This morning on the Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Stern’s news correspondent Lisa G came into the studio with a big announcement – Rosie O’Donnell was joining Sirius XM with a new program set to air on the Sirius Stars channel.
Now, this is interesting for several reasons:
Now, Stern – who has one of the biggest inferiority complexes one has ever seen even after a decade of seeing a psychiatrist three-plus times a week – reacted to this news by going on a rant off and on all morning – not mad at O’Donnell, but at the executives at Sirius XM for taking his idea and developing it for a non-Stern channel. He was also angry he was not part of at least a brainstorming session to announce the big news. You see, since he was the face of the company, the executives often included him in this sort of thing and always requested he interview new Sirius talent on his program to introduce his audience (anywhere from 60-80% of the 20 million subscribers depending on the day) to the new programming opportunity on their radio.
But I digress. This blog is actually (or eventually) all about public relations.
You see, in the midst of his fit, Stern took the promotion department to task for their utter and complete lack of a comprehensive and strategic public relations plan to announce O’Donnell’s new program. After all, in the 1990s O’Donnell hosted the top-rated afternoon talk show in the country and currently had legions of fans in the gay and lesbian community. Wouldn’t it make sense to think through the best way to announce O’Donnell’s new program and then create a campaign to reveal it to the world?
Nope. As it turns out, Stern’s producer reported, the head of promotions was off on vacation and no plan was in place before he left. So, Stern challenged the promotion department, “With Lisa G announcing the big news on Sirius XM – how would that attract NEW users to Sirius XM?”
How would it help get the word out in a controlled, strategic way to the media at large, he wondered aloud. It wouldn’t.
Stern then did something this public relations practitioner loved – he unveiled how he would have handled the media outreach to announce O’Donnell’s partnership with Sirius and had some Copper Anvil-worthy strategic and tactical ideas including:
Now, love him or hate him, Stern has always been a master at getting attention. Turns out, every outrageous thing he’s ever done for that attention had a public relations plan behind it.
Oh, and my favorite part of his rant? When he sarcastically told the audience how great it was that now Sirius XM would spend a ton of money on advertising O’Donnell’s new program rather than planning ahead and taking advantage of the enormous amount of press a little public relations planning would yield.