Twitter PR hashtag offers tips in what not to do

Try not to address that female editor as ‘Dear Sir.’ Don’t solicit Valentine’s Day love if your trains run late. Check out the hashtag #PRfail for these and other cautionary tales of PR gone wrong.

Surely you heard the one about the PR pro who tried to send a pizza to a CNET executive editor but had it delivered to the wrong city.

Or the restaurant critic who received a pitch that began, “I want to formerly introduce myself.” Or how about the beauty editor who checked her inbox to find an email that began, “Dear Sir.”

No? Then you haven’t checked out the Twitter hashtag #PRfail lately, which is full of cautionary tales about the glorious world of publicity gone wrong.

Far be it from me to gloat: PR is a thankless job, and my editors would be happy to fill you in on my own past goofs. Still, #PRfail might make you consider better targeting your pitch, rereading that email one last time, or standing down instead of launching a breakfast sandwich war with the mighty tamale.

I discovered #PRFail recently when I tweeted about the latest in a string of pitches I have gotten with the salutations, “Dear [blank space for reporter’s name]” or “Hi [blank space].” I always delete these unread. The next line usually reveals the pitch is wildly inappropriate for PR Daily.

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