Bad PR…Bad

Learn to avoid PR Fail with these bad PR lessons

Bad PR, Bad…

We present the best of the Bad PR examples from the ‘net. We hesitated to put this page together but there’s too much to learn from other public relations mistakes, PR Fails, bad blog pitches, media missteps, bad judgment, poor PR pitching and PR faux pas.

It’s fast becoming one of our most popular pages for those who like to ask “What were they thinking?” I guess there’s something about PR train wrecks that appeal to us all. One thing’s for sure, you’d don’t want be a bad PR example because on the ‘net, it’s forever!

If you want more of the same you may also like Social Media PR Lessons and the PR Coach blog This Just In…Sites with a W are PR Coach “winners.”

3 Shocking Social Media… Ahem… Errors of Judgement
PR social media fails go from bad to worse for KitchenAid, Progressive and Wilcoxson’s Ice Cream.

5 Brands Guilty of Insensitive (and Just Plain Wacky) Marketing 
What’s up with these guys?

5 PR Disasters You Can Learn From
Five PR lessons from PR Professionals blog including Kanye West’s fake outrage, PRSA’s abuse of Lois Whitman, United Airlines, UK retailer Habitat and Golden State Warriors.   W

5 PR Pitches: The Good and Bad
Tech journalist Marshall Kilpatrick highlights good and bad PR pitches.

5 Ways McDonalds Could Have Prevented Its Hashtag Nightmare
Better strategy could have avoided this bad PR.

9 Social Media Crisis Questions Dole Food Company Failed To Answer
Dole dropped the pineapple when it came to a product recall and crisis management.

10 Biggest PR Fails
Learn from these 10 fashion pitch failures.

10 of the Biggest PR Blunders in Recent Memory
PR Channel Blog profiles 10 big PR disasters from OJ and Ellen DeGeneres to AIG and John McCain.

11 Athlete Endorsements that Were Lost to Scandal
There are many lessons to be learned from the athlete misadventures.

11 major public relations mistakes (and how to learn from them) 
Young PR pros share lessons.

12 Things Not to Do When Pitching a Story to Mashable
If you want into Mashable, heed Adam Ostrow’s tips on what NOT to do.

17 surefire ways to annoy journalists
Route to bad PR or worse. Count ‘em.

A Brief Diversion: The LOL Bad Pitch of the Day
Susan Getgood shares a poorly targeted but very funny bad pitch.

A lesson for Etsy
Tough customer, social media and PR learning.

A Roll of Nickels and a Phone Booth
More bad PR targeting shared by The Marcus Letter.

A Social Media Firestorm about Apple Pies
Magazine rips off writer, then fusses and doesn’t apologize.

A Tale of Two Faux Pas: When Transparency Meets Bad Behavior
F-bombing reporter and poor PR response make for bad results as Jennifer Leggio recounts a good bad PR example.   W

A Week in Bad PR: Object Lessons From the Dark Side
What a week writes Davina Brewer with the good, the bad and the galactically stupid in PR.

After the Lawyers, Can We Kill All PR People
Techdirt to PR people: “Read the damn submission page.”

AIG: Bailout Money, Your Money, Goes to PR Groups
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow goes after AIG for using Burson-Marsteller, of which she says “When evil needs public relations, evil has Burson-Marsteller on speed dial.”

Airline denying refund to dying vet has history of Bad PR
Just before caving, social media burned hot, forcing airline to give in.

Amazon.com Rave Book Reviews: Too Good to Be True?
A publicist with 72 glowing book reviews for clients, and her boss, is outed by the Cincinatti Beacon. Definitely bad ethics.

American Apparel Angers Twittersphere With ‘Hurricane Sandy Sale’
Bad PR continues for marketing miscreants.

American Apparel’s ‘Hurricane Sandy Sale’
 
PR fail by marketing misfits.

An Argument Against Exaggerated Market Research
Lies, damn lies, statistics usually lead to bad PR.

And Now Urban Outfitters Faces Boycott For Defaming The Irish
Perhaps it’s marketing by controversy?

