Bell Media riffs on PR to promote new PR-focused comedy

January 28, 2014  |  Rebecca Harris  |  Comments

Bell Media is putting a humorous spin on its promotion of Spun Out, a new comedy series starring Dave Foley.

The latest cover of the fictitious Flack

The Kids in the Hall alumnus plays Dave Lyons, president of the fictional agency Dave Lyons Public Relations (DLPR). The series, which will start airing on CTV in March, follows the ups and downs of DLPR, which is staffed with people “who can spin everyone’s problem but their own.”

To drum up some media interest in the show before it airs, Bell Media created and announced via a press release that DLPR has been hired as the Canadian PR firm for Spun Out.

“It is a comedy series, so we wanted to have some fun and do something a little different that would make this series stand out,” said Scott Henderson, vice-president of communications at Bell Media. “Because the series is set in a fictional PR firm, and because my team does PR, [the idea was] to riff on that a little bit.”

The website features news from the agency, a list of clients and testimonials from the likes of an unnamed mayor: “Why didn’t I hire DLPR? I’m the stupidest mayor ever” and The Egg Council: “Suggesting having a high-profile pop star vandalize their neighbours was a great way to promote our product.” The site also has bios and photos of the Spun Out cast under the heading “Our Team.”

“The biggest challenge for us is [the series] has a very recognizable star in Dave Foley, but it is an ensemble cast that has many other very funny and talented actors who are not quite as well known,” said Henderson. “What we’re trying to do is invite the media in to understand who the rest of the cast is.”

The pitch-perfect press release, which announced the “account win,” included show information, a link to, and requisite quotes from the agency and the client, who, of course, are very “excited” to be working together.

“As the saying goes, ‘there’s no business like show business,’ and we couldn’t ask for a better fit to break into the spotlight than with Spun Out,” said Dave Lyons.

The release also said the announcement “follows on the heels” of DLPR being named “Canada’s Most Powerful PR Agency” by Flack Magazine and included a sneak peek at the cover.

Bell Media will be releasing the bogus article to the media next week. “[The article] provides a lot more texture and context for what the show is about, again with the purpose of trying to introduce the media to the series,” said Henderson.

Henderson isn’t yet sure if the website will be live for the duration of the show. “The main goal is to deliver coverage for the launch, but there’s definitely the potential [to keep it going] because there’s great fun to be had in many different aspects of playing and skewering the PR community and the jobs that we do,” he said.

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