25 Public Relations Nightmares That You Won’t Believe Actually Happened

Public relations is supposed to be about managing the spread of information between an organization or an individual and the public. It’s goal is basically to make the client (the aforementioned individual or organization) look good in the eyes of the public. In some ways this is very similar to advertising in that it seeks to gain exposure for the client. The primary difference is best summed up in this way – rather than featuring the client in an ad next to an article, the client is mentioned within the article. As you can probably guess, public relations is much more subtle than advertising (not always, but often). It takes a special understanding of how people, relationships, and other factors all interplay with one another.

These days it has become even more complicated with social media playing a huge role. In fact, public relations can hardly catch a break. One wrong tweet, one misspelled word in an email, one letter that should have been capitalized, and everything goes down hill fast. It can be quite an intense job and it definitely takes a unique individual to do it well. So get ready because these are 25 Public Relations Nightmares That You Won’t Believe Actually Happened!

Featured Image: Niuton may via Flickr



GreenpeaceImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

Defacing a world heritage archaeological site in Peru (one of the last well-preserved Nazca lines) to leave the message, “Time for change! The future is renewable GREENPEACE” is never a good move. In any situation.



McDonald'sImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

In 1984, McDonald’s ran a campaign during the Olympics where they would give people scratchcards with various events on them. If the US won, you could redeem it for a free burger. McDonald’s tried to be smart and set it up so that a good number of the scratchcards were for events that the Soviets would typically win. Unfortunately for them, the Soviets boycotted the Olympics that year, and the Americans won almost everything.



DiGiorno'sImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

Following the Ray Rice domestic abuse incident, a lot of people were asking why his fiancee had stuck around. This led to the WhyIStayed hashtag. DiGiorno’s, however, completely missed the tone of the conversation and posted the following tweet – “#WhyIStayed: He had pizza.” Bad move.


Clayton Williams

Clayton WilliamsImage: youtube, Source: wikipedia

While responding to a question about the weather during his failed bid for Texas Governor, Clayton responded, “Bad weather is like rape, you can’t control it, so you might as well sit back and enjoy it.” He lost.


Osborne Computer Corporation

Osborne Computer CorporationImage: pexels, Source: wikipedia

When Osborne Computers announced their new computer model while still having a warehouse full of the old model, the old model wouldn’t sell anymore and the company went under. Today, this is known as the Osborne Effect.

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