For PSU, bad PR

Penn State University has been taking some heat for spending more than three-quarters of a million dollars on an advertising campaign that produced an underwhelming slogan.

“Penn State Lives Here” promotional banners have appeared since the slogan was launched during the Penn State-Michigan game in October.

According to a report in the Centre Daily Times, Penn State paid $811,719 to PulsePoint, a consulting firm in Austin, Texas, which produced the slogan. For that price, or really for any price, you’d think the firm would have come up with something more novel.

Even the PSU student newspaper, “The Daily Collegian,” panned the choice, writing in an editorial, “Of course Penn State lives here. This is Penn State University, where else would it live?”

The Collegian is right, and the lack of PulsePoint’s ingenuity makes you wonder how bad the second and third choices were. Further, in addition to what seems to be overpayment for the slogan, it’s troubling that the university wouldn’t keep its business local – or at least in the state.

It’s hard to imagine getting bad PR on a public-relations campaign, but Penn State deserves a thumbs-down on this endeavor.

Others worthy of thumbs-up, thumbs-down mention:

We’ve been critical of the clock on the Diamond in downtown Hollidaysburg not functioning properly in the past so we feel it’s only fair to offer a thumbs-up to those – including the clock’s owner, Diane Osgood – who apparently now have fixed it.

Thumbs-down to Bloomington, Minn., police for citing a 29-year-old man for disorderly conduct after he tossed 1,000 dollar bills over an upper floor railing at the Mall of America last month. Serge Vorobyov scattered the bills while a choir performed “Let it Snow.” Talk about an overreaction.

Thumbs-up to Hollidaysburg natives Sam Lafferty and Rachel Khalouf, the area’s first players to earn Division I hockey scholarships. Lafferty, currently a senior forward at Deerfield (Mass.) Academy, has committed to Brown University, while Khalouf, a junior defenseman with Shadyside Academy team, will play at the University of Vermont.