Ann Coulter Continues to Use Offensive Term “Retard” Despite Backlash 
Appalling,  bad PR.

Apple Sues Polish Grocery Store Over A.pl Name
A stupid Apple PR fail.

Astroturfed by Demand Media
PR Fails when transparency is lacking with reporters and bloggers.

Astroturfing: Maybe it’s Not as Bad as it Seems
Astroturfing is always wrong, always a PR Fail IMHO.

Attention All PR People: Stop Sending Us Press Releases
We’ll let the folks at Techdirt say it again: “Stop with the press releases.”

Awful PR for the Public Relations Society of America
WWF-style bashing from guess who?  W

BP Attempts to Clean up Gulf via Twitter
Reality check: Tweet with integrity or get slammed.

Bad Pitch Blog
Dozens of bad pitches flagged and ridiculed by bad pitchmeisters Richard Laermer and Kevin Dugan.   W

Bad PR
Michael Marshall captures bad PR and shines a light on the PR failures and their bad actors. Entertaining.

Bad PR Gone Viral
Companies no longer control the online conversation, evident in the United Airlines and Horizon Group Management cases cited by Jones Huyutt Partners’ blog.

Bad PR Pitch #317: Shaklee/Lippe Taylor Brand Communications
Another misdirected, mistargeted, lazy blog PR pitch highlighted by Dave Taylor.

Bad PR: The Social Media Stalker
This bad social media PR example from Amber McNaught is kinda funny and pitiful. Jeez.

Bad PR Works
Todd Defren looks at PR spammers.

Bad Press Releases: BS + Bafflegab = PR Fail
When you mix BS with bafflegab all you get is bad news.  W

Being Bitchy with Fashion Bloggers is Bad PR
What’s not to get? D’oh!

Believe It Or Not, Another Really Bad Public Relations Website
Newt Barrett cites a PR agency for some self-absorbed website content. Lessons in content here.

Belvedere vodka ad sparks outrage 
Extreme PR fail using sexual assault in vodka ad.

 “Birds crap on cars!” says company selling car-cleaner
Weird science: bad PR no surprise after silly, self-serving publicity attempt..

Bloggers take to Twitter against Samsung
Stranding blogger creates social media outlash and reputation hit.

Brodygate: The Great PR Flub of 2009? Hardly
A contrarian view by Al Kruger on Brody PR’s celebrated email pitch faux pas.

CFTC Refers Forged Comment Letters to Justice Department
Dewey Square Group forged comment letters to CFTC. PR, ethics Fail or what?  W

Can you use advertising to clean up Bad PR?
Car maker Fisker needs reality check.

Carl’s Jr, Hardee’s Launch Comprehensive “Robust” Mobile App
WTH? Enjoy! Not just a burger ‘n fries LOL but useless apps too.

Carlton Hotels & Fake TripAdvisor Review Allegations
Now that’s a PR fail.

Cheapflights.co.uk Swears on Twitter and Calls X Factor Contestant a Silly Bint
Now here’s a Twitter mistake NOT to make. Ouch!

Cheating the App Store: PR Has Interns Post Positive Reviews for Clients
MobileCrunch outs Reverb Communications for some unprofessional and unethical PR practices.  

Chesapeake Energy CEO Gets Fracked 
Shareholder outrage, Board’s big PR fail.

Chicken Leg In Mouth
Marketing food and tsunami warnings are a recipe for bad PR.

Chik-fil-A Flubs Crisis Management
No excuse to get caught up in this anti-gay maelstrom.

Chick-fil-A PR fail starts to approach Epic levels. And its not over yet 
So many bad PR lessons, so little time.

Childish Press Release of the Day
Badvocate lacks credibility on nuclear told-you-so.

Chrysler Social Media Agency Told to Hit the Highway After Twitter Foul Up
PR Fail or appropriate response? You decide.

Cigarette Company Sponsors Volcano Relief Efforts
This PR fail is too funny!

‘Classically bad’ press release leaves Citi vulnerable
Worst press release and classic PR fail.

Clueless in Chicago: Accretive’s Ongoing PRFail
Sometimes better to just say sorry.

