Earlier this week, the collective PR community smacked itself on the forehead, kicked itself and groaned, “Dang, I wish I would have thought of that!” as we watched the reaction to The Most Amazing Press Release Ever Written, issued by Mitch Delaplane of PitchPoint Public Relations swell and spread across social networks and the biggest news sites on the web.
The 481-word press release declared itself the most amazing ever, and offered the mere fact that you, the reader, were reading it as proof.
“Hilarious!” was the tweet from prominent technology journalist David Pogue, who we suspect has seen almost as many press releases as PR Newswire has issued.
The coverage started to snowball, as TechCrunch, The Huffington Post, the Wall St. Journal and CNBC picked up the story.
At the same time, Mitch’s online following soared, jumping from about 50 followers on Twitter to more than 800 by Thursday.
When I contacted him on Thursday afternoon, Mitch said that he’d been swamped with email responses. “The majority have had great feedback,” he said. “People are having fun with it and laughing, which is exactly why I did it.”
After the holidays, Mitch was responding to some RFPs, and decided, in what he calls a “Jerry Maguire moment” put this message out, to see if he could get some laughs and maybe find a like-minded client or two. He notes that he tries to bring creativity and humor to public relations, and would like to be working on more campaigns that taking that approach.
In years past, Mitch never aggressively bought ads for his company, relying instead on his professional network and word of mouth. This year, he decided to do something different.
“I literally wanted to put something out there to give people a good laugh,” he said. “A lot of us in PR have thick skins from pitching, getting shot down, hearing nothing and getting rejected.”
“This is the sort of stuff I always wanted to do in PR,” he continued. “I’ve proposed unusual tactics to clients, which got shot down by the senior managers. But on your own, you can take risks. A lot of people laughed and I’m getting some opportunities out of it.”
Indeed, an article on Ragan.com pointed out that while the media and bloggers received the “amazing press release” warmly, some of Delaplane’s fellow PR professionals took a decidedly dimmer view, and the sentiments of the comments on Ragan’s PR Junkie blog are decidedly mixed.
Public relations isn’t known for risk-taking. However, the unexpected success Mitch has seen from this single press release has illustrated, first-hand, the power of a differentiated message. He’s going to suggest more creative – and yes, riskier – concepts to clients.
“I’ll be presenting these types of ideas more,” he noted. “Offering a different take, and getting the client out of their comfort zone. I’ve had more fun, creative projects in the last two years than in previous years. I love it, and it’s a great way to get messages out there in a fun way. I’d like to be part of that movement.”
What outcome pleases him most? “The amount of laughter that it has produced,” was Mitch’s immediate reply. “We can have fun with PR. We can have as much fun as the creative ad guys do. The landscape has changed.”
And Mitch isn’t done. He told us that he’s already working on his next act.
Let’s face it – this was one great stunt. With one message, Mitch raised his visibility within the PR industry – and with major-league media – significantly. And he did so in a smart and savvy way. Our hat is off to, you, Mitch. That was some sweet PR.
About PitchPoint Public Relations:
PitchPoint Public Relations is a very small public relations company located in Chicago, IL. It currently consists of Mitch Delaplane, an Apple computer and his bloodhound Sally (no overhead, just great PR). Mitch has been doing public relations since 1999 and has worked for some of the largest public relations agencies in Chicago and many of their Fortune 500 clients/brands. While he can do every single facet of public relations, his background is in consumer and sports marketing. His main interests are helping companies develop creative programs and alternatives to traditional public relations tactics.
Authored by Sarah Skerik, VP social media, PR Newswire