Infinity names best, worst PR moments of ’09

The Oakville-based communications agency gives top marks to and Justin Bieber's media efforts, but gives a failing grade to the National Post's Twitter blunders.

He’s an international pop star at just 15 years old, but it isn’t his cute-as-a-button looks that have made the peeps at Oakville-based Infinity Communications big fans of Canadian R&B singer Just Bieber. It was his mom’s social media acumen that earned him top marks on the PR firm’s annual list of best and worst moves in the field of public relations last year.

The annual list is complied internally at Infinity – based on a fierce battle of wills, Infinity CEO Leanne Buraco assures MiC – and this year focuses on the best and worst Canadian PR moments. Slick media moves by topped the list, based on the dating service’s attempted ‘Life is short, have an affair’ TTC media buy last year. ‘The inevitable rejection from the Toronto Transit Commission ad review committee did not dampen the surge of media attention for the adulterous dating service, as people across the country debated their scandalous messaging,’ the agency wrote in a release.

In second place was Bieber, who’s mom launched his meteoric career when she posted videos of him singing on YouTube. R&B singer Usher took notice, a music-mogul bidding war took place, and the next thing you know Bieber was jetting around the world on tour before he even had a driver’s licence. He is, the firm wrote, ‘a text-book example of how social media has rapidly changed the face of the entertainment industry.’

In third place was former Blue Jay Roy Halliday’s use of media to thank the city of Toronto for all its support over the years as he left for another team. The baseball player took out an ad in the Toronto Sun to thank his fans.

In first place in the ‘worst’ category was the PR mess behind the H1N1 panic in Canada, in which Infinity felt that the government massively mishandled its public messaging. In second place was a National Post reporter that got into a Twitter war of words with a marketing professional over a story. Infinity gave the reporter a failing grade for bad Twitter behaviour, but praised the paper’s formal apology on behalf of the reporter.