Cheap Publicity

(One good way to get cheap publicity – try walking around with this costume. Picture source: www.anytimecostumes.com)

This seems to be the “game of the day” these days…

Cheap = of poor quality; inferior

Publicity = the act, process, or occupation of disseminating information to gain public interest

Anantha and Uthaya had an interesting topic over their show at THR Raaga yesterday morning titled “Cheap Publicity”. A couple of calls were made by the listeners and one of them was on how some people get cheap publicity by getting the newspapers to do up unnecessary articles on them. The DJs made some jokes and had a couple of laugh. I was laughing too because the joke was not far away from the truth. All of you need to do is to pick the newspapers or surf the net these days and the evidence of cheap publicity is splattered all over the place.

No one does cheap publicity as often or with thicker skin than our home grown politicians. So much so, we Malaysian have gradually come to accept it as part of the behavior of a low life species. Sometimes “cheap publicity” stunts by these politicians are not necessary has to be cheap. They can be very expensive and wasteful.

I could not call the Anantha or Uthaya this morning on the topic as I was busy driving. So, as I was listening, some of the cheap publicity stunts by the local politicians lately were running through my mind. You probably have seen or heard about these publicity stunts.

1. Having a big expensive “Thank You” advertisement in couple of main stream media from government ministries or state government (but at the same time, argue that the government does not have enough cash for urgent projects)

2. Showing up at the airport to welcome Malaysian sportsman (or student or any award winners – fill in the blanks) who have won something in the international arena (but was no where to be seen when the sportsman was asking for funding for training or other expenses)

3. Showing up to help out the residents with their problems at pre-election days and riding “mopeds” or bicycle to show that they share the burden with the “rakyat” (but once election is over, is no where to be seen)

4. Spending more time and cash overseas to improve on foreign PR (but failed to do anything to improve the PR with the people in the country)

5. Spending highly on a function to bestow unnecessary titles such as “Father of [Fill in the Blanks Here]” (but at the same time, argue that the government does not have enough cash)

6. Spending time and money to organize an “intellectual” conference to praise the actions and thoughts of a politician (but at the same time, express concern why the intellectuals and government servants in the country cannot think out of the box)

7. Spending time and money to organize a wasteful event such as the launch of the most expensive toilets in the country (but still lament on the lack of skill to properly use the toilet)

There is more to this list…

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