February 29th, 2012
Chasing a PR story back to its original source can sometimes be something of a treasure hunt, as the motivations and angles behind the stories reveal themselves more the more you dig. Take, for example, this from Friday’s Daily Express, about what makes us feel happy on a Friday:
IT’S 5.18PM AND THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE
THE weekend officially starts at 5.18pm on a Friday. That is the precise moment when the feel-good factor of having two days off work kicks in.
At this exact time, according to a survey, employees put the worries of the working week behind them and start looking forward to their plans for Saturday and Sunday.
A quarter of people questioned told researchers they immediately felt happy when they shut down their computer on a Friday afternoon, while for a fifth it was when they picked up their children at the school gates.
Now, you might be as surprised as I was to discover the company who paid for this article to appear in the newspapers as if it was genuine news (which it isn’t):
For one in six, sitting down to watch their favourite soap opera with a glass of wine indicated the start of the weekend, according to research by frozen food makers Ross Burgers.
Ross Burgers say people look forward to the weekend? That was a new one on me, so I did a little digging and things became clearer, starting with this promotion:
Ross Burgers is also launching ‘Fun Time Friday’, helping mums celebrate the start of the weekend. To learn more about ‘Fun Time Friday’ and find hints and tips on how to make the most of your spare time with the kids, follow Ross Burgers on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rossburgers and Twitter @RossBurgers.
Things are now a little clearer – Ross Burgers want to become synonymous with fun weekends, hence their new ‘Fun Time Friday’ promotion, which explains why they’d seeding press releases into the news which encouraged people to think about what they look forward to on a Friday, and to link that with the Ross Burgers brand name. This also explains why the main website for Ross Burgers is at the URL http://burgerfun.co.uk/, I guess.
The ‘Fun Time Friday’ promotion actually comes across as quite a confused strategy from Ross Burgers (and their PR firm Tangerine PR), oddly enough – it seems to be trying to fit into their ‘Real Ross Mums’ campaign, which themes their Twitter account and spouts out the kind of celebrity chatter associated usually with the Daily Mail sidebar:
#LadyGaga dresses down to spend a day doing laundry and food shopping with her boyfriend ow.ly/8vZWt #DavidBeckham show his boys how it’s done by having a little kickabout at a local football ground with Cruz and Romeo ow.ly/8xr1b
- TV chef
#GordonRamsay splashes out on a spectacular five-bedroom family home near Beverly Hills
- Destiny’s Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams take a little visit to see
Genuinely bizarre, but that didn’t stop the Daily Express lapping up their press release with relish. Relish. ‘Cos they do burgers, you see?