Un-Successful Public Relations
FAME... THE HARD WAY!
by Kevin James Salveson
In auto racing, not every swing at the ball produces a touchdown.
Some people just won't salute what you run up their flagpole no matter how many times you use that double entendre in the hopes of subliminally stimulating them sexually. You can stroke them, roast them, boast, chide, bold face brag, or out and out beg them, but no matter how many times you try it just won't produce the desired result despite you being so darn beguiling. So why not publically shame them? Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose, quote the heroin casualty.
In the interest of science we thus present to you our PR failures. Each one of these babies was birf'd in the heat of an oppressively humid Southern summer night of the mind, when the florid moisture in the air hung like a rug on your back and to shake it off you might entertain gambits (in the second person no less) far more desperate than even those you had originally envisioned as last resorts.
See, there is the Italian idea of sprezzatura, never let them see you sweat. Success is often a self-fulfilling prophecy. The harder you clutch at the fishy solution the more it squirms out of your grasp. Having to provide fainting couches for people is a pain. People hate to be assaulted with the obligation to feel pity or help someone desperate. Can't a body rely on the kindness of strangers anymore? In short, no.
Rather, eveyone is desperate for success and they only want to be onboard the star-train headed straight for a celebrity wedding cliffside in the Turks and Cacao islands (which are made of chocolate, incidently) coverd by paparazzi in helicopters as the ultimate Pr coup.
Exuding the sour milk-like cologne of depseration? It's just not done. Instead, you send out PR releases that show you are already the 'it' dude or gal. But if you want it too much, you can't have it. It's as I once heard in a song at church: "Love is like a penny, shiny in your hand./If you hold too tightly, it's not at your comma -aa --a-a-a-aand!" (The stutter really made an impression). Just substitute the word fame for love there and you've got media consulting typically worth thousands of dollars which I just imparted to you for free! (But don't thank me. Thank Jesus and co. for another LPT!)
Nonetheless, of course you're desperate. What, you want to die unknown, with no Wikipedia page to let the world know you existed? So despite the odds you sometimes just have to try anyway. Especially when you are again spiralling into a shame-drenched drunken stupor because of another meal at your parent's house which saw them again incessantly berating you about why you can't make any money selling your subpar content on the internet! When the answer is obvious-- bad PR.
Thus the day comes when a confluence of events, with the stench of pure fear that you don't actually even exist filling your nostrils, finally pushes you to throw that hail mary golf club at the rim and see if you get a strike or a spare! Maybe it's that you see The Shaggs are still getting college radio airplay for being crappy to the point of laughter and you think, I'm crappy too, why not me? As a born contrarian, when they say it can't be done you just have to try, right? (Unless as a born contrarian you just have to disagree with that statement.) At least I promise you'll be seen by at least one interested party... the CIA!
Anyway, despite wanting to always project an image of success and prosperity in the hopes we can fake it till we make it, here at Extablisment labs we've decided to pull back the curtain to reveal the man-child behind the machine (in the hopes we can get some magic red footwear to deliver us some middling sales in the Midwest or something like that). Thus, our worst PR failures can be found below.
We hope they can be instructive, in a way, of what not to do. Learn from our mistakes is sometimes the only thing a failed business can offer the world, so here we bequeath you the wurst of the wurst in our attempts to make PR sausage and fame spicy chorizo in the day and age of Donald Trump and train-wreck media spectacle broadcasting.
TWEETS TO RICHARD BRANSON
"Follow the money" has always been the smart man's mantra in the day and age of post-Nixon chicanery. And by follow, the Washingtn Post presciently meant on Twitter so you can see what the ultra-rich are up to and contact them directly with your business pitches, right? Right? RIGHT? I beg you, answer me! But they never do. Everyone else on the internet backs into free money and trips face-first into VC deals but you can't get a single flack intern hired by a big-wig to pass your tweet on to the target. What gives, internet?
C'mon Richard, I know you'd just admire the heck out of my chutzpah if you'd only check your twitter messages once and a while. After all, I was going to give 90% of profits to education charity on top of it for God;s sake.
