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PR Fail

Where’s the LUV? Southwest Airlines Kicks Passenger Off Flight for Tweeting

LUV

In most circumstances, love (or LUV, Southwest Airlines’ NYSE Symbol after its home airport Love Field) does go a long way. In the case of Minnesota resident Duff Watson, it got him kicked off the plane.

According to his hometown CBS affiliate WCCO, Watson was asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight from Denver to Minneapolis because he allegedly threatened the safety of an agent via Twitter. His tweet called out an agent by name, gave her the distinctive title “rudest agent in Denver,” and directed it at @SouthwestAir shortly before takeoff.

The complaint didn’t work out the way he planned.

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AP #MH17 Tweet Traumatizes English Teachers, the World

AP Tweet Crash LandsThe humble comma — its inclusion can mean life or death for panda bears (and pilots alike), as well as the difference between respectable reporting and an horrific #PRFail.

Case in point: the single tweet posted by the Associated Press late this morning suggesting that the Dutch military plane carrying bodies from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 had crash landed in Eindhoven, when all it really did was land. Read more

Raleigh Firm Attributes Fake Release to Mayor’s Office

FAKE release

(Pic via newsobserver.com)

Yesterday the Raleigh, North Carolina-based firm Misner & Associates defended its decision to issue a press release falsely attributed to the city’s mayor Nancy McFarlane and her communications team.

The release, created to promote a biker festival run by Misner client Ray Price, was printed on what looked like official city letterhead and mailed to local publications; the “letter” listed the mayor’s spokeswoman as a contact alongside Scott Misner himself.

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Comcast Cries Mea Culpa on ‘Hellish’ Service Call…But Does It Make a Difference?

bad customer service comcast

Comcast pissed off the wrong customer last week when it botched a service call with Ryan Block, former editor of the tech site Engadget and product developer at AOL.

NPR called it “condescending“; Gawker called it “hellish“; The Verge called it “a nightmare“; Yahoo called it “terrorizing.”

As fellow PRNewser Shawn Paul Wood posted earlier, “flacks who enjoy the various #PRFail called it ‘priceless’”. In case you missed it, you can hear what went down at the link: Comcast ‘Provides’ What May Be The Worst Service Call Ever. ”

A week later, the company’s Chief Operating Officer Dave Watson calls it “typical”, saying the incident was “painful to listen to” but that the rep “did a lot of what we trained him…to do.”

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EPA Apologizes for Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ Mobile Game

If you have better things to do with your life than scroll twitter at 10:30 PM on a Monday evening, then you may have missed an amusing and bizarre promotional failure on behalf of your government.

Specifically, the EPA’s clean water division posted what certainly looked like a message hyping the (unfortunately) red-hot “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” mobile game, in which the user can–what else–turn him or herself into a celebrity.

Super-veteran House Rep John Dingell, who has served since 1955 and helped write the original act that created the division, summed up the Internet’s sentiments with a question:

For the record, we don’t believe for a second that he has no idea what a Kardashian is. Good tweet, though.

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Sky News Reporter Goes Looting Through Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Luggage (for News)

sky news luggageJust when you think network news can’t get any worse, ratings rears its ugly head and forces reporters to do things you never thought possible outside of a lawsuit. This time, the ne’er-do-well culprit is the UK’s Sky News (a Rupert Murdoch joint).

Tragically, the victim is, again, Malaysia Airlines.

With MH370, the flight seemed to vanish into the ether, like all those horror stories about the Bermuda Triangle. And just when the airliner had that atrocious “breaking news” down to a minimum, the unthinkable happened over the Ukrainian coast as MH17 was shot down…presumably by separatists in the region.

And then Sky News went rummaging through the luggage of the dead passengers on live television.

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Comcast ‘Provides’ What May Be The Worst Service Call Ever

comcast

There is no secret, no hidden truth, no mystery on this planet that refutes the abysmal customer service that call centers at cable companies provide. It’s like they all hire from the same discount store that shuttles HR rejects from the hotel.

The proposed Comcast and Time Warner merger? That’s a utopia of pleasantry just waiting for America (and one of those brands may vanish this year).  You would think the powers-that-don’t at Comcast would appreciate public perception.

Not when gems like this call to cancel service, which should serve as a crisis communications starter kit. (Oh, please take time to listen to these 10 minutes of bliss.)

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#PRFail: Watch America Teach FOX News About ‘Gender-Neutral’ Restrooms

fox news lgbt bathrooms

Recently, Illinois State University created “Gender-Neutral Restrooms” to help serve the LGBT community. A nice move by the institution to be more accommodating; however, FOX News took a little umbrage with this.

Essentially, the re-labeling would change several of its single-stall “family” restrooms on campus as “all-gender” restrooms. No new toilets. No new seating. Just the sign, which takes a while to get used to viewing. Here’s the initial report of the news…and then the unfortunate #PRFail follow-up after the jump.

(NOTE: FOX News anchor Heather Nauert incorrectly says the university is Indiana State.)

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Kate Hudson Can Thank the Edit Team for This PR Fail

instyle_kate_hudson_tallGood PR is tough work: its often thankless hours are usually spent for another’s glory. There’s the client’s win, of course, but also bragging rights for the journo or outlet that snatched the juicy cover story from its competitors.

We don’t need the credit, but perhaps a little respect for our craft would be nice.

PRNewsers, consider the following situation and ask yourself how a seasoned publicist would have handled it differently.

InStyle ran a cover story about Kate Hudson in its July issue without plugging her new release. Definitely an “oops!” for InStyle, which counts on maintaining good relationships with the celebrity publicists who bring them their cover stars, but was it an “oops!” that demanded a correction?

As reported by AdAge, InStyle’s editors thought so:

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American Apparel Mistakes Challenger Explosion for Fireworks

AmericanApparel_Frank

The home of “smediums” and tasteless advertising should just reconsider talking to the public

While you were stumbling between the cooler full of adult beverages and your lawn chair, something pretty awful and all-the-more stupid happened — American Apparel posted a picture of the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding.

WHY?! It was placed (and long since deleted) on the corporate Tumblr account accompanied by the hashtags #smoke and #clouds because July 4 pictures are a thing. More about that decision after the jump…

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