Jason just sent me an awesome article about how PR firms are responsible for much of what we see in the mainstream media. In fact, according to the article, these organizations are almost solely behind the “hype” and “buzz” behind certain ideas and products. E-bay actually used one of these firms to create buzz around them early on. As it turns out, the campaign was moderately successful.
Anyway, the article is a must read; here’s one of my favorite pieces which is discussing an article that came out a while back about the return of suits to the office environment:
Trend articles like this are almost always the work of PR firms. Once you know how to read them, it’s straightforward to figure out who the client is. With trend stories, PR firms usually line up one or more “experts” to talk about the industry generally. In this case we get three: the NPD Group, the creative director of GQ, and a research director at Smith Barney.  When you get to the end of the experts, look for the client. And bingo, there it is: The Men’s Wearhouse.