVING it!

On a recent episode of the Doctors TV, Real Housewives (sic) of Orange County star, Kelly Dodd underwent a past-life therapy session with Ann and shared her incredible experience with their viewers nationwide. Are you interested in learning more or interviewing Ann?....

The answer should have been: Are you crazy? Of course I'm interested. I mean, I'm obviously curious to know whether I was in a past existence a 19th-century German actuary or a subsistence farmer in Tanganyika or Napoleon. But I'm especially interested in the past life of public relations itself.  At some point before its current incarnation, did the industry not routinely waste everybody's time?

6 comments about "P.R. Wild Pitches, Spring 2017 ".
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  1. Roger Darnell from The Darnell Works Agency replied, April 3, 2017 at 11:54 a.m.

    Bob - what's this about woodcocks? At this point we just want full disclosure...

  2. Dean Fox from ScreenTwo LLC, April 3, 2017 at 11:57 a.m.

    Thanks for the much-needed laughs, Bob.  It's gratifying that so many mediocre PR folks are finding paid gigs, unless they're foolish enough to be working for a cut of whatever revenue can be traced to their efforts on behalf of this undisguised crap.  As the car guys like to remind themselves, 'there's an ass for every seat'.

  3. Mark Braff from Braff Communications LLC, April 3, 2017 at 1:27 p.m.

    Shame on you for missing these stories, Bob. I sure hope you're more on the ball when someone offers you an opportunity to do an interview to learn how much wood a woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

  4. HS Hughes from PDN, April 3, 2017 at 4:27 p.m.

    Do not be distracted!  The question you have to ask is: Why did the Ruffed Grouse Society push this non-story about declining wood grouse harvest? Is it a smoke screen to cover up for more nefarious misdeeds and conflicts of interest that the Ruffed Grouse Society hopes you'll ignore?  When will the press start doing its job????

  5. John Grono from GAP Research replied, April 3, 2017 at 7:50 p.m.

    Sad news Mark.

    The seminal work of renowned New York fish and wildlife expert Richard Thomas' into your exact question, which was originally published by AP in 1988 reporting "around 700 pounds a day on a good day, with the wind at his back" was recently replicated, revealing it has dropped by the exact same proportion (15%) as the reproductive success for ruffed grouse, to 595 pounds per day!   Wind assistance was not recorded - I'm onto the IOC regarding that.

    Spooky Mulder eh!

  6. Ford Kanzler from Marketing/PR Savvy, April 10, 2017 at 3:45 p.m.

    Its "sad" (a new, in-vogue expression I've learned) that dumb-ass, shotgun PR pitches remain a decades-long phenomena which PR pros, apparently even "veteran" ones aren't immune to. Combining ignorance, sloppiness and computer automation amplifies the problem. 'Hope you aren't hit with any more wild ones for awhile.

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