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PR Fail

CNN Reaches for Ratings By Asking America to Deport One of Its Own

jose antonio vargasMeet Jose Antonio Vargas

This guy is one of the most brazen reporters today. Why? He has courage and temerity to do what few others of his ilk would even consider — he is willing to sacrifice his own residence in America for a greater cause.

As you can see from the picture above, he added to the “Dear God, give us ratings but really not a bad idea” juggernaut of the newly minted CNN FilmsDocumented.” In this amazing documentary, Vargas discloses even more details about living as an undocumented American journalist. More so, because in 2011, he put his stamp on the national immigration debate in The New York Times. 

And for his reward, CNN asked Twitter to deport him. Yes, really.

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Twitter (Finally) Calls Robin Thicke a Douchebag

DOUCHEBAG

Ok, I can hear you now.

Yesterday Robin Thicke learned the same lesson that has already turned JPMorgan and Roger Goodell into prime case studies for the ages: Twitter chats pretty much never go well, especially when the fruit at the center of the conversation hangs so very, very low.

This one was so bad that it led journalists all over the country to devote their mornings to locating Mr. Thicke’s most embarrassing stock photos.

How did we do?

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BET Awards to Lionel Richie: ‘Say You, Say… Who?!’

lionel richie good

ICYMI (and by the look of the national ratings, you did), the BET Awards have come and gone. At the annual affair, the once-all-music channel gave a Lifetime Achievement Award to the inimitable Lionel Richie.

To the kids in PRNewser-ville, the guy is so much more than the father of that girl who was BFF to a hotel heiress. This is a man that has been sangin’ his tail off since he was the lead vocalist of The Commodores in the 70s.

“Easy,” “Still,” “Brick House,” “Three Times a Lady,” “Zoom,” and so much more to make your mix tape the bomb (dot) com. Lionel is a legend in music. Seriously fabled if you consider the hits he has written. And to honor that amazing career, BET did this… 

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#PRFail: Honda Falls Asleep at the Wheel Joking About Narcolepsy

narcolepsy hondaI could write about this in our mediabistro sister blog over at AgencySpy, but why? This is such a #PRFail! This all comes down to a car company and the ineptitude to learn something — say about “narcolepsy.” Allow me:

nar-co-lep-sy /ˈnärkəˌlepsē/ (n.) 

A serious condition characterized by an extreme tendency to fall asleep whenever in relaxing surroundings

So, there’s this up-and-coming car manufacturer named Honda. Someone in the advertising agency or in-house decided it was time to promote the “All-New 2015 Fit” with a commercial called Synth and Seattleites. 

And then, they poked fun at narcolepsy. To wit, Honda got run over by a bunch of people they apparently didn’t know existed. You know? Like the chupacabra, Bigfoot, and unicorns, only much meaner.

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FAFSA Cracked An Awful Twitter Joke About Financial Aid Applicants Being Broke

Nobody told FAFSA they had to be funny. All they have to do is encourage college students to apply for financial aid, make sure they get information into the right hands and generally be nice to stressed out parents and co-eds who are confused and overwhelmed. But no. FAFSA got on the Twitters to make a joke and got their asses handed to them because they are FAFSA and not Dave Chappelle. Read more

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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