CNN, Fox get news wrong: What apology?
Corrections vs apologies. They didn’t get it.

Cocoa as Sunscreen? PR Firm Shamelessly Hypes Tiny Study 
Arghhh.

Controlling the News
Where Romney campaigners try but fail to control media access.

‘Cooks Source’ Apologizes to Blogger Whose Story It Lifted
Lukewarm apology doesn’t lower heat on plagiarizing publication.

Cooks Source Magazine Ignites Copyright Firestorm
Excellent analysis of the magazine PR fail by Kathy Gill.  W

Cooks Source: What Should Judith Griggs Have Done?
Certainly, she shouldn’t have done what she did.

Cooking PR Chile
PR Fail. Sometimes PR is just crass, opportunistic and stupid.

Corporations Try to Ride the Sheen Machine on Twitter
Talk about marketing on the backs of misery. Distasteful or what?  W

Could bankruptcy, bad PR, angry pilots ground American Airlines? 
Troubles and bad PR mount.

Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans
Excerpt from Deadly Spin by Wendell Potter.

Dear PR Flack
This is where “bloggers point and laugh at bad pitches.” For shame.

Dismembered bodies, gunned-down landlords
Worst press release and newsjacking PR strategy ever! Here’s why.  W

Dropped Letter in School Message Leads to Embarrassing Billboard
Always watch for typos. Whoo hoo.

Dubai gym uses photo of Nazi death camp Auschwitz to promote weight loss 
New low in bad PR?

Drinks giant Diageo reels from social media backlash
PR fail brewing as big company pushes for small competitor not to receive industry award.

Dumb PR Stunt: Ticking Promo Clocks Cause Bomb Scare
What were these PR peeps thinking?

Etsy’s #PR Nightmare: Greeting Cards Making Light of Rape
Etsy’s lack of sensitivity and tepid response hurt its reputation.

Everybody’s Chillin’ at the Nokia Pre-Party (It’s Awesome)
Doh. Social media lesson: Form-tweets are bad PR.

FTC Orders PR Firm to Remove Misleading iTunes Reviews
Fake PR activity gets justice.

Facebook Invitations: UR Doing It Wrong
Peter Shankman says there’s no excuse for these Facebook faux pas.

Ferrari leadership silent as company’s crisis worsens in China and Singapore
Great Wall of China stunt goes sideways.

Flack’s Revenge
Bob Geller is running a good series of “PR Death Watch” posts where he looks at dinosaur PR practices.

Following Humiliating Experience, Gay Couple Files Suit
PR Pickle for United Airlines.

Fox News Sets a Bad Example for Media Relations
Jon Greer sets off a good debate on media bias.

Frightening Fake News
PR Fail practices worth noting.

Gap veers from its social media policy in Twitter blunder
PRFail – no excuse.

GE Flubs a Pushback Against The New York Times
Debate on tax and GE response continue.  W

GE Illustrates How Not to Use Twitter
Sometimes a tweet is not so sweet. Blogging or advocacy ads are more effective in complex arguments.  W

GE Launches Twitter Blitz to Combat NY Times Article
This bad PR included using the wrong medium (Twitter), spinning answers and then not responding to media.  W

Gene Weingarten: Flack yourself
OUCH! Bad PR gets called out by WAPO columnist.

Go Daddy CEO Steps in Elephant Dung
Wise-ass dot.com exec deserves crisis PR lesson.

Good and Bad PR
Follow Good and Bad PR from the folks at 10Yetis on Twitter.

Good Reporters Welcome Feedback 
Lesson? Always on the record.

Great Moments In Bad PR Quotes
More like bad behavior but still a PR fail.

Greenpeace Sues Chemical and PR Firms for “Unlawful” Spying
PR agencies’ ethics and conduct leave much to be desired.  W

Greenpeace Sues Chemical Makers, Alleging Spy Effort
PR agencies fall way short on ethics and conduct.   W

Groupon: “World’s Greatest Sleep Aid: Depression”
Argh! Another hour, another social media PR failure.

Groupon PR: Whoops! It Happens
No excuse for this bad PR.

