We've Got A File On You sang Blur on 'Think Tank'. Great album. Fred Vogelstein found the file on him in the last couple of days. Fred a prominent blogger / journalist is drafting his latest post on transparency, web 2.0, the usual stuff about how we're all open and honest now. Up pops some info from Microsoft to help craft his story, and finds in his email the PR team's secret 5,000 word dossier that they keep on him, inadvertently sent too.
So head over to the Wired to see lots of gnashing of teeth, beating up Microsoft, and plenty of sarcastic, "they just don't get its..." if you want.
Yes, it's a very stupid error - but other than that, it shows to me a very disciplined and organised PR machine. The only thing Microsoft and Waggener Edstrom are guilty of is incompetence. We've all made mistakes - those in glass houses should not throw stones etc...
In support of Microsoft and Waggener Edstrom I give you a starter on the most foolish things I've either done or witnessed in PR. (No-one died).
1. Sent a financial results release to the global media with all the track changes still in it.
2. Sat a table in Kuala Lumpur and made a suggestion that Malaysians are work-shy.
3. Offered advice to one high street bank client, and saying that 'our experience working with our current client high street bank 2 would be really helpful'.
4. Joining a conference call late, without checking attendees. The agency guy piped up to another with, 'tell Bob he's a c**t from me will you?' Bob was on the call.
5. Calling the London Evening Standard and saying, "I've got a great story for your Saturday paper.' The hack stepped in: "I doubt it. We haven't produced a Saturday paper for 50 years."
Any more for any more...?