A hairy turn of events: Entrepreneur magazine features my Blagojevich haircut offer PR stunt

Nearly a week after closing arguments in former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s corruption trial, the jury is still out on whether he is bound for the slammer, a reality TV show, or somewhere in between.

But Entrepreneur.com, at least, has weighed in with a verdict on a Blago-inspired PR stunt that Inside Edge PR concocted for a hair salon client, Charo’s Hair Design and Day Spa of Elmwood Park, Ill.

The stunt came on the heels of Blago’s arrest some 20 months ago.

In a piece that appeared online Tuesday, freelance writer Geoff Williams deemed the stunt to be a flop, though he did note some up-side as well. He also covered nine other PR stunts and teased out lessons from each, making it relevant material for anyone in the public relations and marketing fields.

I really don’t mind the “flop” characterization.

As Williams rightly notes, “Blagojevich didn’t take the salon up on the offer; he likely didn’t see much of an upside to accepting. A smattering of local outlets reported on the gimmick, but the stunt went nowhere.”

On the positive side, Williams wrote, “It’s good practice to invent marketing stunts that won’t cost you much if they don’t go anywhere. Baron doesn’t think Charo got a lot of business from the stunt, but she didn’t lose any time or money, either. Try to avoid a marketing stunt that, if it fails, could cost you a lot of time and money that you can’t afford to lose.”

And here in August 2010, the hairy hijinks did get some more national publicity, with links to both the Inside Edge PR website and that of Charo’s Hair Design.

How fortuitous, too, that it comes at a time when Blago is very much on the collective public’s mind. Who knows? Maybe he will still take up Charo on her offer, which is good through January 2011.

If so, you can be sure that I’ll appeal to Entrepreneur.com to alter its “flop” verdict.

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Client Sets Sights–And Shears–On Blago

Public relations can get you into some hairy situations, but in the case of a new Inside Edge PR client, Theresa Charo, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

She has set her sights–and her shears–on former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and it’s triggered an immediate media reaction. More on that momentarily, but first, a recap about Blago:

Perhaps even more than his troubles with federal investigators, he is noted by Americans for his over-healthy crop of hair. For more than two months, his mop-top has been the butt of jokes, digs, jibes and snipes.


Seemingly unfazed and certainly unbowed, Blago has stared down his critics, all the while peering from beneath the thick, dark tresses that conceal his forehead as he declares his innocence.

So it was only a matter of time before someone tapped into widespread public sentiment that the ex-public official could benefit from a haircut–and possibly even a complete Kojak (for youngsters unfamiliar with the term, that’s the 1970s TV series starring bald actor Telly Savalas).

With that in mind, you can read an Inside Edge PR news release about Charo, owner of Charo’s Hair Design & Day Spa in Elmwood Park, Ill. The story, which received more than 1,000 views at TribLocal.com in less than 36 hours this weekend, relates how Charo has extended an offer to cut not only Blagojevich’s hair, but also his wife Patti’s and their two daughters’ hair.

As the Wednesday Journal of Oak Park and River Forest noted on Friday afternoon, Charo has even pledged to donate $1,000 if Blago agrees to go Bald-o.

C’mon, admit it, you’d kick in a few bucks if it meant seeing his hair scattered on a salon floor, right?

To see Ms. Charo elaborating on her offer, visit a link to the letter she sent Blagojevich on Friday and/or click on the video below: