Riya-Rogue PR Plan versus Bernay’s P&G Ivory Soap Campaigns

It is great to see strong public relations efforts working.  One recent PR victory was executed on behalf of Riya (http://www.riya.com/) by Tara ‘Miss Rogue’ Hunt.  Riya is a web based application similar to flickr.com which also allows people to tag their photo sets by names (John, Shelly, Nse, etc) through facial recognition software.

The public face of this PR campaign, which I am choosing to call the “Riya-Rogue PR Plan“, is being executed by Tara Hunt through primarily blogging relations based out of http://www.horsepigcow.com.  Here is a snippet from a recent post noting the success of the marketing plan in the form of major technology media placement.


The Marketing Plan is to Blog

K…so it’s a little more complex than that…and there is always a method to my madness…and I’m all, like, ‘trust me, I know what I’m doing. It may not seem apparent, but work with me here.’

…but holy crap…

I’m a little blown over that it is actually working so well. Long live the citizen journalist!

PC Magazine

Being a student of public relations I thought it would be interesting to look for a similarly executed promotion of another product or service in ancient PR history.  Given I have been rereading SPIN about Edward Bernays those are the freshest ones in memory.  I considered contrasting Miss Rogue’s efforts to Bernay’s Light Golden Jubilee (http://www.thehenryford.org/exhibits/pic/2004/october.asp), but ruled that out as it was an anniversary celebration of a major invention, involved the post office running a stamp, and well a bunch of other stuff was different.

Then I looked at comparing it to Bernay’s promotion for Mack Trucks (http://www.prmuseum.com/bernays/bernays_video_macktruck.html) and again there was no match given the Mack Truck promotion started with public speaking by the President of the company and letters written to congress.  Not much similarity there beyond the “taking it to the people“ aspect of engaging citizens.  And Bernays hid in the background which is definitely not the case with Riya-Rogue.

I settled on comparing the Riya-Rogue PR plan to Bernay’s efforts for P&G with Ivory Soap.  http://www.prmuseum.com/bernays/bernays_1923.html

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RIYA – facial recognition of photos – search?

Riyalogo Miss Rogue is pretty well connected so the riya launch will get picked up everywhere ASAP.  But the short version is that Riya is a facial recognition technology that will allow you to either tag or search existing photos for a particular face.

Example: show me every photo on the net that had Steve Jobs in it in the last 12 months – include Flickr and typepad but exclude blogspot because I am trolling for real trends.

Think about that for a minute.  Could you cross reference searches on google images with Riya data?  Can I see all fundraising events in Hollywood that Sergey attended, if any?  Would that not give me a competitive advantage and a PR strategy opportunity?  I think it would. 

As with all new technology it is amoral, so we as a group of humans will have to come up with some ethical guidelines on how to use the technology.  It will be interesting to see if first it works, and second if it works for us all.

NEW EDIT: Forgive my mind for coming up with this, but doesn’t this open the door to search engine spam via steganography?  Uuuugh, every search for Jessica Alba will lead to a lovely fleshbot post with no recourse except for the nerds who can understand the jpg file format.  Where will this lead?  Again, uuugh, hopefully the programmers at Riya have programmed for security and black-hat-evil-doer-prevention from the start.