February 4, 2011

Why publicists don’t feel the love on Valentine’s Day…

Being a publicist on Valentine’s Day is a decidedly unromantic job.

Every year, we have to dissect and exploit the theme of love in new ways that garner media attention for our clients.  And while chatting over coffee last week, my Redpoint partner Vickie and I walked down memory lane on all the crazy Valentine’s Day promotions we’ve orchestrated for clients over the years, and…damn, if we didn’t end up feeling like romance mercenaries.  Some highlights…

  • Couples jumping over fire in Armenia for Tufenkian Heritage Hotels.
  • Wife-carrying contests in Finland (the man wins the wife’s weight in beer…how romantic).
  • “Sex at Sea” Survey for Royal Caribbean International, proving why “it’s better on the water.”
  • Do Not Disturb packages at Hyatt Resorts, based on our survey that found that intimacy is the number one reason couples put that sign on their door.
  • Search for the Greatest Romantic for Princess Cruises, a contest to award a free cruise to a person who could prove worthy (with a potentially viral video, of course) of this lofty title
  • “Puppy Love” packages at Loews Hotels:  who needs a man?…spend the holiday with your dog (cue cuddly visual below).  See related post about dogs surfing at Loews…we publicists seem to do an equally good job of “exploiting” pets too.

The lesson we learned here?  Publicists – and marketers – simply don’t get to be seduced by the magic of this “Hallmark holiday” like normal people.  We’ve peeked behind the curtain far too many times to swoon when romance knocks at our own door on Feb 14. 

I mean, really…what can the poor guy do?  We see a bouquet of flowers and we think:  Couples’ flower arranging classes at The Crillion…intricate rose petal patterns on the bed that spell out Will You Marry Me at La Casa Que Canta…exotic flowers arranged in bento boxes for sushi lovers…etc.  We see a box of chocolates and we think:  sensual chocolate wrap spa treatments in Maui…a diamond ring hidden in a Godiva gift box…48 hours of chocolate in New England…etc.

You get the idea.  Please don’t judge us for it…it’s an occupational hazard.  And truthfully, we’re all highly romantic and affectionate people here at Redpoint.  Just not on Valentine’s Day.

So this year, we’re going to declare February 15th “Love Your Publicist Day.”  Feel free to send us flowers, chocolate, jewelry, mushy cards…any traditional Valentine’s Day gift you wish.  Our romance-mercenary brains shut down for a while starting that day, so we’ll be quite receptive to anything you send.  But don’t wait too long past that date…magazines have long lead times, so we’ll be flipping that mercenary switch back on around July, already thinking of the newest outlandish idea to exploit love for next year.

It’s a tough job, but we do it because we ♥♥♥♥ our clients.