Diary: Nickelodeon offers hacks a really juicy story

Stories about journalists receiving nasty surprises with press releases are nothing new, be it live goldfish or rancid sushi. However it is refreshing to see one public relations team come clean about their recent mailing disaster.

Eager to promote its new cartoon series, featuring a character called

SpongeBob Square Pants who lives in a pineapple, the press team at kid’s

cable channel Nickelodeon came up with the idea of sending out fresh

pineapples with its SpongeBob press release. No prizes for guessing what

happened next. Yes, inevitably one pineapple went astray and took rather

a long time reaching its destination, only to arrive in a somewhat

overripe state.

But there’s more to the tale than meets the eye. For SpongeBob also

takes an eager approach to his work, and the TV show follows his

blundering attempts to become employee of the month at fast food

restaurant the Krusty Krab. Nickelodeon communications manager Nick

Southall says: ’SpongeBob’s zeal usually creates a SpongeBob disaster.

While trying too hard, he tends to do things wrong, really wrong. His

potential for disaster looms large.’

So, while other PR teams would try and blame the Post Office for such

problems, Nickelodeon claims the rotten pineapple debacle is actually a

case of life imitating art. But please, next time anyone plans on

sending PR Week a mushy pineapple we’d much prefer it in the form of a

pina colada.

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