Guinness parent company commits harebrained PR blunder
Yep. That’s bad PR when you try to stop a tiny competitor from receiving a well-deserved industry award.

Hacked E-Mails Show Web is an Increasingly Useful Tool in Dirty-Tricks Campaigns
DC still dirty after all these years.

Hashtag marketing may not be the best strategy for restaurant chains
McDs promo results in avoidable bad PR.

Hey PR, Bloggers Are Not Tools to Be Used
It’s true. Some PR people don’t do their homework and bloggers are not tools writes David Spark.

Hilton Worldwide and the Lesson of Bad Appearances
No excuses for this PR fail. They forgot to say sorry and mean it.

How Many PR Companies Post Fake Reviews Online?
Glowing book reviews before the book was even available? PRFail.

How “No Comment” Has Edelman in Trouble
Surprisng media relations and PR Fail by world’s largest independent PR agency.  W

How Not to Do PR, by Donald Trump and Gloria Allred
Dopey politics, poor reputation management, bad PR.

How NOT to Respond to Negative Publicity on a Blog
David Risley shares a telling tale of terrible blogger relations, illustrating again how poor practices live online for a long, long time.   W

How Not to Use Twitter for Work
Ouch! This example will serve as a reminder of the negative impact of bad Twitter, or any social media, practices.   W

How publicist’s glib remark turned into a social media nightmare 
Young PR missteps and comments get bad PR.

How Sorry Are You, Barclays?
A “D” for this dull bad PR effort.

How the Promise of Free Coffee Crushed a Brand on Facebook  
This Timothy’s coffee marketing promo got bitter fast.

How to Completely Fake a Celebrity Endorsement
Insulting AND stupid.

How to Create Bad PR
The National Pork Board shows how by sending a blogger and activist a snide cease-and-desist letter in this post by Jackie Huba.

How to Get an Angry Email From Me
Aaron Brazell vents about bad PR blogger pitches and shares an example to make any PR pro cringe.

How to Handle Bad Press
PR Fail illustrates the results of poor media relations.

I Know A Guy Who Knows A Guy Who…. 
How to counter bad PR rumors.

Is Cuppy’s Trying to Stifle Bad PR About Them?
Appears so says Tris Hussey if disappearing negative posts are any indicator.

Is It a Good PR Pitch or a Bad PR Pitch?
Shannon Cherry talks about bad pitching and suggests how to do it better.

Is Latest Oil Rig Crisis Another PR Disaster?
Was response adequate? A look at the crisis response to the oil platform fire by Mariner Energy.  W

Is Spirit Airlines Making the Right Call Not Refunding Dying Vet? 
This PR fail was easily avoided.

Is the Yes Men’s PR Shell Game Working?
Great question.

It’s NOT a PR Problem. Think Real Values, Mission and Culture Reputation
Tom Gable writes a thoughtful essay on how companies have not had a PR problem but rather have gone against their real values that made them successful in the first place.

Lance Armstrong Quietly Removes Tour De France Victories from Twitter Bio 
Cheater.

Learning from Kenneth Cole’s Social Media Mistake
Crisis PR tips: Did KC do anything right?

Leave Bad Enough Alone
Student gets a bad PR lesson at U of Tennesee.

Lessons from This Summer’s Biggest Social Media Blunders
Four bad social media PR blunders from BK, NRA, Celeb Boutique and Chick-fil-A.

Lessons learned from Greg Smith’s New York Times op-ed on Goldman Sachs 
No reputation is too big to fail.

Liberty Watch Radio Bad – PR
Lots to learn as radio host Charles Heller shares bonehead pitches.

Lois Whitman Now an Unwilling Case Study in How Not to Do PR
Infamous PR spammer Whitman gets more bashing from TechCrunch.

Marc Jacobs Intern Has Public Meltdown on Brand’s Twitter Account
This PR Fail ain’t pretty!

Mary J. Blige Now Knows Who Her Friends Are Thanks to BK
Challenge of celebrity endorsements and social media.

Massive PR Fail: Boy Scouts Hid Reports of Child Abuse
Cover up crisis grows.

McDonald’s Hashtag Horror Story
Lots of PR 2.0 lessons.

