The Rivera PR Blog

Archive for September, 2009


PR vs. Advertising – “DING,” You Are Now Free To Get A New Set Of Luggage

The constant debate remains of which is a better spend; PR or Advertising.  When it comes to a service related industry, my feeling is that PR is “brand building,” whereas Advertising is “brand bolstering.”  Lets use Southwest Airlines as an example and apply this theory to a case study; if anyone has seen Southwest’s new advertising initiative, they’re priding themselves on not charging for baggage and they go as far as taking a dig at other airlines hidden charges, making the verbal claim that “other airlines don’t like your bags.” For those who have not seen these commercials, check out this first video.

Sure, that’s a very heartwarming commercial, but this second video I just took through the window of Southwest flight 202 makes me question if they’ve really got love for my luggage.  I took the advertising script from the first video and dubbed it over what I saw through the window; as you’ll notice there’s quite a disconnect, and basically I wouldn’t mind paying a couple extra bucks for an additional staff member to ensure this didn’t happen to my baggage.

The reality is that any well funded company can spend their outreach dollars on advertising, however people (or the ‘Public’) will eventually form their own opinions and then it’s up to that company to launch a reactive “Public Relations” campaign to alter consumer perception of your brand.  Yes, be bold with your initiative, but be sure your that you’re employees are carrying out your mission — otherwise your consumers will be carrying-on their luggage.

“Sir, would you like to sit in the shooting or non-shooting section”

I pulled this image off the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control’s (DLLC) website.

The DLLC is encouraging restaurant owners to print out this sign and to post it on the front of their establishments before September 29th, 2009 – that is, if the restaurant owner does not want people carrying concealed weapons to enter their venue.

See, after Sept. 29, 2009 a new law will actually go into effect that will allow people carrying concealed weapons to bring them into restaurants and bars (just as long as they don’t drink).

The reason that I put 2009 above in bold is because I just want everyone to be absolutely clear that this 2009 and not 1809 when people would park their horses out front and shoot the place up over a crazy game of poker.

Arizona has banned smoking cigarettes in restaurants, not smoking guns.

Last week we posted a about a blog about a San Francisco restaurant’s Yelp strategy that ended up getting some nice traction with the SF Chronicle, NY Times, Food and Wine Magazine, Gawker and the SF Weekly.  Will we see a new trend in online reviews after September 29, 2009?  I mean, why waste your time giving a chef a bad review when you could just waste the chef?

Bad service?  No problem, that is if you remembered to bring your (hidden) Smith and Wesson.

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