Kevin Salveson @Extablisment Feb 15
@KanyeWest I sent @richardbranson idea: $10mm 2 make movie on Chinese #Yaogun = $400mm gross. I give 90% 2 education #charity. Wuz #ignored
Kevin Salveson @Extablisment 13 Dec 2015
@richardbranson thoght you had 10mm lying around and liked education... my bad but good luck anyway, keep chasing that dream big guy!
Kevin Salveson @Extablisment 17 Oct 2015
@richardbranson Hope you're well! Pitch:$10mm film (dance love family in CHINA) = $400mm in 4yrs. My Pledge: 90% to education charity. Msg me
End result? No reply, world cheated out a good thing. :(
FACEBOOK MESSAGE TO HENRY BLODGET
.Early on when Facebook meant friending everyone and hoping they would respond, I hooked Henry Blodget as a friend of a friend. Now, running the Business Insider after being drummed out of the securities business for being a hack analyst, he is using his contacts and criminal bio to secure venture capital to aggregate others' work on the internet in the mold of Huffpost, delivering yet another 'business lite' news source.
And that is how one day we are able to read a craptastic post from BI about clowns who --amazingly! we know-- dared to drive cross country in a van! No way, you might be thinking, that is too dumb for even clickbiat. Yes way! Having actually accomplished much more than that after quitting our jobs too, we knew we had the story of the year for him.
We were willing to overlook his sordid past if he'd give us the free PR exposure we craved. I mean, if we were caught breaking the rules of Wall Street the New Yorker would not being doing an article asking "will we be able to bounce back from our criminal past?" It just goes to show that making money on Wall Street is the only thing that matters and when you already run in rarified circles they just poo-poo your indiscretions and throw more funding at you.
Thus we were confident that Henry couldn't turn us down. Right? Wrong! Is it that we're not photogenic enough for him to care? In our minds, there is no other explanation. Yet we got that serious looking head shot depicting us emerging from the shadows and everything! We just don't get it. Still, Here's our actual Facebook IM to Henry which he pronptly ignored. You be the judge:
"Hi Henry, we're 'facebook friends' on b/c I'm friends with Paul LXXXX. but I vowed to not abuse the privilege. I know you got better things to do as well and that this is a job for your editors... but I have a few pitches for articles on B.I.:
-- "Chinese Rock Legend Starts Assault On Western Markets" Or...
-- "After Winning Capitalism, PM starts Media Empire" Or...
--"This Guy's crazy PR Scheme For Bands Just Might Work!"
If you want to forward all this to your editors, I'd greatly appreciate it. After all, sometimes one kind of risk is the risk of missing out on a good opportunity. And I know you like to play balls to the wall, right Henry?
(And not to be picky, but I did see you guys put out a puff piece about some 20 somethings who are travelling cross-country today on the B.I. And so I figure, if they're newsworthy then someone who actually has won capitalism and won the culture wars and who has also taken Trump to the woodshed on Twitter must be news too, right?)
Now, on top of everything, I could take ten million and turn that into four hundred million in three years easy. But it's the first ten million I'm having trouble raising.
Heck, I could be the next Hunter S Thompson crossed with one of Warren Buffett's lesser Chinese henchmen or something, a rare combo you must admit, but I need to raise the first ten million. But I know you can help get the ball rolling by doing a fawning puff piece on my for your rag.
Anyway, all kidding aside.. I promise, almost no one has read any of the stuff on my sites yet according to Google Anal. So it's all fresh copy for your readers!
Bottom line, you can feel the pride of knowing you saved me from ignominious failure as a writer and I can put food on the table for my kids. So it's win-win for everyone. Plus, I'll buy you lunch next time I'm in New York or you're in LA kind of thing. You'll love the stories I can regale you with!
Thanks... Kevin Salveson
And the end result of all that enticement? No reply. :(
Is it possible we can we get Stephen's intern to forward our questions to Stephen so that we can make free PR hay from all this grass we tried shoveling his way? Apparently not.
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