How to cause a PR train wreck

Mango PR gave a text book lesson on:
how to cause a PR train wreck

Do you ever have those moments where something seems like a brilliant idea at the time but turns out to be a train wreck?

I’m a bit of a master at creating these situations.  I have an almost unparalleled ability to say things that sound excellent in my head, but once they’re out there for everyone else to hear I suddenly realise that it probably wasn’t such a great thing to say.

But this week someone stole my thunder.  Not just anyone, a fellow PR consultant!

As Fairfax and News Ltd are busy restructuring their organisations and literally thousands of jobs are hanging in the balance, one PR specialist took to a popular news site and penned an article about how it was all great news for the PR industry.

Tina Alldis is head of publicity at PR agency ‘Mango’, an agency that focuses on so-called ‘consumer’ clients such as computer games and Energizer.  Alldis writes:

“Aside from the inevitable decrease in the numbers of journalists that we harass daily with our brand stories and announcements, what do all of these changes mean for PR practitioners and clients?

I believe these evolutions will result in improved PR campaigns, with stories running across multiple platforms and extending out into social media. Great news for our clients.”


Later on she declares: “All in all, it’s an exciting time to be in PR.”

I’m no Sigmund Freud, but I reckon declaring that someone else’s misery is ‘exciting’ is not the nicest thing to do; particularly if you’re in PR where roughly 90% of your effectiveness stems from your ability to engage well with media. 

What the hell was Alldis thinking?  It’s not like penning this article demonstrates outstanding thought-leadership for PRs.  It’s not like any journalists would see her piece and say, “Wow, she’s really on the ball that one!”

So even apart from Alldis’ arguments (which aren’t necessarily right, let me add), this column was never going to add any value.

All it does is illustrate the writer’s glee at another’s misfortune.

So, people of Earth, the lesson as always?  That’s right.  THINK before you write.

But you can still count on me saying stupid things at regular intervals – the comic relief will definitely continue.


Coming next week: a special report on the carbon tax.  I’ll even be undertaking proper research!  Hold onto your hats.


Anonymous said…
Well written Dylo. Good reminder for us all. JF
Andrew said…
"All it does is illustrate the writer’s glee at another’s misfortune"....didn't you just do that by writing this article? :-)
Brendan said…
Having watched this train wreck unfold on twitterverse, perhaps the best response was summed up here:
Dylan Malloch said…
Thanks for the comments guys.

Andrew: I don't think I had much 'glee' over the situation. It was kind of like watching a car crash - you feel terrible, but you can't help but watch.

And Brendan - that is the epitome of every PR consultant's worst .nightmare