I’ve long been a little dismissive of public relations – seeing it as generally little more than press release bombing of already over taxed media types. But every so often I trip across something that restores some faith. case in point a nice little PR stunt that IAC-EZ is running.
IAC-EZ’s PR maven, Cindy Rakowitz from Blackmam Rakowitz, came up with the novel idea of using tax day and the installation of the new Cardinal of New York which coincidentally occur on the same day, to pull a stunt to give her clients some attention. The press release says it better than I can so I’ll quote it at the end of this post.
Sure it’s a little funky, and I’ve got to admit I’m not a big fan of the Mr Networth logo ad concept, but it’s really refreshing to see a PR agency get creative and do something outside of the square. Happy tax day New Yorkers, head down to the James Farley Post Office on April 15th and give the gang a shout-out from me!
This April 15th, New Yorkers will face a crossroads of monumental rituals vying for their attention: the stresses and commiseration of Tax Day and the installation of Timothy M. Dolan as Cardinal of the Archdiocese of New York. For harried New Yorkers of all religious backgrounds, the ceremony also becomes an obstruction to daily life – with Fifth Avenue closed for a procession, even walking to the Post Office can become a cause for aggravation.
Anticipating the heightened stress level of holding the cardinal ceremony on a day that in and of itself can have quasi-religious undertones for Americans, Blackman Rakowitz Public Relations conducted a national survey to better understand how taxpayers feel about financial uncertainty, separation of “church” and “state,” and holding an important and highly revered religious ceremony on Tax Day.
Cindy Rakowitz, CEO of Blackman Rakowitz, said, “Thanks to SurveyMonkey, we were able to gather a quick response to how people felt about holding the parade for a new Cardinal on Tax Day. The majority of the sample could only relate April 15th to Tax Day—and to reaching the Post Office if they haven’t yet filed.”
On behalf of online bookkeeping service IAC-EZ, Blackman Rakowitz received a cross-section of national responses through Facebook, Twitter, and Voiceamerica Internet radio where Ms. Rakowitz has hosted a morning show for more than five years. The results were absolutely conclusive: subjects associate April 15th with taxes and strongly believe in the separation of “church” and “state.” Of a nationally representative sample of tax-paying adults, those who file their taxes in the “last minute” felt they would be inconvenienced if Fifth Avenue were blocked off.
Thus, any event that would draw a large crowd on Tax Day should address the anxieties inherent to tax paying. After all, New Yorkers were recently voted #3 in a similar online survey to be “most likely to be last-minute in filing their tax returns.” Furthermore, 100% of respondents affirmed that institutions like churches should help work to alleviate the nationwide stresses of the economic downturn, especially in light of Tax Day. This statistic prompted subsequent questions:
- Has the new Cardinal filed his taxes?
- Has he participated in the anxiety, confusion, and group commiseration of tax day?
- Can Cardinal Dolan offer guidance to the thousands of fatigued and hyper-caffeinated New Yorkers who will be attempting to reach the Post Office on Tax Day, the day of his ceremony?
It is easy to lose hope for a low-stress (or better yet, stress free!) Tax Day, but as Americans’ attention gets pulled in countless directions on April 15, IAC-EZ can offer a solution for the future: an online bookkeeping and tax calculation tool for freelancers, sole proprietors and any small business with five or fewer employees.
Guided by Mr. Networth, a sage, playful bookkeeping genius and a sort of ‘cardinal’ to the masses of small business owners, IAC-EZ provides people who hate numbers and know nothing about accounting with an accurate and efficient way to keep track of their finances. If you can get to the James Farley Post Office on April 15th, Mr. Networth will be there from 9:30am – 2:00 pm performing fantastical magic tricks to ease the pain of Tax Day.
Recognizing that life is a convoluted web of financial and social commitments, IAC-EZ helps make the decision to “pay or pray” a simple one: with IAC-EZ, people can do both.