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Posts Tagged ‘#PRFail’

The 14 Biggest #PRFails of 2014

prfail

The leaves are dying, the trees are barren, the weather is getting colder, and there’s no money left in your bank account. That literal and figurative chill in the air can only mean one thing — it’s award season for public relations.

It’s that time of the year when we scour the Interweb for the best ideas and most original thoughts; we also remember those unlucky/unintelligent/unprepared folks ready to take their rightful place atop the pedestal for staging the worst communications failures of the year.

PR fails are those instances when a brand or personality just loses its for a moment. Unlike the year’s real “losers” (cough…Uber…sniff…American Apparel…hack…Lululemon), these juggernauts of jocularity can provide us with a bit of holiday comedy, after which we can all stand and applaud the fact that we were not in any way involved.

Without further ado, here are the worst #PRFails of 2014. Enjoy — we did…

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BREAKING: Justine Sacco Has ‘Really Suffered’ Since AIDS Tweet

justine-sacco-tweet

We at PRNewser often use the breaking news line as a joke, but this “no kidding” moment is really “news.”

Remember the unfortunate tweet above?

Justine Sacco, former chief communications officer of IAC (parent company of Tinder, Vimeo and OkCupid), prepared for a trip to Africa with some kitschy AIDS humor and lost her job as a result. Sure, she apologized and ended up back on the job market, but it’s safe to say her life changed.

Now she’s back…to help kick off a book tour. Read more

Pittsburgh Penguins Broadcaster Jokes About ‘I Can’t Breathe’

penguins i cant breathe

(Photo Credit/Screen Grab via Deadspin)

People protest for various reasons. Most of them are good.

Today, thanks to the power of national TV, social media, and a little bit of merchandising, sociopolitical or economic causes can take on a whole new life. Most recently, the death of New York native Eric Garner – who died after an NYPD officer applied a chokehold to restrain him — inspired more than 25,000 to march in Manhattan this weekend.

The line “I Can’t Breathe” has been seen everywhere as a result, and a local sportscaster thought it was fair game for a bad joke. Read more

More #UberFail: Company Offers Credit to Sexually Harassed Passenger

uberUber is a conflicted company.

On one hand, its concept has met with resounding success and growth. People picking you up from wherever via app is cool, but the company seems to be testing how far it can push a “we don’t care” media relations strategy.

Emil Michael still has a job and the company still keeps scoring bad press.

This time it’s about how Uber handled sexual harassment allegations. Read more

All I Want for Christmas Is Less Kim Kardashian

kim-kardashian-paper-magazineDear Santa,

I know I’m not perfect and I just got off the naughty list.

But since I’m (probably) back in good standing, I would like to request a special present this year: convince my media friends to stop covering the troglodyte known as Kim Kardashian.

This story is why.

KK often gets press for doing nothing, but this time she is blaming whatever deity she worships for an experience common to every woman in the world: slight weight gain during pregnancy.

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Former Google+ Designer: ‘We F*cked Up!’

CHRIS-MESSINA

Meet Chris Messina. 

He’s a guy whose palatial estate may be large enough to contain his ego: he was a lead designer at this start-up called Google. In fact, he was one of the user experience masterminds behind Google+.

(Not for nothing, but dude is credited by many with creating the hashtag.)

No matter how much Google tries to force us to use its own network, the project has been a failure by any real measure. Now Messina is blogging about its demise in very unflattering (and profane) terms.

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Twitter CFO Doesn’t Understand How Twitter Works

Anthony Soto

(Source: Brian Ach/Getty Images) 

In most cases, the surest sign of excellent internal communications is a team’s ability to fully advocate for and support the brand in any situation.

Do people from Disney have a hard time discussing magic? Do employees of any sports team hesitate to talk up their players? No, because they are acolytes, brand champions and, perhaps, consumers of the Kool-Aid.

You’d think a company like Twitter — which is all about communications — would be on top of its own messaging efforts. But company CFO Anthony Noto made national news yesterday thanks to his seeming inability to figure out how the service’s direct messaging feature works.

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Timely Takeover: Flywheel Raises $12 Million to Take Back the Streets from Uber

uber taxi

For the past couple of months, Uber has lost about all of its fanfare and applause in exchange for a few million middle fingers.

As you have seen in the PRNewserverse: we had a sexist PR promo for “hot chicks,” Emil Michael’s horrific implosion, the CEO’s apology-ish, and public opinion on why a “the press sucks” strategy really doesn’t work. In short, it’s been an #UberFail.

The timing couldn’t be better for Flywheel, a taxi hailing app, which has decided to get its real estate back with a $12 million Series-C fundraising grab.

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The New York Times Experienced Premature Publication on Keystone XL

NYT BuildingThe New York Times just can’t catch a break.

The editors of the Old Grey Lady have serious sight problems, as noted with this unfortunate front page drama and this mistreated story. We aren’t sure if it’s the ghost of former executive editor Jill Abramson haunting the newsroom halls, but something is afoot. And much like one with no socks in a crusty pair of Toms, it stinks.

Enter into the fray the much-debated story about the Keystone XL pipeline. (For context, our fearless leader posted on the leak of Edelman’s “strategy” documents regarding a similar project from the same company, TransCanada).

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Dave & Busters Can’t Even Do Racism Right on #TacoTuesday

dave-busters-taco-tuesdayFrom Del Taco to Rosa’s Cafe to Taco Bell, no one really knows the source — but #TacoTuesday is a thing known to kids (and parents looking for a quick bargain) across this great land of ours. It’s fun. It’s cheap. It’s even famous on ‘the Twitter,’ from what our  parents tell us.

Yesterday, a happening place known to Texans for sports, games, and fun called Dave & Busters (that has no business chiming in on a day known for such snackable TexMex goodness), decided to tweet on this most festive of occasions.

And did so in a slightly-racist-but-we-have-the-jokey-jokes fashion.

The tweet may have been deleted but the conversation is still visible to everyone — will someone in charge of social media at anywhere finally realize that this is not necessarily the job for a hipster with little to lose but a paycheck? Read more

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