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All PR people admire Santa. Some want to be him. A lunatic fringe actually believe they ARE the Jolly Fat Man.

Playing Santa is part of the profession and Flakians love nothing more than giving away stuff for coverage.

All pros engage in this practice – a kind of twisted version of early humanoid bartering – at one time or another. In certain segments (i.e. fashion and food PR) it is required and expected. In other realms, the swag comes in non-gift formats. For example, in the heyday of overspending and mismanagement in Detroit, auto companies would stuff private jets full of reporters and whisk them away to exotic locales to test out cars. Inevitably, a Pontiac Firebird drives much different around the Champs Elysees than it does on the streets of scenic Flint, Michigan.

Be careful. If it looks like Santa and acts like Santa, it might just be a PR pro.

A word to wise: Homo Flakiansus is likely to get REAL ornery if, after the exchange of gift for coverage there is a) no coverage b) negative coverage or c) a PR crisis.

The Wannabe Santa’s reaction will vary based upon which, or which combo, of these scenarios play out. You can bet there will be a bunch of cuss words and possibly everyday objects flying through the air. In extreme cases, felony offences may occur. It’s best to keep small children and the elderly far away from the raging Flak.

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