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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XS Energy Drink: Worst `Green’ PR Stunt Ever?

XS Energy Drink: Worst `Green’ PR Stunt Ever?

Chris Knape, a Grand Rapids Press reporter, on Monday posted some critical remarks about the Chicago Sun-Times’ tongue-in-cheek story about XS Energy Drink last week.

“The idea is so incredibly stupid,” Knape blogged, “it gets my vote for worst “green” PR stunt ever.”

Now, I don’t know how many green PR stunts he’s encountered—so I don’t know whether to resent, or resemble, his commentary.

But this much I do know: gone are the days when a company would have to endure a protracted lag time between Knape’s “BS From XS” remarks before issuing a response.

Nowadays, we’re engaged in a dialogue with no time restraints. And as long as Knape keeps spelling the drink’s name correctly, I guess we can’t be entirely upset.