There’s an old saying in Public Relations: “There’s no such thing as bad PR.” Now, I’m partial to positive attention, myself, but I have to admit if it wasn’t for negative PR, some folks would get no attention at all (especially celebrities). At the very least, it seems to keep them in the spotlight and a part of the public conversation.

A couple of months back, my MSN email account got hacked and someone spammed all of my contacts with a virus. For many people, this was the first time in a long time they’d heard from me—and quite clearly not in the way I intended nor they expected. Suddenly, despite the circumstances being less than ideal—I mean who wants to get a virus, really? (certainly not this King Monkey)—I was back on a number of people’s radar screens, which resulted in a lot of shot outs from old acquaintances/business contacts and opportunities to reconnect.

In fact, at last week’s Licensing International Expo in Las Vegas, I was able to connect with several long dormant contacts who had been spammed, leading to rekindled friendships and potential business opportunities. How sweet is that? I must admit the activity spurned by this ill-intended hacker rivaled some of the best response levels to my newsletter, blog, or social media efforts. Go figure.

So what’s the moral to my story? I’m certainly not suggesting everyone add “hacking” and “spamming viruses” to their media plans. But I am suggesting everyone rethink the power of an even older saying, “turn lemons into lemonade” (or is that “turn old bananas into banana bread?”).

Sometimes opportunities show themselves in the unlikeliest of places. We just need to be watchful so we can make the most of them when they present.

Speaking of the Licensing Show . . . the year’s incarnation seemed smaller than last year’s, with booths spread out more and fewer attendees. Nevertheless, in the 10-plus hours I was there keeping the monkey chatter going on everything from promotions to design to direct response infomercials and licensing, I was fortunate to meet with various contacts from around the country: Hollie Holmes (Mattel Licensing); Lynn Rosenblum (Toy Xpert and fellow Monkey); Sharon Mord (Edge Marketing); Eric Colbert (Bamko); Todd Johnston (Point East); Shari Nomady, Yvette Brown, and Kristen Nomady (X! Promotions); Nick Longo (Longo Creative); Mary Sarandon (Simply Sarandon Sales and Marketing); and Brett Saevitzon (Spot On). Of particular note, I enjoyed the Paul Frank bus (Paul is an internationally-known artist and fashion designer) and a small start-up company called “Indigo Magic” ( and their creative spirit.