September is Ethics Month for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) which seems like a timely opportunity to review “worst practices” that left unchecked can give PR practitioners a black eye.
Three recent cases that caught our attention and show how not to generate good press for brands:
- Los Angeles Times uncovers paid “news” articles masquerading as independent editorial content by the Central Basin Municipal Water District of California. There are much better ways to improve your search engine optimization (see OWC’s top SEO tips).
- The Bay Citizen in San Francisco exposes BART’s attempts to sneakily script comments for its “loyal riders” to share. The crisis-fueled press conference aimed to prevent protests after a deadly police encounter on the public transit system.
- USA Today breaks the news about a former CNBC correspondent turned PR rep who spread scandalous – and untrue – claims about Google’s privacy violations to boost own client’s business.