How A Single Email Killed A PR Firm

Beth Brody of Brody PR sent out what appeared to be a harmless email this morning but I can guarantee she didn’t expect her firm to go down the drain in a matter of hours. At 8:42 AM this morning Beth sent an email out promoting a new “Social Media Guide For Small Business” to a group of individuals who are already experts on social media, hoping that they would write about the guide. The result was a series of at least 20 emails including numerous from industry influencers like Om Malik, Francine Hardaway, and Shel Israel.

Typically I wouldn’t write about such a series of emails but this one was particularly disastrous. What was most hilarious about the emails was that not a single participant decided to avoid replying back to the list email address which had no restrictions on who could send it. Typically when you create an email list you place restrictions on who can send messages through the list but as I said this one had none.

Five hours and thirty emails later, Beth is still missing in action but the damage has already been done. Beth’s previous spam emails had been deleted from my inbox immediately but this was the one which resulted in a climactic conclusion. If you are looking for a PR firm, I’d suggest avoiding Brody PR until they go through a significant rebranding and this issue is all but forgotten.

If you’ve never heard of Brody PR before, it’s not surprising. Check out the company’s website which includes a collection of animated GIFs that are reminiscent of the year 1995. Typically I don’t hang a PR firm out to dry when they slip up as everyone makes errors but this one was bad. Honestly, the majority of the people on the email list could have just ignored the emails rather than continuing to reply to the list, knowing that everyone would see it.

I was personally laughing throughout the whole experience but at a certain point it became annoying. Beth Brody could have stepped in to resolve the problem but as of now she is still missing in action and her company has just been put on the spam lists of a large number of industry influencers. Lesson learned: don’t create an open email list where anyone can reply when sending out press releases. Other lesson learned: don’t hire Brody PR.

Read my latest post before you slam me in the comments. Additionally, notice that this was not a simple CC/BCC email problem. It was a failure of the person managing the email list who let anybody reply to the email list address. I have had many CC/BCC problems in the past and I’ve stopped writing about them. The issue was not with the technical glitch but that the issue wasn’t thoroughly resolved for days.

Beth Brody has since set up a blog and has reached out with a personal note in the comments which I think is a step in the right direction. If she wants help learning about this space I’m happy to provide Beth with free membership to my social media marketing program so that she can get more savvy. Feel free to reach out Beth!