PR advice for the Balloon Boy family

With even defense lawyer David Lane acknowledging that charges are likely to be issued soon in the Balloon Boy saga, Richard Heene and the rest of his clan have stopped saying "yes" to every media interview request -- and that's probably for the best given the mistakes the family made before zipping their lips. A blog from SE2, Eric Sondermann's Denver-based PR firm, points out some basic mistakes in the Heenes' first attempts at communicating their message by way of six tips they clearly didn't follow:

1. Credibility matters. If this whole embarrassing debacle was truly not a publicity stunt, don't spend your first 24 hours being interviewed on every possible national news program.

2. Emergency calls first. Then media calls. (9-1-1 before 9News.)

3. Pick the right spokesperson. In 99 percent of cases, this should not be a six year old. They have an unfortunate tendency to tell the truth.

4. Appearances matter. When your parenting skills are under scrutiny, put your puking son to bed... not on the Today show.

5. Practice, practice, practice. The "I'm Sorry I Yelled at Him" moment must appear heartfelt. Reality TV only works when it looks real.

6. Know any vulnerability that might make you appear batshit crazy (i.e. Wife Swap appearances, You Tube videos, 20-foot flying saucer balloon "crafts".)

Yes, appearing batshit crazy is bad, Mr. Heene. Nice haircut, though.

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