Wednesday, October 5, 2011

PR for Rodents and Raisins

It’s interesting to be back in the world of Public Relations as I make my approaches to the local news media before the launch of Mousenet in a month’s time.

Yes, I’m having some success (more on that when it gels) and it takes me back to the glorious eight months when I was officially in the PR business. I’d just been fired laid off from the San Francisco Examiner in one of the periodic culls of reporters decreed by the head office, and took a job in the PR department of J. Walter Thompson. My boss there was extremely tolerant, and let me pull off some great stunts, like sending a model out into San Francisco Bay in a bathtub powered by a client’s outboard motor.

Our main client, however, was the California Raisin Board, for which I invented “The League of Silent Movie Eaters.”

Launched to coincide with the San Francisco Film Festival, this organization purported to battle the noise people make at the movies unwrapping and chomping food. Scientific tests (we claimed) had shown that raisins and an Indonesian delicacy called kwee-talm were the snacks that scored lowest on the scales of both “rustle” and “crunch.”

Big success! Our fake president was interviewed extensively on the local media–as was my brother Richard, whom I appointed president of the League’s British branch. He was whisked off to various television and radio studios, and, I’m proud to say, completely forgot to mention raisins.

And I think my boss was not too unhappy when I decided to go back to England.

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