Media Management With a Side of Attitude 
NOT adroit media relations in BC.

Media Training 101: Rudeness is Never Acceptable
Toronto’s newly elected mayor shows crass rudeness in this nationally broadcast radio interview on CBC.

Meet Lois Whitman, The Poster Child for Everything Wrong With PR
More damn the PR from Michael Arrington at TechCrunch, but justified and entertaining, especially the comments.

Middle East PR Agency of the Year Makes Major PR Blunder
Sometimes, small things, and hutzpah, can trip you up.

Misinformation in the Air
Memo to EPA: Managing wrong info is part of job.

Mitt Romney’s London PR Gaffe gets Funnier
Sigh, I believe there IS such a thing as bad  PR.

Monitor Group Consulting Firm Admits Errors in Work for Libya
Bad PR and ethics?

Most PR People Are Spammers – Chris Anderson Now Blocks You and I May Be Next
PR spamming? David Meerman Scott shines a light on lazy PR pitching and the outcome.

Motrin Moms: Social Media Fail Whale
Sarah Evans notes that Motrin removed its controversial ad after huge mommy blogger pressure. Fated to fail from the start.

Mud sticks – The Top 10 PR Disasters of 2010
10 Aussie disasters and plenty of PR lessons.

Need Blogger Outreach? A Case Study in How NOT to Do It
No excuse for bad blog pitches like this.

Netflix Example: How Bad PR Can Lead To A Failed Company
Video company’s bad strategy leads to reputation impact, lost customers falling share prices.

New Business? Not With This Global PR Firm!
What can you say about a PR agency that doesn’t respond to a new opportunity, leaves a prospective client hanging and makes it even worse? Fail!

Newsjack(ass)ing: PR Fail in the Wake of Tragedy and Crisis
Amen. Marketing stupidly always delivers bad PR.

Nokia’s Deceptive Marketing Campaign for New Lumia Smartphone 
Gotcha. PR fail.

Note to PR People: PLEASE INCLUDE A LINK TO YOUR RELEASE!
Argh! What’s up with feckless PR people who don’t do the basics? PR Fail.  W

NY Times Exposes J.C. Penney Link Scheme in Google
JC Penney expose for the SEO curious. Gaming Google but claiming no knowledge.

Oops of the Day, Part Deux
Darn that F word Chrysler says.

Outrage Over Pizza Hut ‘Sausage or Pepperoni’ Illustrates Why #PR Is Losing Battle
Disagree. Author is wrong. Marketing messed up.

PG&E Executive Generates Online Backlash
Fake comments on smart meters force exec’s resignation.  W

PR and the Fine Art of Not Being Crazy
Here’s the origin of the Lois Whitman spam incident from CrunchGear.

PR disasters that started on YouTube
Bad PR lessons in social media.

PR Dummies: At Least Your Pets Love You, You Horribly Lonely Loser
ARGHHH! Bad PR alert.

PR, Email, Social Media Fail
While a PR agency failed miserably in a PR email pitch, Ad Age‘s Ken Wheaton rightly asks why 30+ reporters replied to All in expressing their anger and compounding the spam.

PR Fail – A Collection of Bad Things
PR Fail uses Twitter and Del.icio.us to track bad PR examples.

PR Fail: Cinemark Invites Families of Aurora Shooting Victims to Theater Reopening
This was poorly conceived and simply doomed to fail.  W

PR Fail: ‘Cooks Source’ Stirs Up Crisis PR Broth
Plus 22 ways to manage an online #PR crisis.

PRFail: Dismembered bodies and gunned-down landlords [
This distasteful, ill-conceived news release failed miserably. The result was bad PR for the PR agency and negative coverage for its client. Ouch!  W

PR Fail: Worst. Job Description. Ever.
Bad PR enhanced by further boorish comments of executive recruiter.

PR Hall Of Shame No. 3821
Yep. This one qualifies as bad PR and goofiest news release.

PR Firm Reverb Slapped by FTC for Fake Online Reviews
Fake iTunes reviews get PR firm in hot water and fined.

