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March 29, 2013


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Ted Wolfram

This came out this morning:

Kids are watching her....and what does IndyCar need?.....Young fans!!

And remember IndyCar had her, and NEVER had a clue how to use her.

As one advertising man said.....A lot of the divers and team owners in IndyCar were morons...they were jealous of her....and didn't understand that she helped them all with her fan base. He added...they still are and the fans that "hate" Danica and "are happy to see her gone", only feed this stupity...and then they get to watch NASCAR...laugh all the way to the bank,as their TV ratings grow, and not by a few points.

Tropical Slim

My 6 year old knows who Danica is and not from watching races, My wife thinks Danica is a great role model and I have followed her from Indy Car to Nationwide (who dropped our homeowners insurance as we live too close to the ocean... not on our side) and now to Sprint Cup. In my opinion she was by far the most interesting personality in Indy Car and I hope she makes millions. She works hard and earns it,


I think people are confusing PR with marketing. IndyCar has amazing PR with driver autograph sessions, garage passes for all ages, and Tweet Ups. Only problem, people don't know these exist because IndyCar's marketing department doesn't do anything. If there's anything fans should be complaining about with IndyCar, it's the marketing.

Steve Barnes

Maybe this isn't specifically the PR department, but the Indycar Facebook page is still advertising the St. Pete race ....

With two weeks between St. Pete and Barber ... Indycar has given up almost a week of "advertising" for the next race ....

As Pressdog would say, I guess it's "none of our business" to know about upcoming races.


Very well said!


WhateverJoel ... marketing outside of PR costs money real money, especially when you get into mass media. Spendin $50,000 at that level is like going to the can ... not a big deal. I'd love to know what IndyCar's non-PR marketing budget is. I'd be willing to bet it's really slim.


Very good explanation of what PR is all about and the most accurate quote with the article I see is:

" Even the great and powerful Wizard of PR is powerless to force the media to do anything."

Interesting observation that PR is not always tied to Marketing. However, if the subject, series, team, drivers etc in this case IS popular its easier for PR and then the marketing aspect is usually much easier, as then often times the marketing people/sponsors etc will come calling on you?

Also being a good writer doesnt mean they are good at PR--interesting aspect as well explaining how tough it is to be a PR person.

The RHR explanation of what the PR person used to push the PR story of his background is good and explains that a "catch" story is needed sometimes? However the other side is--if the media isn't interested--regardless--they wont buy it.

Very good story and its on the Indycar Trackforum site as well drawing attention as it does answer some questions Iam sure and the issues Indycar has by NOT being that popular, but PR stories are possible regardless, as stated?? Very interesting--thanks


Also to add about Danica comments here within this PR story etc, when in Indycar. Early on they loved what she brought them with her popularity to draw in mainstream attention but then yrs later things cooled down and Indycar went through major changes and wasn't so popular even with her anymore. Most then became jealous of her and Indycar didn't do much to promote her from within as their thinking was "we need to promote our other drivers"--how did that work for them back then and now that she left? They are still trying to diss her saying she never mattered--pure ignorance and stupidity from Indycar and most trying to use her in comparison to make their other lessor drivers popular--now that's the funny thing. Course the other side is--she was popular enough for her brand to grow and her sponsors and she survived quite well and that's WHY Nascar wanted her.

As said--Nascar wanted her and her sponsor wanted her out of Indycar into a more mainstream series so Nascar has her now and they are using her. Yes--there are nascar anylists/hosts/media who don't like her and often diss her results etc, but the bottom line IS--they use her to draw attention to their other stories and the race tracks definitely are trying to use her to help draw in more fans etc. The bottom line is for Nascar as they have said, esp since Daytona, "How Danica goes is how the Nascar ratings goes." Her results are somewhat tied to Nascar ratings and even not so good since Daytona, she puts different eyes in the stands and on TV cheering for her as they are thrilled having her. Indycar was at first thrilled to have her, but then later on--not so much-- and now they have NO one even close to her popularity, so its tougher for their PR people to promote Iam sure? ALL fans have favorite drivers to watch and cheer for and Nascar has plenty in the mainstream, but Indycar, not so much generally speaking in the mainstream and that's one of their problems in my opinion?


Real good look into the business for folks that have no experience with PR. Some very interesting comments from your readers as well. Thanks PDog!

Michael Kaltenmark

Pro Tip: Sometimes the media like it when you pitch stories or just pass along pleasantries on bananas, called "banan-o-grams."

And then there's that one time, circa 2008, when nobody would read my press releases, so my colleague Pat and I took to social media, gave the fans what they wanted, which created an audience, and then motivated the media to cover us. That is neat.

