Friday, October 19, 2012

News of Big Tex’s Tragedy Spreads…like wildfire. PR Nightmare or Opportunity?

As public relations practitioners, we are constantly helping report the news, we are in the news as a client spokesperson, or we are sharing the news. Today’s blog post is the latter – sharing news. A sad, yet newsworthy event happened at the State Fair of Texas this morning. Big Tex, who just commemorated his 60th birthday at the start of this year’s State Fair, went up in flames today! 

With the advent of social media and today’s citizen journalists it is amazing how quickly news spreads. Within minutes of reading @dallasnews Tweet – “Big Tex has gone up in flames. Were you on the scene? Share photos with us using #bigtexfire” –a barrage of Tweets flooded in with reports and images live from the scene. 

So, this blog post is merely to commemorate this iconic image in Dallas’ history. Because we are hard-wired to find the silver lining in a crisis or tragedy, as our team discussed this event in our office, it was brought up that this tragic event may help generate more publicity than ever before during the Fair’s closing weekend. 

Speaking solely from a PR standpoint, it seems like this unfortunate circumstance creates endless potential for more story and visual opportunities throughout the coming year as plans for a new Big Tex take shape, which will undoubtedly culminate with a big reveal  during the opening of the State Fair in 2013. With the exhaustive amount of expected news coverage throughout the next 12 months, perhaps even more of the icon’s beloved “folks” will want to see what this fried food extravaganza is all about. And as long as it is being rebuilt, why not consider a PR campaign to lobby for a new and “improved” icon for the State Fair – “Mrs. Tex” anyone?

RIP Big Tex! (Follow the Twitter discussion with hashtag #bigtexfire)

 This post was contributed by Leah Ekmark Williams @leahcpc


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