The River Group


National Publicity & Radio Promotion Campaigns

Yes, that is who you think it is. In one of the more colorful episodes of Peter's career, he was hired as a contract public relations representative for The River Group to conceive and run a series of launch events and publicity campaigns for the company's first three products: licensed Elvis Presley, Beatles and Barbie trading cards. Peter developed and implemented national PR campaigns for all three products, managing a blended staff of in-house, outsourced and specialty agency talent.


The "really big shoe" was the Elvis launch, for which Peter developed a multiphase program that used trade press, general news media and radio to create an initial buzz about the cards and to promote what turned out to be a wildly successful, celebrity-studded launch party at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York—site of three iconic appearances by Elvis in the 1950s. Hundreds of attendees feasted on barbecued ribs, peanut butter-and-banana sandwiches and other food in a buffet catered by world-famous Corky's Restaurant of Memphis; they viewed concert, news, television and film footage from Elvis' career; had their pictures taken with life-sized Elvis cutouts; took home videos of themselves "playing" guitar in Elvis' band (thanks to blue-screen technology and a specially equipped stage); and, of course, pocketed handfuls of Elvis cards. Since you asked, Peter's escort for the grand entrance was Tina Louise of Gilligan's Island fame.


Peter followed the launch by creating and running national radio-interview and card-giveaway programs and conducting a national media tour in which The River Group's CEO and Peter appeared on major-market radio and television stations from coast to coast. In addition to conceptualizing and implementing the program and producing all media kits, news releases and other marketing collateral, Peter negotiated photo-use rights with agents for the many celebrities pictured on the Elvis cards and wrote copy for the backs of one set of cards.