In today’s Introduction to Public Relations class, we watched a classic episode of the classic 1970s TV show “WKRP in Cincinnati” :: “Turkeys Away.” Though I paid to download the episode from iTunes, I just discovered it’s also available for free through Hulu.

In this episode, which was based on a botched promotion from a radio station in Atlanta, live turkeys dropped from a helicopter. Chaos ensues.

What can we learn about how NOT to do a promotion from Mr. Carlson’s fiasco? I’ll get the list started:

  1. Communicate with your entire team before launching a promotional campaign (or a turkey).
  2. Do your research! It’s best to learn ahead of time that turkeys don’t fly.
  3. Get permission before doing a stunt.
  4. Know what is considered news in your local market. Giving away turkeys for Thanskgiving wasn’t news. (But watching live turkeys plummet from a helicopter probably would be news.)
  5. Brainstorm for what could possibly go wrong before you proceed with a promotion.

What would you add to this list?


9 Responses to All I Ever Needed to Know About Promotions I Learned From WKRP in Cincinnati

  1. promosyon says:

    very good thank you

  2. […] Comment! I left a comment on Barbara Nixon’s post about the clip from ”WKRP in Cincinnati” on April 30, 3009. The link that will take you to my comment is:… […]

  3. Lauren Lee says:

    I found the video clip to be very amusing. I had not previously heard of the show however when I asked my parents if they had ever watched it they both said yes and were surprised that I knew what WKRP was. We talked and laughed about the turkey episode.
    Getting to the point, I agree with all of the steps that you listed in your post. I think it is really important to be prepared and make sure you consider everything before taking such a risk of launching turkeys out of a helicopter. I learned from this episode that it is really important to work as a team in public relations.

  4. […] After watching the show we discussed what we learned about how not to do a promotion. This list is also available on Barbara Nixon’s blog: […]

  5. […] I commented on Barbara Nixon’s […]

  6. I had never heard of the show before- it was so funny! But from a PR perspective, a disaster! It really goes to show how important PR is to a company, but good PR that is. The promotional plan should have been researched and well thought out… or maybe hired a professional! Poor guy!

  7. Trey Joiner says:

    It’s always important to look at a promo campaign from ALL angles before thinking about putting it into action!