Now I do PR for some dog nobody has ever heard of.

Good stuff here, Pdog! I miss seeing you in media centers around the lower 48. Next time you pick up a banana, just imagine I wrote something nice about you on it.


Ted Wolfram

PR for any sport...involves using what people are interested in to promote what improves your sport's attraction.

This is what IndyCar spades. But let's be honest...they had the tool and didn't have a clue of how to use her.

In 2005 if they had done what NASCAR is doing, things might be different!...She is everywhere on every program supporting good causes, (being at the White House for the Easter Egg hunt and there to read to kids), is certainly not about advertising her products...but it does it as an adjunct.You can bet NASCAR will be mentioned

And what does IndyCar do?

You can't make a silk purse out of pigs ear; and no matter how hard you work you can't make a sport's hero out of any driver, but when a special event drops a potential star in your hands to NOT use it is stupid. Go check out what happened when she took the lead in the 500, and the TV coverage.

IndyCar had the tool....and what did they do? NOTHING, well except began to cut her down, and now 388,000 TV viewers are considered GGRRREEAATTT!! Meanwhile NASCAR grows a younger fan base, including young girls....not because she drives a race car, but because she shows girls that they can be anything they want to be...and that folks in PR!

I didn't have to use her name....because everyone knows her...tell me that you can do that with any other driver?

Tropical Slim

Someone is working on Indy Car PR, This was in today's Miami Herald in the Scene in the Tropics section of the People page: "IndyCar drivers Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan met up with Andy Murray after his victory over Grigor Dimitrov Monday in the 3rd round of the Sony Open Tennis Tournament."

This is only the second time I can remember seeing something about an IndyCar driver who lives in Miami in the Herald other than in a sports page race report.


"Public relations is way harder than you think".
All the points you raise in your posting can also be summarized as "Public relations and marketing without a viable product is impossible".

Much like the post race Daytona 500 fist fight of 1979, seen live on network TV, began the popularity boom of NASCAR I think a post race melee after the Indy 500 is what's required to resurrect the moribund national interest in Indycar racing.

Someone please draft a script outline and submit to the teams for consideration. Being highly competitive people it wouldn't take much.

Tropical Slim

Sunday wasn't so kind to Indy car as Helio Castro-Neves was referred to as being a CART driver who had had a tax problem. The blurb was about Lea Black and her attorney husband Roy. Helio was a client of his.

On page two of the sports page was the NASCAR/Univision press release about the new NASCAR novel. If you have never seen a novela they are quite dramatic and fun to watch even if you don't speak Spanish. The women are very sexy of course. Why Indy Car, with so many Latin drivers, didn't think of this is beyond my comprehension.

The Speedgeek

I don't understand all of this "IndyCar did nothing with Danica in 2005 to 2007 (or so) talk". Did I hallucinate her on the cover of Sports Illustrated in June 2005? Or her appearances on Letterman and the Today Show and Leno and about a million other talk shows and on the ESPYs red carpets? Or her appearance on some CSI show back in '06 or so? Or her TV interviews before and after just about every single race from 2005 to 2010?

Look, I'm not trying to say that IndyCar got exactly the same results as NASCAR is getting out of The Danica Experience. But like Whatever Joel mentioned up there, folks are getting "IndyCar PR" mixed up with "IndyCar Marketing". IndyCar's budgets, and therefore potential reach, for either of those things are limited, as are the budgets of the sponsors we see in IndyCar (small TV ratings drive the smaller budgets). Meanwhile, now that Danica's in the much, much larger pond of NASCAR, with its requisite tenfold (heck, probably twenty-fold) larger Marketing (with a capital "M") budgets, we get so see what cubic dollars can do. This is what buys all of those Go Daddy and Coca-Cola ads that we see during races, ad nauseum, and pun most certainly intended there. I'm certain that "IndyCar PR" did about as much as they could do with Danica. But, like Pressdog says, you can't force the media to cover something they don't deem newsworthy. Media sees NASCAR as newsworthy, and NASCAR's sponsors certainly deem Danica worthy of putting in ad spots in basically every ad break. That's why we're seeing 10x as much coverage of her now as what we saw even in the most fevered midst of Danica Mania 2005. Not because IndyCar didn't want to use her more, or because "IndyCar" wanted to tear her down. Yes, some drivers took shots at her after they got frustrated with her and her alone getting 90+% of the media attention (and put yourself in their shoes...can you totally blame them for getting frustrated when she scored less career top-5s than, say, Kevin Cogan?), but I'd like to see one single quote where somebody within the IndyCar organization ever said a bad word about her. Never happened. If anybody can find me quotes that prove me wrong, I'll be more than happy to eat a big ol' plate of "shut up".

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