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Posts Tagged ‘pr fail’

Google Glass Attack Victim (and Tech Publicist) Illustrates Challenges in Promoting Google Glass

We have absolutely no idea what went down in San Francisco last week, when tech PR and I Love Social Media founder Sarah Slocum claims she was robbed and assaulted for wearing her Glass into a punk rock bar.

One thing we’re sure of based on the clip she released this week: we’re very, very glad we weren’t there.

Being (thankfully) unfamiliar with the politics of the SF tech scene, we think the story is most interesting as an illustration of both the inherent challenges of promoting such a product and the various ways to respond to public criticism of that product.

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Hennessy Pitch Promises ‘Mixed Drinks MLK Jr. Would Be Proud of’

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There are certain historical figures one doesn’t reference lightly—even when discussing the national holidays that bear their names.

We’re talking, of course, about The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose day we’ll celebrate on Monday (certain current senators be damned). Despite the nuances of the life King lived, the present day will always be too soon to discuss him in a certain light, especially when using his name to promote a consumer product! Yet whoever writes copy for Hennessy cognac thought it proper to pitch the liquor with the subject line atop this post.

Think about it for a minute: how would the Rev. King “be proud of” a cocktail?

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And the Award for Corporate #PRFail of the Year Goes to…

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If we hadn’t been busy spending our holidays doing everything but shopping at Target, then we would have covered this story a little more aggressively. As is, we can reflect on its status as the worst crisis comms case of 2013.

The retailer’s big failure doesn’t lie in the breach itself; as Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel told us today, that kind of thing can happen to anyone. It’s more in the way they chose to address it.

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Redskins PR Chief Yanks Mic from Reporter’s Hands

Let's talk media relations strategy...

Let’s talk media relations strategy…

Got your attention yet? OK. Today brings us a very weird report from the world of sports PR in which the National Football League‘s most embattled team demonstrates some…unconventional ways of dealing with the media.

For context, the Washington Redskins fired manager Mike Shanahan yesterday, because a 3-13 record does not inspire one to perform the traditional “Gatorade dump” victory dance.

Here are some of the (very) lowlights from Washington Post sports scribe Kent Babb‘s excellent report on the event:

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NBC Sports Radio Jokes About Sexual Assault

Good question. The account appears to be making light of this story announcing that the Florida State quarterback will not be charged due to complications in the case. In case you don’t get the reference, here’s an image of the Heisman “stiff arm” trophy:

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So the “joke”, if you could call it that, is that this QB pulled a “talk to the hand.”

To their credit, the feed’s managers quickly deleted the tweet and responded:

Good to know, but that’s still poor sportsmanship all around.

(H/T to our anonymous tipster)

Worst Press Release of the Week? Oh Yeah.

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“One customer, Bryce Stave of ___, TX says, ‘My wife and I are ecstatic with our new garage door opener.  We put the baby to bed and don’t have to worry about waking him up when we head out to the bar.’”

OK, but what about when you and the wife stumble in after a round or three…or ten? And how many had you downed before you gave us that gem of a quote?

Brace yourselves, dear readers: you will be shocked to learn that the great state of Texas does not count “Bryce Stave” as a resident.

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Home Depot Blames Agency for Deleted Tweet

So Home Depot sent this image out yesterday to promote its College Game Day campaign:

If you see it and ask yourself “what the hell is that all about”, then you’re not the only one. Complex called it “the most racist tweet of the day“, but we’re more confused than anything. We get how the pic ties into HD’s “Bucket U” theme, but we have some questions: What was the point of the promo? Why ask the question? Why is one (white) dude wearing a monkey outfit?

There’s really no satisfactory answer to these queries, and anyway we’re more interested in Home Depot’s damage control efforts, which currently amount to “it was our agency’s fault.”

Really?

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Bertolli Jumps on Barilla’s PR Fail

That was quick. We knew someone would make the most of the biggest brand crisis of the week, and Barilla competitor Bertolli‘s German Facebook page just posted this image:

Cute.

The caption translates to “love and pasta for all”, but we’re not sure why they’ve only posted it in German so far. A quick look at the Bertoli America Facebook timeline shows that English speakers have bombarded the page encouraging them to become the alternative to Barilla. But will anyone else take the opportunity? We’re looking at you, Ronzoni.

UPDATE: Right on time.

PR Fail: Barilla Chairman Says He Will ‘Never’ Include Gays in Ads

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Here’s a case of foot-in-mouth disease followed by a quick but debatably effective damage control operation. Yesterday Guido Barilla, chairman of the pasta company that bears his name, told an Italian radio show that his brand will “never” feature gay men or women in its ads and that “if the gays do not agree, they can always eat pasta from another manufacturer.”

Here’s his reasoning at work:

I would never do (a commercial) with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect but because we don’t agree with them. Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role…if the gays do not agree, they can always eat pasta from another manufacturer.

A woman’s place is in the kitchen and gays can never be part of a real family? He went homophobic and misogynistic while mentioning respect in the midst of a thoroughly disrespectful comment and encouraging a significant portion of the population to abandon his brand. That’s what we call “the keep digging strategy.”

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10 #NeverForget Brand Tweets: Offensive or Acceptable?

He’s joking, BTW. And if you didn’t see this post coming, then you must not have logged on to Twitter today. It really does seem like every. single. brand. has taken the opportunity to piggyback off this twelfth anniversary of 9/11 in order to increase exposure…or something like that. Here’s the tweet that’s been irritating everyone in media: 

The image was tacky, sure—and the social team quickly issued an apology and deleted it.

But is AT&T the worst offender? And how terrible are these brand posts, really?

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