Although we laugh when we see an obvious PR snafu, it’s often an uncomfortable chuckle since all of us have made mistakes. True, our errors aren’t of the colossal nature of the unwise Facebook vs. Google campaign, but even a typo causes us to cringe.
That’s why our laughter was a bit tempered when we read about RCR Wireless and its attempt to get a quote from Samsung for an article unrelated to the recent Google/Motorola acquisition. Samsung apparently thought that every journalist’s request these days would be about the merger (problem #1), and instead of answering RCR Wireless’s question, it sent a canned response. That’s where the story gets funny.
If you’re a publicist preparing for a big story, you’ve probably created a list of comments from industry insiders that could be given to reporters covering the news. It helps journalists, and it keeps the message on track. But if you read the list of quotes that Google’s PR team prepared for the acquisition announcement, you’ll see that they are eerily similar (problem #2). It’s almost as if these folks have become one with the Borg.
All of which gave Sylvie Barak the fodder for a very amusing post in RCR Wireless’s blog, including a gentle poke at Google’s overlord complex.
A good friend and colleague, Martin Levy, reminded me 12 years ago that using phrases like “we’re happy” or “we welcome” in a press release is dumb and just a creativity cop-out. I’ve often appreciated that advice, no more so than today.