May 05, 2010

Press Agents Shining Hour, today 3:15 - 4:15 local time

On this 47th Press Agents Shining Hour, I recall PASH's greatest coverage when my dad hired college students to picket the White House:

On May 5th,1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson's White House observed one of the more unusual "special events" -- Press Agents Shining Hour (PASH).

PASH was the first client of a company called Proxy Pickets, formed by and employing DC college students to picket for hire. The PASH demonstration was picked up by AP and numerous local papers, resulting in more than 100 placements nationally. And we almost made national TV: the founder of Proxy Pickets was later on "To Tell The Truth," and just as Kitty Carlisle asked the real founder who his first client was, Bud Collyer said that time was up!

In Marc Benioff's book, Behind the Cloud, the founder of writes about a similar tactic. From the Business Week review:
Benioff could have written an entire book about marketing. This one is peppered with ideas that once seemed over the top but turned out to work. Early on, for example, Benioff hired actors to pose as protesters outside a user conference held by larger rival Siebel Systems. They chanted that traditional software was "obsolete" while a fake TV crew interviewed passersby. The stunt generated a lot of press—aka, free advertising.
Great minds...

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