Google PR Responds ‘Ugh’ to San Francisco Bus Protests

google-commuter-bus-protestWhen you are the ubiquitous king of the mountain, you can pretty much to do whatever you want to the minions, serfs and peons trying climb up each side. Watch them, wave at them, ignore them or kick them, it doesn’t really matter — that’s free enterprise.

That monarch of modern-day commerce is Google.

And they rarely respond to anything because, whelp, they don’t have to do that. That is, unless you accidentally retort to a Mission Local reporter with a flippant “Ugh” about tumultuous bus protests in the city, which Google is the big bad wolf to blame.

And that’s what happened. You see, if you work in Google’s PR department, you don’t have to do much but sit on your tail and collect a check. Except now, they are all asking themselves how to spell “p-i-t-c-h-i-n-g-p-r-o-t-o-c-o-l” via Gmail messenger.

ICYMI: Reuters broke the story when it reported these protests highlighted the city resident’s concerns that the high-paying jobs to Google have driven up costs and standards of living in the northern California city. It’s not like the place is close to driving other tech businesses to homelessness anyway, but hey, Google can pay people whatever it wants.

Only that the company doesn’t seem to give two craps about its neighbors up-and-down the Bay. So, a “Occupy” fringe group called “Heart of the City” targeted private commuter buses to technology companies like Apple, Facebook and Google. They claim that these buses clog traffic on highways, jam city bus stops and push customers away from public transportation.

Therefore, this heart hates technology. Got it? Good. On to the PR angle…

Google PR

This much ballyhooed issue got the ears perked of the aforementioned reporter, Courtney Quirin. She probably knew her email would land in the ether never to be heard from again, but thankfully, someone at Google has so much angst for people, the rancor showed through his or her squatty fat fingers — *enter* this!


That was the reply heard ’round the tech world. Ms. Quirin probably soiled herself when she saw the reply and then, when she saw what it was, it went viral. Don’t ya’ hate it when that happens? While the initial pitch gets a 7.5 on the pitch Richter Scale, Quinn’s reply was off the charts.

Not. A. Word. 

Fortunately, humiliation (and a possible @$$ chewing ensued) and said acrimonious hipster freaked with the re-reply eight minutes later, “Uh yeah, hey, girl. Wassup. Hope you didn’t see that last email. If so, I was just funnin’. Call me?”

This relationship between flacks and journos is ofttimes symbiotic and civil, but on the unfortunate occasion when a PR pro acts like a novice and pesters a journalist — or even worse, tells one what to do — that relationship can turn to one that resembles something on Capitol Hill. That, or Chris Christie and a Lean Cuisine.

Be professional. Treat them with respect. And it will come back to you. Maybe as soon as eight minutes later. Even from the Evil Empire Google.