Comment #8

Allan Lewis’ Buzz & Traction:  Making the transition from journalism to PR

I think the biggest problem with public relations and journalism is that both sides seem to think the other is “evil.” Like you, I always say that PR is the ‘dark side,’ mostly because that’s what’s handed down from writing for newspapers since high school. But then the PR textbook talks about how to work with journalists and how to convince them to run your story or cover your event–making it seem like you have to beg, plead and pray with everything you have just to get a journalist to listen to you. If both sides calm down and think rationally, there could be a lot of benefit for both, rather than this unspoken tension.

Jersey Shore gets ‘RAW’

Last week, one of my favorite things (pro wrestling) collided with something I hate (Jersey Shore)–and all for ratings. But it worked.

Snooki was the guest host of WWE’s Monday Night Raw when WWE rolled through St. Louis last week. She had a backstage scuffle with Vickie Guerrero, which led to Snooki slapping Guerrero in the face. By show’s end, Snooki had jumped in the ring, literally pounced onto one of the WWE Divas and started beating her up. This lead to Trish Stratus and John Morrison saving the day and an enraged Guerrero issuing a challenge to Snooki, Stratus and Morrison–At Wrestlemania.

A reality tv star with no training whatsoever is being showcased in one of the biggest matches at the biggest wrestling show of the year. As a wrestling fan who watches for the athleticism and talent of the WRESTLERS, seeing stars from other elements get tossed into a wrestling ring makes me question why I still watch the ‘sport.’ I know Sam Muchnick would be rolling over in his grave if he knew a fake-baked reality tv star will be a Wrestlemania headliner.

However, I can’t deny the tremendous amount of press coverage WWE is going to get from meshing with Jersey Shore. They have already been covered on TMZ and other celebrity gossip sites, and friends of mine who watch Jersey Shore but despise wrestling were talking about Snooki on RAW. People are talking about wrestling. Professional wrestling. And in case you haven’t noticed, since the Attitude Era lost its spark, next to nobody has been talking about wrestling.

Vince McMahon and his creative team are generating interest (and those ever-important ratings) the best way they know how–bringing the biggest stars in the entertainment industry to the forefront of their biggest spectacle of the year. Jersey Shore fans will tune into Wrestlemania to watch Snooki wrestle. Every celebrity gossip will write something about Snooki ‘putting the smackdown on Vickie Guerrero at the grandest stage of them all.’ Every entertainment news station will show clips of Snooki walking down the entrance ramp and giving Guerrero a clothesline or kick to the gut to show her ‘worth’ in the wrestling business.

And as much as that makes me cringe, it’s what has to be done to generate interest from the casual and closet wrestling fans. It’s what has to be done to get record-breaking numbers at Wrestlemania. Because, apparently, having a solid card and good build up to fueds just doesn’t work anymore. And in about 10 years, WWE will get another ratings boost when they induct her to the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame.

Social media meets professional wrestling

The Rock has come back…..to Twitter.

For the last couple of weeks, WWE Superstars John Cena, the Miz and the Rock have been tweeting in relation to storylines. I think that is a big step for both WWE Creative/storylines, as well as social media. With Wrestlemania less than a month away, and the millions and millions of fans who have found their way to Twitter, this is one of the best moves WWE could make.

For fans who don’t have cable access, or aren’t able to keep up with the show every week, having storylines crossover into social media keeps everyone in the loop and allows them to follow along without physically sitting down to watch the show.

The Rock is arguably one of the best talkers in the business, and for him to carry over and turn his promos and thoughts into 140 characters to keep his millions and millions of fans updated about his life is great. Being on Twitter also gives those who are not involved with (or interested in)  wrestling a chance to hop on the Wrestlemania bandwagon.

Cena and the Miz, along with the many other wrestlers and personalities who have made their way to Twitter, have the ability to reach so many more fans, and to bring more fans to the show. I never thought I would see the day when social media became a part of storylines in a wrestling show, but I think it’s an amazing way to increase viewership and attendance at shows.