Thanks to Publicity Hound Gina Warner of New Orleans, Louisiana, for telling me about a clever publicity stunt that resulted in stories galore in the media awhile ago in the Big Easy.
Residents in the 5100 block of Cannes Street celebrated the first birthday of a pothole measuring 5 feet across and more than a foot deep. The bash–complete with cake and drinks and a big sign that said “Happy Birthday Pothole”–started at 1 p.m. on the curb beside the home of Walter Smith. Residents even invited New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, city council and the media.
Smith’s neighbor, Marie McCoy, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune how she knows the pothole is a year old.
“On September 4th last year, I went to a City Council meeting to give each one of them a (framed) copy of a poem I wrote about the city. Later, (Councilwoman) Cynthia Willard-Lewis asked her aide, Katie Brown, to drive me home. When she dropped me off, she saw the hole and called in and reported the pothole.”
One year later, the hole is still there. Rather than circulate petitions and complain at city council meetings like everyone else does, the neighborhood threw the party to get attention.
Is that clever or what?
Gina says it’s an idea that other nonprofits can borrow when it comes time to generate publicity for a cause or an issue that’s been ignored. There are lots of other ways, too–even for nonprofits on a shoestring budget. Paul Hartunian explained how during a one-hour teleseminar called “Failproof Publicity Strategies for Your Nonprofit.” You can read more about what we discussed.