It was no accident I saw a piece on Mad Magazine’s 60th on CBS’ Sunday Morning this past Sunday – and then heard a piece on NPR’s All Things Considered the next day. I enjoyed them both and chalked it up to the power of PR. Mad is celebrating its 60th birthday.
I was a regular reader of Mad from my early teens through the start of college. That was some 50 years ago. In fact, whenever a client asks me about a product name, Arthur immediately comes to mind and invariably slips out with a smile. Not everyone gets it, but…
When the TV piece mentioned Irving Berlin’s law suit about Mad’s parody of Blue Skies, I broke into song with the first two lines, beginning with Blue Cross. I got a strange look from my wife, Judi.
The TV segment also reminded me of a conversation I had many, many years ago with my late Uncle Paul, an attorney in Washington. He said that a friend of his was Mad’s attorney, and he was always busy.
And finally, it was just last week at a networking group that a “Mad lib” surfaced. Waiting on the food line, someone asked if my spot was the back of the line. “No,” I responded, “this is the front; we’re just going backward.”
The pieces on CBS and NPR reminded me of the magazine I avidly read. On seeing and hearing the reports on consecutive days, it was obvious that Mad had good PR representation. A look at Mad’s website listed a New York Times article (which I missed) and other media coverage.
The power of PR was front and center. Sure, a publication’s 60th anniversary is noteworthy. But hiring people with the expertise to bring out the stories fueled the campaign. They gave writers, editors and producers the material that their readers, viewers and listeners could personalize. I sang a song and recalled a conversation. I’m moved to buy the special-anniversary anthology.
People still ask: “What can PR do?” This campaign did many things so “Maddeningly” well. It reawakened awareness. It let people put themselves in the story. It motivated positive action. It showcased an instance of professionally designed and executed PR at its best.
Every business or non-profit has a story to tell. A PR professional can help you bring out that story and energize it for your target audience.