Twitter, a constant reminder of failed, embarrassing PR

9 Jul 2015

The English FA recently tweeted a pretty embarrassing attempt at ’well done’ following the English women’s national team finishing third in the the World Cup in Canada. But that’s hardly the first-ever Twitter faux pas…

The English FA’s tweet, which has since been deleted thanks to… attention, was pretty dismal.

It managed to grandiosely pat each and every member of the squad on the head, sending them on their merry way back into second rate existence.

England FA Lionesses

This was not lost on many people who got their replies in long before the Tweet vanished.

Fifty Shades of Twitter fails

Of course, Twiter is a constant environment for PR fails, some more significant than others. For example, the author of Fifty Shades of Grey recently, and ill-advisedly, decided to do a Q&A on Twitter.

By using #AskELJames, fans – or not – got to seek out nuggets on the inspiration behind a book that has achieved the incredible in that it is equally mocked by both those who have read it and those who have not.

Party time…

The king of all PR fails, though, goes back a few years now. Back to a time when Susan Boyle was the flavour of the month, selling out tours and millions of albums on the back of a reality TV show that I can’t remember the name of.

Someone, somewhere in the PR department of her record label presumably, tried getting a viral hashtag going, surrounding the party to be had when releasing Susan’s new album. #Susanalbumparty, however, conjured up different images in the public’s mind’s eye.

Although images that were far more suited to the online, rather than offline, world.

It’s not just PR people at risk

Of course, sometimes it’s not even PR, sometimes it’s genuine news reporting that goes awry. For example, last week Sarah O’Connor, a journalist with the Financial Times, tweeted out a story about a man killed by a robot in a factory.

Her tweet went out the week that the new Terminator film was released. Her name is remarkably close to the protagonist of the blockbuster, Sarah Connor. This combination was not missed by many, forcing O’Connor to clarify on occasion.

Take a moment before your next tweet, people…

Main facepalm image via Jes on Flickr

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic