I'm giving away a family secret now. My husband is a Bigfoot fan. Yes, that's right. He believes in Sasquatch. Ask him and he'll prattle on about a moment in the woods in rural Kentucky as a child. Big noises, Trees falling. Very dramatic. So you can imagine his delight when the Animal Planet put the series "Finding Bigfoot" on the air. My husband got his popcorn ready every Sunday night to finally see this elusive, Ninja-like creature that has alluded men for decades. But a funny thing happened. Each week he watched and each week they didn't find it. Again. And again. And again. Last night was the last straw for my husband as they announced the series' season finale. "If they don't find something next week," my husband exclaimed, "I'm writing Animal Planet and telling them to take the show off the air. This show is making me NOT believe."
I don't want to second guess Animal Planet or the BFRO folks (Bigfoot Field Research Organization), but I'm assuming this is not the reaction they were going for from viewers. I get the sense that they wanted the opposite effect. Surely they hoped that people on the fence or over the fence on the Sasquatch theory (i.e. hubby) would get involved with the BFRO, buy their stuff, Like their Facebook page, get the t-shirt, hat, yada, yada. But it seems, instead, they are making believers into non-believers. Bummer.
So what does any of this have to do with PR? Well, this is a good example of a bad PR move. Someone at the network didn't think this through. I mean, at some point, just make something up for Pity's Sake so these poor Sasquatch folk can keep thinking that giant ape-like men are alive and well. What we have here is a case of not having the end goal in mind. Every public relations campaign should start at the end. Everything in the middle should lead to the same end. Otherwise, your good intentions will lead your PR efforts down the wrong path-- to that place of eternal sweat where all good intentions lead. And apparently, there is no Bigfoot there either.