Public Relations
Getting Your 15 Minutes of Fame - and More!
By Edward Segal
Jun 25, 2002 - 10:55:00 AM

Hall of Shame: Timing Is Everything
Edward Segal

As if people aren't scared enough about receiving powdered anthrax in the mail, the Associated Press recently reported that Publishers Clearinghouse, which sells magazine subscriptions and household items, was sending out packages of powdered detergent to customers as part of a promotional campaign.

The St. Paul Postal Inspection Service issued an advisory to postal inspectors about the mailing after a post office employee noticed that one of the packages was leaking powder.

Although a postal official said, "There's nothing to be alarmed about in that package," she noted that "...the timing of it wasn't very good."

Hall of Fame: Show People You Care

In response to the anthrax scare, Media Distribution Services (MDS), a PR media, printing, mailing, fax and e-mail service firm, announced it has established emergency procedures for handling mail on behalf of its clients.

Company President Daniel P. Cantelmo said that, until further notice, MDS will not send mail to the media and other audiences unless it contains a return address. In addition, MDS will not mail parcels of any size without labeling them as "Promotional Materials."

"We care about our clients and we care about the media," Cantelmo explained. "We want to do what we can to minimize fear and panic."

PR expert Edward Segal conducts media training, presentation skills, public relations, and crisis communications workshops for individuals, corporations, and organizations. He is the author of "Getting Your 15 Minutes of Fame: A Guide to Guaranteeing Your Business Success" and writes the Marketing Strategies Column for The Wall Street Journal's Web site for entrepreneurs. For more information call 352-438-0261 [email protected] or


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