Epic. PR. Fail. Bless

I just happened to fire up the Kobo Vox Reader I am testing out for Family Panel this afternoon, you know, not cos I spend my every waking moment online but, cough, for research purposes, when I found a pretty surprising email.



I get a lot of email, I have 3 accounts, so its not unusual to get funny and daft pitches amongst the samey ones which go out to pretty much every blogger who has ever walked the planet or written more than a months worth of posts.


This one, though, was a bit, shall we say, angst filled, a tad aggressive. I put my hands up, for me, the fact it threatened a DMCA against my blog was pretty much no big deal to me- I got threatened last month by Sony UK to have my blog, my money and practically my kids taken away for saying a certain band that they manage who’s name sounds a bit like Wand Erection are crap compared to the Stones. That was laughed off. After I decided to snap a Wand Erection CD. And found out you can’t generally buy CDs any more and buying an Ipod to download their album, then smashing it seemed pretty extreme retribution over a blog post being removed.


However, I actually hadn’t said the company that this person’s firm represent was rubbish. I didn’t compare them to another company either. I wrote quite a nice sponsored post actually, which the same company had approached me, via the same firm (but a different person from this firm) to write. 


Curious.


So, I went to good old oracle of the Universe, Twitter and asked this: 

Within 30 seconds, several other bloggers all held up their Twitter palms and said they too had had the same email. No one else had had previous emails requesting links be changed. Everyone was baffled. 


The Twitter streams and, I’m told, Facebook groups were alive with angry messages, annoyance and disbelief at this sudden aggression from what is a respected company. Much was put across on how to deal with it- should we charge to change the links after this mean of tone email, should we tell the brand never to contact us again?


It was cheeky, but, after the apology I got this afternoon, which I assume most others have had or will have, I kind of can’t help but feel sorry for the PR who made this error. 


It’s a Friday, its been a short week, everyone is tired, the weather sucks, I don’t know. It seems perhaps the person has taken over an account and has to change the link- no idea why and I’m yet to learn the reason for this sudden change.


The thing is, when a Hoo Ha erupts over a PR Fail, however epic or rude or mean that happens to be, they are going to get internet spanked for it. The net is kind of like when your Mum caught you doing something naughty and told you off, then your Dad came home, your Mum told him, and he went doubly mad at you. Twice the telling off. The Net is so big now, you can’t hide from your mistakes for long, whether that’s photos from a drunken night out being posted on Facebook, or whether that’s something where you pee off a bunch of the noisiest noises of them all, us Bloggers. 


We should perhaps have a badge on our blogs, a disclaimer, saying “we have a Laptop with WiFi and a Twitter account and we know how to use it.”


The PR is going to get told off by his boss as well as by bloggers. It will probably get round other agencies too and they will mock the error.


 It was poorly executed- the email had a “insert link here” bracket which hadn’t even been deleted, so perhaps the PR had a higher up person or someone from the brand they represent breathing down their necks, and they hit send a bit prematurely to meet a deadline?


Who knows, but sometimes, we need to take a breath and cut some slack. It was naughty, but its been put right, and ultimately, there will be more issues for the email sender than us bloggers.


Maybe I’m just that much of an old timer but these things tend to slide by me now- get my blog name wrong or my kids names wrong, well, makes me shrug (and on occasion forward the mail to the right person too). Invite me last minute to things, well, that’s unfortunate as I probably can’t go, but I’m not going to blacklist over it. 


Yes it’s annoying, but what can we do? Let it slide people, let it slide, and perhaps say “hey, mate, you’re going to get enough grief, just watch before you send again OK?”.


They’ll certainly not think twice before getting in touch again….

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