You're Doing It Wrong Part 348: Complete And Utter PR FAIL


So this morning a pretty standard email pitch came into my inbox. It wasn’t my cup of tea, so I ignored it. But then someone responded to it, and I saw that response. Uh, oh, I knew immediately where this was going. Sure enough, minutes later dozens of others were responding, most saying something along the lines of “take me off of this list” — of course, whether they realize it or not, they were sending that very message to everyone on the list.

Some followed up trying to apologize on behalf of the whole PR industry for this fiasco. Others threatened to out people who kept responding to the thread in national magazines. Then things got even uglier, “Take me off this fucking list which I never asked to be on and cannot unsubscribe from,” said one lucky subscriber. The fact that every single one of these replies was going to everyone on the list was very annoying, but ultimately forgivable. What’s not forgivable is when the automated help desk tickets started sending massive amounts of emails to everyone on the list.

It looks like some SEO site submitted a help request ticket to get them off of the list, and from that point on, everyone who responded showed up as the same SEO site emailer talking about this random troubleshooting ticket. It started getting really ridiculous. As Justin Smith of InsideFacebook notes on one of my status’ “this is getting pretty incredible. 13 emails in the last 10 minutes.” And Caroline McCarthy of CNET just Rickrolled me on Twitter, saying she had a way to get us off of the list. This is getting out of control.

So really nice job, Brody PR. Not only does practically everyone in the blogosphere and print media world now hate you, but you’ve ensured that whatever it was you were trying to pitch (some book on social media marketing) will never get any coverage. PR FAIL.