April Fool’s PR Foolishness; BusinessWire Won’t Play

[The Clean Green Vermont Alliance’s car of the future, debuted on April Fool’s day]

Below is a selection of April Fool’s PR campaigns that dropped yesterday, including the launch of an entire clean energy campaign in Vermont, complete with a mascot-car that can continue to make appearances at State fairs, picnics and parades.

Chegg Inc., the “Netflix of texbooks” went with edible editions, and landed in the WSJ’s Venture Capital Dispatch, and TechCrunch’s massive Fool’s roundup. Chegg is a Porter Novelli client.

The very real U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association (LetsMow.com) went with a seemingly feasible Hall of Fame announcement. The Seattle Times put it at the top of their Sideline Chatter column. Founder and President Bruce “Mr. Mow it All” Kaufman sent this one along personally.

Though I don’t see any takers in the media, people might sign up for socially networked weddings from Wedded Marketing. The company morphed its name for a day from Webbed.

GreenFeet.com went with a variety of hoaxey enviro-products including biodegradable wedding rings that break down from anger and contempt, and PEU Sunless Tanner (elephant poop). They snagged a mention in TreeHugger and some nice tweets and Facebook action.

Leave it to the activists to go all out. The newly-launched The Clean Green Vermont Alliance put ads in the local papers, held a rally and parked a seriously jacked 1972 Pontiac Le Mans in the middle of Burlington to make a point about the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant of the same vintage. The stunt was supported by 72GoodAsNew.com, highlighting all the amazing technology of that time period. The Burlington Free-Press and a some local political blogs wrote it up.

Meanwhile, BusinessWire got in touch to say they weren’t accepting any tomfoolery and were on high alert. Their Senior VP of Marketing Thomas Becktold even sent along a statement (after the jump):

“For Business Wire, April Fools is a pretty high-alert day. Our newsrooms and staff are on the lookout to block April Fools press releases from getting on our wire. We ask our clients not to send us fake press releases tied to April Fools campaigns.

The reason is that many editors and reporters are so swamped that they may not pick up on the fact that it’s a joke and could run the news as if it was legitimate. They generally don’t like getting caught and embarrassed. Our users trust us for legitimate copy.

Pitching reporters on a specific April Fools campaign can be effective and successful, just keep the unmarked April Fools releases off Business Wire.”