Can you spot a PR stunt a mile off?

PR stunts are a great tool for very quickly raising awareness of your brand – but how savvy are people becoming about them? Do you think you could spot a PR stunt a mile off or are you easily duped into believing everything you read?

A PR stunt involving a lot of wine! (Source: taylorherring.com)

A PR stunt involving a lot of wine! (Source: taylorherring.com)

I spotted a couple of contenders in the press last week – what do you think of these two?

1. Mail Online:

 
An online gift website is – apparently – recruiting to fill the position of ‘Living Luxury Executive’; someone who will enjoy food at fine restaurants, stay at top hotels, wear designer jewels, road test fast cars and more.
 
The company claims it will definitely employ someone for this role – but how long will it last? Real or stunt – you decide.
 
2. BBC.co.uk:

Chessington bans ‘baffling’ animal print clothing

According to one wildlife park in Surrey, animals are becoming ‘baffled’ by visitors who wear animal print when they visit so they are banning these items of clothing from now on.

 
The article admits that other zoos have confirmed this is not the case for them, so could this be a stunt to raise awareness for Chessington’s new African experience (which is given a nice plug in the article)?
 
Let me know if you’ve seen any other contenders and what you think of these two!
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Social media rumours (and the price of being gullible)

I’ve written a few posts on this blog about my favourite April Fool’s Day PR stunts, so a story on Metro.co.uk about an iPhone prank caught my eye today.

It seems that a number of gullible iPhone users have damaged their phones after believing (and testing!) a rumour circulating on social media claiming that installing the new iOS 7 makes your phone waterproof.

To be completely fair, the pranksters have gone to quite a lot of effort to make their ruse believable – there have been vine videos created ‘proving’ that it works and even fake adverts like this one can be found circulating the web:

Source: metro.co.uk

Source: metro.co.uk

Needless to say, a number of the duped iPhone users have taken to Twitter to reveal the truth (and the extent of their foolishness) so it seems this social media rumour has come full circle.

Let me know if you’ve seen any other social media stunts that you think are worth sharing! I have to admit, this is one of my favourites (sorry if you fell for it)…

Social media addiction – what’s the problem?

I’ve always found Guardian.co.uk to be one of the best places to read commentary about social media and a new post today about social media addiction by  is no exception.

The virtual Twitter me is so much wittier and more interesting than the real me

The main culprit, so David claims, is Twitter and I completely understand why. While Facebook is clearly very addictive with its lovely photo albums, funny status updates and stalker-friendly check-ins, it’s Twitter where news breaks first and you often find yourself feeling rather smug for knowing about things before everyone else.

That said, with the rise of social video, don’t be fooled into thinking YouTube is innocent in all of this. In my mind, YouTube will soon be the social network that will be the most difficult to banish from your life. Whether you like home videos, official movie trailers, how-to tutorials or big brand adverts, it’s all there waiting for you 24/7 and looking better on mobile devices than ever before (if something doesn’t look good on my iPhone, it’s just not going to keep my attention nowadays).

So, is social media addiction a problem? Perhaps. But as long as I can multi-task I won’t be checking into rehab for a long while yet.