PR Gone Bad: How to Anger Bloggers and Hose Your Client
Another terrible blogging pitch by a PR "pro" highlighted by Jonathan Fields. Will make you shake your head.   W

PR Lessons from Northern Ireland Water Crisis
Another PR Fail and useful crisis PR lessons from Northern Ireland water crisis.

PR News Hotlist: Top 10 PR Blunders of 2012, Part 1
Ten great lessons from those who should know better.

PR People Suck
Gini Dietrich’s rant is justified.

PR Pitches to Blogs: The Good, the Bad and the WTF
Maki Itoh highlights her blog pitch experiences; mostly fatal.

PR Professionals -- Clean Up Your Industry
Analyst Josh Bernoff points to PR practices. What’s not to get about these PR Fails?  W

PR Pros Gone Wild! 5 Examples Not to Follow
PR people failures and let them be a lesson to you.

PETA Protesters ”Barbecue” Topless Woman
And this is effective how?

Pedestrian Avoidance Test Fails Spectacularly
Over at Volvo, somebody took their foot off the reputation gas.

“People find it hard keeping up with their neighbours’ lifestyles” says loans company
Bad PR and stupid marketing tactics make a PR fail.

Philly councilman pays firm $28K to tweet for him
Speaking of social media clueless?

Pizza Hut's Cheesy 'Lifetime Supply' PR Stunt
What gives? Pizza marketing and politics result in indigestion, ridicule.

Pizza Hut eats humble pie after debate PR stunt
Nice catalogue of bad PR.

Pizza Hut rethinks presidential debate stunt
Bad PR forces promo shift.

Playing At Public Relations: Rolls-Royce Asks Will It Pass?
Rolls-Royce ducks from Qantas crisis and hopes the media will go away. PR fail.

Press One to See if You've Got a Job
Unbelievable PR Fail and reputation hit for Sanofi-Aventis for sloppy handling of layoffs.  W

Press Release, Spam, What's the Difference?
Not so much says Techdirt. Don't send either of them.

Pro PR Tips
Journalist Rafe Needleman blogs practical PR tips that PR and media relations people should take to heart.

Public Relations Fail: A Lesson and a Rant
Jennifer Leggio flags a PR mass email that was just stupid, plain and simple.

Publicist Announces Imperial Stars' Arraignment; Leaves Us Scratching Our Heads
What’s with this PRFail? And dumb and dumber too. W

Questioning #PR: Bruce Bushel at Southfork Kitchen
More thoughts on NYT story of PR Fails from Rich Becker.  W

Rachel Maddow Calls Out Another PR Firm
This time, MSNBC News' Maddow outs DC-based DCI Group for creating the astroturf organization Coalition to Protect Patient's Rights. Featured on PR Newser.

Rachel Maddow Confronts Notorious Corporate Lobbyist Rick Berman
In what's becoming a regular anti-PR gig, MSNBC's Maddow targets "King of Astroturf" Berman for astroturfing public interest groups. The Huffington Post credits Berman for debating with Maddow. It's an interview worth watching.   W

Read and Learn: Supremely Bad PR
A terrible news release from Republic Media leads to blogger derision.

Research Bafflegab: How PR Creates Junk Science 
Enough wth silly surveys, pap science PR people.

Restraining Orders for the PR Profession
Alison Kenney has a rundown on recent PR Fails and lessons.

Romney boots reporters from Newseum event, media critics debate irony [Poynter]
Bad PR judgment?

Ronn [sic] Torossian Is ‘Completely Unaware What Would Make You Speak Poorly of My Firm’
PR agency CEO tirade compounds media relations problem.

Royal Wedding: PR Companies Take Advantage
Why does public relations lack credibility? Aaargh! PR Fail.

Rush Limbaugh’s Comments Cost Cumulus Millions
Who says no such thing as bad PR? The network lost millions after Limbaugh’s offensive comments.

Samsung’s Public Relations Blunder(s): Is Your Company Headed Down the Same Path?
This blogger glitch was avoidable.

Schwarzenegger’s Press Tour Is Bad PR 
Another philanderer, another book.

