|October 20, 2009|
|Snag 'Balloon Boy' Dad for Confab, PRSA|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|You can bet PR firms throughout this fair nation are reviewing the tape of yesterday's "balloon boy" ride high over Colorado, and are probably penciling in at least one hot air balloon for their next big special event. It was O.J. in the clouds.|
MSNBC's Dave Shuster and the Colorado National Guard, which pursued the runaway balloon, are about the only two who didn't get punk'd by the almost certain publicity stunt of the year.
As the very earnest social media world held its breath over the fate of thought-to-be passenger, Falcon Heene, Shuster first raised the possibility that whole thing may have been a hoax.
When the balloon compartment was found empty, Shuster said the event may have been an "effort for attention by the family a lot of people are already suggesting is a strange family to begin with."
You can say that again.
Father Richard Heene kept the flying saucer-like device at his home because he is a "storm-chaser" and self-professed scientist. The Heenes also appeared on ABC TV's "Wife Swap" reality show. Six-year-old Falcon later let it slip to Wolf Blitzer, "We did it for the show."
Good call, David.
The Colorado Guard officials that I heard interviewed expressed the need to fulfill their duty to the public safety. They believed they did the right thing, hoax or not, and would do it again. One couldn't blame Guard officials for wishing they had a helicopter affixed with a giant fan to blow the balloon into New Mexico.
The Public Relations Society of America still has time to invite Heene as guest speaker at the upcoming confab in San Diego. Who is hotter?
Think of the drama. Richard and Falcon Heene could balloon out to San Diego for the big show (picture the movie, "The Inlaws"), and then give delegates the low-down about how they probably staged the PR event of the year.
That would be a session worth attending.
(Image via smh.com.au)
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