Changed your mind, eh Boris?

Finally, some clear messages from the Conservative Party:

- July 2007: Boris Johnson hires InHouse Communications for the race to become Tory candidate for London Mayor. 'Our biggest challenge is to make London aware that Boris is serious,' said InHouse co-founder Katie Perrior. 'The publicity is a double-edged sword and can be difficult to control.'

- September 2007: Boris is elected as candidate.

- October 2007: Boris says he would sack PROs if he usurped Ken Livingstone as London Mayor. He says he would 'get rid of some of the 173 spin doctors and PR people who are listening in to every word of this speech so they can distort it'.

- November 2007: David Cameron is imposing some control on the Johnson campaign by drafting in his own PR man...

Mixed messages and wasted letters

There are a lot of mixed messages floating about this week - and not just from the best Boris since Yeltsin.

On Monday, PRWeek's always-bulging mailbags contained seven identical letters, including ones addressed to Alison Fisher, Claudia Campbell, Sarah Roberston, Ian Hall and Lynne Roberts.

The eagle-eyed among you who regularly peruse the 'flannel panel' on the bottom right-hand corner of this page will recognise that none of the above work for this magazine any more.

And the content of the envelopes? An invitation to an event on 'climate change response' and how you can make your business more green by reducing waste.

Blocked emails get people talking

Unsolicited mail is a problem. And one that, in electronic form, has caused all sorts of kerfuffle this week.

Edelman, Fleishman-Hillard and Weber Shandwick are among the venerable institutions that have been chided by executive editor of Wired magazine Chris Anderson.

The US-based hack blocked a bundle of email addresses, complaining of 'lazy flacks' who 'can't be bothered to find out who on my staff, if anyone, might actually be interested in what they're pitching'.

Anderson took it further, listing all 329 addresses on his blog.

It was like opening the gates of Hades. Some 350 people commented on the post, while national newspapers from both sides of the pond took a view and Anderson got his picture in the New York Times.

Still, at least it got the PROs and journalists talking - so does that mean future emails between them are not now 'unsolicited'?

Follicly challenged resist looking buff

Hacks are strange and fickle beasts, as proven to consumer PR professional Jo Wilmot of Jo Sensini PR.

She is currently promoting Bald Guyz - a brand new product range aimed at making baldies look buff. It features a range of herbal gels, anti-shine head wipes and sun block creams. The product range promises the bald man, rather than gleaming like a shiny red bowling ball, will become irresistible like he was in his youth.

In the main, Bald Guyz is being well received. Not from a few editors though, who have refused to run articles for 'personal reasons'.

'A number of journalists who initially loved the idea of running the Bald Guyz story have rung back to say their follicly challenged editors have point-blank pulled them,' said Wilmot.

Wilmot also promotes a range of luxury, gold leaf-covered exotic chocolates by Theobroma Cacao that feature scenes from The Kama Sutra and 'beautifully fashioned phalli'.

'Thank goodness they are not over-large, or we'd never get any coverage,' she said.

Journalists, eh?

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