Self-inflicted PR Damage
TransOcean’s insensititive “safety” bonuses after oil rig tragedy are baffling and a PR failure.  W

Seriously, Timothy Johnson, Your Idea of How to Do PR for Clients Is a Joke
So many PR fails are bad pitches, but this behavior defines bad PR…bad.

 “Sex is a lot like tennis!” says sex toy firm during Wimbledon 
Just lame marketing and bad PR.

Six Worst PR Mistakes Business Make
These PR mistakes are easily avoided.

Sneaky PR People Discover Blogs
Techdirt hates to get press releases. Mike Masnick regrets that PR people won’t read how to pitch the blog properly.

Sorry PR People You’re Blocked
Wired’s Chris Anderson blows his top at PR spammers, publishing more than 300 offender emails and it’s deserved.   W

Social Media Fails
Good example of what happens online when Maytag customer/mom blogger didn’t get a response

Some Stunts Should Never See the Light of Day
Stupid stunt shows terrible judgment. Bad PR…Bad.

Speak Media Blog
Jennifer Jones’ blog is worth following for her wide ranging insight as well as coverage of PR Blunders.   W

Spinsucks Blasts Definition of PR Quest
Critique of PRSA efforts to define PR.

Starbucks in British mistake
Yanks mess up. Silly Twits = Irish or was it smart marketing?

Stephenson Group — please stop spamming
What part of bad PR don’t they get?

Stick a Fork in It: Five Dead Public Relations Tactics
Which five are dead? Davina Brewer says press releases, press kits, faxes, press conferences and trade shows. Read why.   W

Stupid PR Tricks, Part 4
TechDirt continues with PR stupidity.

Susan G Komen’s Bad Week in Crisis Communications
Poor crisis management leads to a massive PR fail.

Now that’s a social media lesson.

Syngenta PR’s Weed-Killer Spin Machine: Investigating the Press and Shaping the “News” about Atrazine 
Bad PR practices that create a PR fail.

Taco (Dumb) Bell
Now THAT’s a PR Fail by a Mayor on TV.

Terrible PR Pitch Blog
Get in the shoes of a reporter who publishes the worst of the PR pitches she receives. Cringe-worthy!  Too bad it’s rarely updated.

The Bad Casual Pitch: What You “Never” Want to be Caught Doing
i can haz txt u pitch? Not. So don’t text your pitch says Bad Pitch Blog.

The Bad Pitch Body Slam
Three excellent PR Fail lessons from bad PR pitches.  W

The Biggest Social Media PR Fails of the Week
Three bad PR stories from Simply Zesty: Snickers, Bayern and McDonalds.

The Communication Crisis Groupon Created for Itself
SpinSucks looks at bad PR.

The Five Dumbest Things PR Pros Do With Social Media
Avoiding these social media Fails can improve public relations results.

The Horrors of Bad PR – When is a Discount Not a Discount?
Online retailer Hamleys learns a lesson in coupon promotions and bad public relations compounds the problem.

The Kenneth Cole Post You Haven’t Read Yet
Useful PR Fail wrap by Shel Holtz.

The Perils of Some PR Firms Handling Your Social Media
Ouch! Bad PR Bad.

The Pro, the Schmoe and the Joe: Icons Behaving Badly
What do Serena Williams, Kanye West and Joe Wilson have in common? Bob Geller says bad behavior.

The Problem with Public Relations
Now this is a good [I mean bad] PR story about PR people not delivering results and getting profiled in a New York Times column for it.  W

The Tale of PR and the Blogger – How 10 Yetis See It
Sometimes PR people are clueless.

The Top Ten Lies of PR Companies
Matthew Stibbe picks ten lies PR people told him.

These Greenies Have the Worst Public Relations in the History of the Universe
A great example of social media gone wrong. They could have done much better for their cause.

This deleted DeSean Jackson tweet is hilarious 
Call it a client/VIP social PR fail.

Threatening Bloggers Via Text Message: Not Savvy PR
Gawker highlights bad blogging relations behavior, showing how fast trouble brews for the stupid, lazy or unaware.

