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PR Fail

Rep Demands That Editor Credit Staff for Press Release

Today the always-excellent Jim Romenesko discovered evidence of a big PR no-no in action. Seems that a five-paragraph story in the Jacksonville Daily Record may have borne some resemblance to the two-page press release accompanying the initial pitch–and whoever sent it thought that the team responsible deserved a little more credit.

Here’s the exchange as reprinted on Facebook by editor Marilyn Young, who hasn’t seen this sort of thing during more than three decades in the industry.

Romeneskoyoung

“Plagiarism” seems like an odd charge for regurgitating a press release, no?

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#PRFail: Microsoft Offers To Pay TechCrunch Founder To Promote Internet Explorer

Microsoft-Logo-square

Today in not-exactly-breaking news: Microsoft Internet Explorer lags well behind both Chrome and Firefox when it comes to overall browser usage (though they’re still ahead of Safari and Opera, whatever that is).

This week, the company “accidentally” committed a big PR no-no in its latest attempt to promote the browser; a “vendor” offered to pay TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington to write a post hyping the “reworked” version of the product.

Arrington responded with a post on UnCrunched expressing his disbelief: “do people still do this?”

Apparently so.

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Delta Was a Disaster on Twitter After USA Beat Ghana

delta tweetSo that was incredible right? No one, not even coach US Jurgen Klinsmann, expected the American team to win its World Cup match against Ghana. And when they did, excitement erupted in the streets and, of course, on Twitter.

Delta tried to get in on the excitement with the tweet above. So, the US is the Statue of Liberty with two points and Ghana is a giraffe with one point. Well yeah, you got the score right. Except there are no giraffes in Ghana. There are giraffes in Africa. But as a major international airline, Delta ought to know that Africa is a large continent and giraffes cannot be found in all of its countries. In case they forgot, Twitter reminded them.

delta tweet 3

But from there, it only got worse.

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What Happens When Mean Girls Handle Maternity Clothing

baby fat shirtLadies of PR, ever heard of Destination Maternity? This is the parent company of A Pea in a Pod.

When my fair lady was with child, I noted this place while surfing the Web for certain clothing. You know? Cute pregger jeans, dresses that do not resemble a Moo Moo, and fashionable threads that do not showcase anything resembling cankles.

This is a place with a nice reputation and always pleasant in the eye of public perception. Marketing has never been edgy. Advertising is not considered abrasive. Until now

After the jump see the most offensive shirt to give a pregnant woman. Ever.

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Another Donald Sterling Lawsuit: Different Chick; Same Shtick

Donald Sterling

I’m fat and happy. Thanks, NBA!

Just when you thought the world would leave accused serial bigot, philanderer and new billionaire Donald Sterling alone comes this report (from TMZ, no less).

Apparently, Donald Sterling has a history of racist commentary and sexual harassment.

It feels like only yesterday when one V. Stiviano adopted the persona of a Daft Punk backup dancer, recorded Sterling re-enacting a scene from ‘American History X’, and proceed to help the NBA  make him rich beyond his wildest dreams force him to sell the LA Clippers. That was a forced hurl off the cliff into a sea of prejudicial despair.

But, as we hear in game shows, there’s more…

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If NFL’s Ray Rice Has PR, Fire That Agency Immediately

Ray-Rice

…is more like ‘Roni’, and is no San Francisco (or Baltimore) treat. 

Some professional athletes have their foibles. Others have mild drama issues. Ray Rice has neither — he’s just a turd with a bad temper.

After reports came out that he (allegedly) beat his fiance unconscious and dragged her from an elevator, everyone wanted to him confronted by the NFL. Much less, these same people wanted said fiance Janay Palmer to press charges.

She didn’t. In fact, she married him, so she’s smart and in love. The NFL hasn’t … yet. But you know what they say about karma — it always shows up during press conferences. Thank goodness.

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Ann Taylor Loft Has a Too-Detailed Explanation For This Photoshop Fail

ann taylor loftAnother day, another Photoshop mishap. This time it’s Ann Taylor Loft. They took this perfectly lovely model (above) and removed a few ribs, maybe extracted a few organs, and generally made a mess of things.

At this point, we know that these things happen. Whether it’s a misguided attempt to add a thigh gap, the omission of a shoulder, or a crotch that goes adios, folks are Photoshoppin’ like it’s going out of style. And when it happens, there’s an apology and a correction.

Loft has taken down the image — it’s available here and here — but they’ve also offered an explanation. What do you think of it?

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Pat Sajak to America: ‘I’d Like to Buy a Clue About Twitter and Climate Change’

the_pat_sajak_show-showFor decades, outside of a lapse in judgement to host a talk show (pictured here), Pat Sajak has been one of the most beloved individuals in TV history.

How hard is it to develop bad PR asking a woman to exercise her alphabetical skills and wear borrowed clothing? Not difficult at all.

And then, Pat Sajak discovered Twitter.

To wit, trolls showed up at his doorstep to play the bonus round any time he wished. He did this week when he decided that on behalf of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ fans everywhere, Pat Sajak has been quiet too long on … climate change?! 

Yeah, this happened.

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Hooters Jokes About Rape on Its Facebook Page

Hooters-Culture

Yeah. Hold that thought, kid.

I know. I know. Fellas, you all go here for the wings. Okay, now that we have that sage excuse out of the way to clear your conscience, something terribly serious happened at the home of the owl that has most of its female servers wondering, “WTH?” (‘H’ being for ‘Hooters.’)

Despite what is said on CBS’ “Undercover Boss,” many people do believe the women in this fine establishment are being exploited. However, if they want that cash, maybe the servers don’t mind so much: they can almost ignore the handsy drunk dude in the corner while shunning the douchey guy whose wedding ring is clearly in his pocket.

However, when you joke about rape, stuff gets real.

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UK Retailer Sainsbury’s Has Some ’12 Years A Slave’-Inspired Fashions They’d Like To Recommend

sainsbury slaveMovies fall under the category of “entertainment,” but not every movie can be taken lightly. 12 Years a Slave clearly falls in this more serious subcategory.

British retailer Sainsbury’s is selling copies of the Oscar-winning movie on DVD. The store also thought it would be a good idea to do a little cross-promotion. So they set up a mannequin right next to the movie display in a 12 Years a Slave-inspired yoga outfit with cropped pants and a tunic. A Twitter user snapped the photo at right, and we have ourselves a brand new and totally insensitive PR fail.

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