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Anonymous Sexts Do Not Make Great PR

prfail

Pando Daily blogger David Holmes recently received a message “from a coworker, anonymously,” that read:

“I do not were panties today, and I’m in the same office.”

I don’t know about you, but there’s not one person in MY office from whom I would like to receive THAT message. Then again (as Holmes points out) no one in my office who’d write such an atrociously worded note.

It’s gross, it’s creepy, but it’s also kind of intriguing (at least for a man, I would reckon). Who sent me that sexually provocative note? Is it a stunt? Or am I being catfished?

In Holmes’ case, the message was sent as an email via Leak, and it could theoretically be easily dismissed as spam. But what if it were sent via an app on your phone through Whisper or Secret, or any of the other anonymous messaging services currently earning more press coverage in the Valley than Leak? One might be persuaded to find out the dirty bird behind the note.

Holmes did just that and emailed the company. Here’s the response:

Hi David, thank you for your email :)

It’s definitely a PR stunt.

Actually, my friend Seb and I got inspired by some of the best leaks exchanged so far.

We decided to send them to some journalists because we thought that it was funnier to live the Leak experience than receiving a regular press release.

Regarding the latest tweets seems that we’ve been a bit clumsy!!

You’re free to leak back but.. be smarter than us ;)

We’re open to give you as much information as you need, do not hesitate to reach us directly.

FYI, Leak is just a 48hours-made project between 2 friends

So did the PR stunt work?

On one hand, it did get the tech writer to cover Leak. On the other hand, his headline read “Anonymity app pulls off one of the worst tech PR stunts ever attempted.”

If your M.O. is any news is good news, then sure—Leak’s PR team gets a win.

But surely there’s a better way.

What’s your favorite recent stunt? Business Insider listed 10 brilliant marketing stunts that put startups on the map yesterday, but I prefer the one that inspired this must-read article by The Atlantic’s Robinson Meyer: I Drank a Cup of Hot Coffee That Was Overnighted Across the Country.

That’s good coverage.

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