Saturday, February 28, 2004


I'm completing a paper on the limits of PR brought on by the flap over the Janet Jackson incident at the Super Bowl. It won't surprise anyone that what Jackson did was OK from the point of view of communications mechanics. It might have been stupid from the point of view of her audience, but that is yet to be known. Her audience was not most of the viewers that night. It was the young and daring. Jackson's misjudgment was to ignore those watching who have power over her career. She's learning that lesson now.

But that is not the point of this thought. The point is there is a broad spectrum of permissible communications within PR, some of which turns me off. As a practitioner, I don't have to like what other practitioners do, but I have to accept that they are allowed to do it and make a living in their own way.

So, they think Janet Jackson's stunt was stupendous. From one point of view, it certainly was. Would I ever advise a client to do that? The answer is no because it is highly unlikely I would ever have a client like that. We don't do entertainment PR.

The paper reviews what is permissible and what is advisable and produces no startling conclusions, but you might find it helpful in formulating your own advice to clients.

I'll have it up on the site soon.


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