When Bad PR Happens to Good PR People…
…well, watch out below. It seems an email listserv goof-up prompted a comedy of Reply-Alls followed by a flurry of blog posts ranging from angry to thoughtful (or thoughtfully angry, or cynically tolerant, or….). All the PR folks wanted to do was promote an e-book about social media (because we need one, right?) to a list of social media influencers (because they need one, right?). The angry recipients, a number of them PR/social media flacks like me, blogged about it. The guilty party was slow in responding and apologizing (or so it seemed). It would seem this is an all around Fail, but the reaction was varied:
- I first heard about this on seeing Jennifer Leggio’s post on ZDNet. Mood? Angry. And she likes PR people. Best point is her first– a mass email? Why oh why do wwe still do mass emails?
- Next, Ken Wheaton at AdAge added to his rant remarks about the people who extended the “Reply-Alls” that were a result of the way the email list was set up. He backed off naming names, but I can imagine that was annoying.
- Shel Holtz reminds that email filters can take care of the “Reply-Alls”, so quit whining. He also notes that the vicious cycle was started by someone who liked the pitch and wanted the e-book (which Shel Israel, author of the upcoming Twitterville, understandably misunderstood, to his slight embarrassment).
- Todd Defren (my boss at SHIFT Communications), noted that the pitch was interesting, even if the execution was awful, in a post called “Bad PR Works.” You have to try harder to screw up good content, I guess.
- Chris Abraham lamented the lack of an apology by the people who started the mess. You do need to get in front of your screw-ups- quickly.
- Tim Allik (my former colleague at Topaz Partners) also pointed at a finger at those who fuelled the Reply-All fire, and added that the pitches their blog receives from this source are usually pretty good. Another reason to get out and own the mistake, I think. People who know you are good will move on.
Pointless Study: 40% of Twitter Messages are “Pointless Babble”
Lots of folks are pointing to a Pear Analytics study saying a lot of Twitter is noise. Is this supposed to prove that Twitter is useless? I would argue that 40% of the average workday is pointless babble (though at my office the number is significantly lower, natch). So, the study, ironically, created a lot of pointless babble. News flash: there is noise and distraction everywhere. If you can filter it out, you can be productive. It’s not that hard.
Because We All Want to Know What Speaker Pelosi Had for Lunch
It appears an unofficial Twitter account for the office of Nancy Pelosi has called it quits, asking the Speaker of the House to start her own, more personal Twitter account. That would be nice I suppose, but it would have to be something that would reach her constituents. Is that the most effective way? The larger question: do you need to be on Twitter? I would like to see Pelosi do it but it’s not high on my list, and probably not on hers either.
Press Releases of the Damned
Rather than harp on bad pitches and poorly-written press releases, this nice Technologizer article focuses on releases that were just spectacular wrong, and why. It’s a bit snarky, which is entertaining, but raises the question- -what will your news announcement look like in a year’s time?
The New York Jets have been encouraged to be on Twitter. On the one hand, I am waiting for some embarrassingly stupid Tweets to come for these football players. On the other, this is a great reminder that sports stars are entertainers, with a responsibility to their fans. What better way to fulfill that? And who knew the NFL- the No Fun League – would embrace social media as it has? Another thing I am waiting for: a player to get fined for having a non-uniform avatar on his Twitter profile.