LAST CALL: PR gets some good publicity for itself on 'The WeakestLink'

She may not have won a Nobel Prize, or even a PRSA Silver Anvil,

but New York PR exec Helen Ma did her industry proud last week with an

impressively brainy performance on the quiz show du jour, The Weakest


NBC's latest entrant into the amped-up game show race is quickly

reaching phenomenon status with its prickly English hostess, Anne

Robinson, and competitive atmosphere. Contestants vote each other off

one by one in several Survivoresque rituals, culminating in the

indomitable Ms. Robinson barking: 'You ARE the weakest link - goodbye,'

and the ejected contestant having to traverse the 'Walk of Shame' with a

hanging head.

But Ma, a recent addition to Manhattan boutique advertising and PR shop

BCA, gave PR something to shout about, surviving long enough to become

one of two final contestants.

She did not, however, walk away with the final prize. The question that

stumped her? 'Which playwright penned both Our Town and


The answer Ma gave was Neil Simon. 'I knew it was wrong,' Ma said, 'but

I never read those plays in high school.' (The correct answer, by the

way, is Thornton Wilder. But you knew that.)

Sadly, The Weakest Link isn't one of those shows that lets the

second-placers leave with some consolation cash. Monetarily speaking, Ma

is no wealthier today than she was beforehand, but when asked what she

got out of it, she reported that she didn't leave empty-handed, in that

she'd gained 'a good experience and a great story to tell my


Once again, PR wriggles outside the bounds of measurability.

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