Welcome!

Release Management Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, David H Deans, Liz McMillan, Jnan Dash

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+.

@ThingsExpo Stories
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, will discuss how by using...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CAST Software will exhibit at 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. CAST was founded more than 25 years ago to make the invisible visible. Built around the idea that even the best analytics on the market still leave blind spots for technical teams looking to deliver better software and prevent outages, CAST provides the software intelligence that matter ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japanese Pavilion at 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. Ruby Development Inc. builds new services in short period of time and provides a continuous support of those services based on Ruby on Rails. For more information, please visit https://github.com/RubyDevInc.
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at 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. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at 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. Taica manufacturers Alpha-GEL brand silicone components and materials, which maintain outstanding performance over a wide temperature range -40C to +200C. For more information, visit http://www.taica.co.jp/english/.
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities – ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous impor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge 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. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at 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. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
As popularity of the smart home is growing and continues to go mainstream, technological factors play a greater role. The IoT protocol houses the interoperability battery consumption, security, and configuration of a smart home device, and it can be difficult for companies to choose the right kind for their product. For both DIY and professionally installed smart homes, developers need to consider each of these elements for their product to be successful in the market and current smart homes.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at 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. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" 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. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at 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. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will discuss how from store operations...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.