Your weekly dose of #PRfail

Your weekly dose of PR failThese days it’s impossible to be a successful public relations professional without knowing your way around social media. To give you a leg-up on your competition we bring you a dose of this week’s most infamous social media do-nots. Here are your top five PLUS a #PRwin:

#5 – Strategic Vision, LLC

The offence: A representative from this PR agency elected to email a pitch to a reporter filled with racial stereotypes. Though it is probably true to the nature of the book he was promoting, it certainly doesn’t read well in a pitch.

The lesson: Sometimes you can’t help but be handed questionable products to promote. But it’s your job to pitch it in a way that doesn’t have people scratching their heads.


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#4 – CEO of Uber

The offence: It’s a bad week for startup CEOs (see #3!) when this one calls a popular blogger a “troll” via email and includes her in the recipient list.

The lesson: Check your recipient list twice, then check it again. Also: don’t put in writing any anger toward colleagues, clients or customers. It always has a way of coming out.


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#3 – CEO of Postmates

The offence: An unhappy customer receives a shocking, accidental reply to her customer service complaint from the company’s founder.

The lesson: See #4.


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#2 – Facebook

The offence: An oblivious company uses the image of Rehtaeh Parsons, a teen who committed suicide following her sexual assault, in their dating ad. Though Facebook advertisers have virtually free reigns with their ad images, fingers will point to the social media channel when ads go wrong.

The lesson: Call us crazy, but if something is going to be associated with our company in any way, shape or form, nobody’s seeing it until we give it our stamp of approval.


#1 – Vitamin Water/Coca-Cola

The offence: A creative promotion goes wrong when a customer opens her bottle to find the English word “You” and the French word “Retard” (meaning “late”) written together under her bottle cap.

The lesson: Randomized wording is no excuse for you not to put your – say it together, now – stamp of approval on every single combination being printed on your product.


#PRwin of the week – Dairy Queen

The win: An Dairy Queen employee does a good deed when he stands up for a blind customer, and the act goes viral. Read for yourselves.

The lesson: When done right, the best advocates you could ever ask for are your own employees.


Did we miss YOUR favourite #PRfail of the week? Sound off in the comments!

Follow PR+Ruse on Twitter @ruse_pr


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