Tiger Woods’ PR Campaign Off to Shaky Start
Harsh review of Tiger’s inadequate reputation effort.

Tip #202: I’ll take unrelated tangents for $400, Alex
Bad PR and PR jeopardy in one; pretzel logic.

Tony Hayward’s 2010 Blooper Reel: The Top 5 Gaffes
Crisis management reflections and a look at five PR failures to learn from.  W

Top 10 Online PR Fails
A number of brands have had social media train wrecks in 2009 writes Graham Charlton.

Top 10 Things You Should NEVER Say to the Media
The folks at Bad Pitch Blog offer up 10 media no-nos. Recognize yourself?

Toshiba ad offends clinical research group
Bad PR results from crappy commercial.

Transocean, We ‘May’ Have a Problem: Today’s Outrage
Safety bonuses after oil rig tragedy leads to big PR Fail.  W

Unfashionable Tweet
PR Fail by insensitive marketing twits at Kenneth Cole.

Videogame Maker Accused of Environmental Abuse
Sometimes, more thought needs to go into publicity stunts.

Walmart Fighting Hunger Campaign Is a PR Mess
Hello? What PR strategy?

Wal-Mart’s PR Firm Sent This Flack Posing as Reporter to Spy on a Pro-Labor Group
No excuse for this PR agency questionable tactic and screw up.

Want Me to Write About Your Stuff? Don’t Lie in Your Pitch
Dave Fleet outs a bad pitch and shares a lesson in blogger relations. What are PR people thinking? Or not.

WH Smith and Tesco Slammed Over Josef Frizl Book
Recommending a book by a notorious criminal (who imprisoned his daughter for 24 years) for Father’s Day was gauche.

What Is Wrong with PR?
Thoughtful post from Gini Dietrich: A lovely day for generalizations.

What It Means That So Many Journalists Think PR People Are Idiots
Doh! These bad publicists need to be sent back to school.

What Not to Tweet During a Crisis
Sigh! NRA, marketing create bad PR during theater shooting.

What Part of ‘Bad Publicity’ Don’t You Get?
The Marie Claire crisis is simply bad PR. Full stop.

What’s fatty and greasy and pretends to be a teenage girl on the internet? 
Sock puppet bad PR at Chick-a-Fil.

What’s Happening with The Gap?
After the big logo PR Fail and marketing bumps, whazzup?

What’s In a Name? UK Clothier Misspells Shakespeare 
Marketing does it again. Topshop’s bad spurs jokes.

What’s the Buzz — More Examples From the Bad Pitch File
Susan Getgood highlights promotions by BUUUZ and Trident Gum that fail to make the grade.

When a Company Creates Its Own PR Problems
PRFail: Not getting employees on the same page.

When a Newspaper “rips off” Your Blog, Then Taunts You About It…
Plagiarists live at LongIslandPress.com according to Ian Dennis Miller. A simple attribution, even after the fact would have prevented the issue.  W

When PR Goes Bad
Sending something to media? Make sure it’s actually appealing says Wired.

When PR Has Its Head Up Its Ass
Great Danny Brown rant.

When SNL Nails You, You’ve Lost the PR Fight
What can you say? TSA was a perfect example of bad PR. Lots of fun when SNL parodies you. W

When the Marketing Reach of Social Media Backfires
Chrysler and Aflac learn PR lessons the hard way.

Why PR and Social Media Don’t Mix – Qantas Culture
Great example – Bad PR, bad by Qantas when it’s airline logo was shown on accident parts, they were still denying it.  W

Why the Backup Shotgun Rack Company Deserve All the Bad PR They Can Get
Using a tragic celebrity murder in a press release to promote your product? Unthinkable and disgusting. Danny Brown’s right!   W

Why Was KitchenAid Tweeting the Debate? 
New Twitter social media fail.

WikiLeaks: PR firm tried to buff Syria’s image after crackdown
Brown Lloyd James agency gets PR lesson.

World’s dumbest news embargo
Yep. Stupid PR pitching.

Yahoo, You Flubbed News about Future of Delicious, Not Press
Yahoo’s poor communications devalued Delicious.

Photo credit: Aram Sinnreich