I have to blog about this. Good friend, web visionary and generally nice guy Mauricio Freitas, founder of Geekzone, forwarded me this email from a PR person. I’ve removed the details to protect identities but count the number of times Mauricio’s name has been written and how many times it’s been misspelt – PR FAIL!

Hi Maurice,

Thank you for agreeing to meet with xxxxx of xxxxx on xxxx. As agreed, xxxxx will meet you outside the café on the ground floor of the xxxxx.

xxxxx is a start up company based at the xxxxx and has developed a unique online xxxxx application called xxxxx. xxxxx’s very keen to meet with networked technology people in the know, like yourself, who can help point him in the right direction with regard to networking and promoting his company and xxxxx.

Attached is some information about xxxxx, and this link will take you to xxxxx’s bio online: xxxxx

xxxxx, this is Maurio’s bio and blog – there’s also a photo of Maurcio on the page – http://www.geekzone.co.nz/freitasm

Mauricio’s mobile and email are:

021 xxx xxx

Maurice, xxxxxx’s details are:

xxxxx, CEO

:: Direct

+64  xxxxxx

:: Mobile

+64 xxxxxx

:: E-mail


:: Web


:: Postal


Thank you so much Maurice.

Kind regards


That’s right – Mauricio’s name was written six times. How many times correctly?


A less kindly man than Mauricio wouldn’t even agree to meet someone that employs a PR firm that makes a balls-up like this – they’re lucky they chose a kindly recipient.

Sort it out PR!

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • We need a website to name and shame like thefunded. Bloggers get sick of this kind of stuff. Worse is when the PR person cc’s everyone into it…not even using bcc. That’s a pain.

  • I think it’s just business communication 101 – PR ‘tard or otherwise.

  • As a young PR professional working in New Scotland Yard during the hectic period following September 11 2001 – I was given the task of writing the subject heading for the media release after the Anti-Terrorism Branch (SO13) conducted a raid on The Finsbury Park Mosque. This was the first time police had entered to search religious ground and was not without controversy, which required sensitivity.

    I dutifully headed the email “Met conducts raid on Finsbury Park Mosk” and sent it to the media.

    The next morning an entry into the Times Newspaper “Diary” section mentioned my misspelling and concluded with “The New Metropolitan Police, culturally aware they maybe, but spell they cannot.”

    Thankfully the Director of Communications for the Met took some time out of his very busy schedule that morning to explain in detail and at volume the error of my ways in no uncertain terms. This helped me to learn and reinforce the important PR skills of attention to detail and the value of peer review.

    I hope a similar lesson has been learnt here too.

  • Just call him Morris. Easier.

  • @Juha

    Morris – like the car?

    Yeah I’ve always thought MF suits something like that – picture a James Bond like setting…

    “The name’s Morris, Morris Minor, licence to code.”

  • Get over yourselves – just meet the guy and see whether he’s up to anything interesting. The guy’s running a start up and anyone with even a little experience knows that the quality of his PR agent has zero correlation with the quality (good or bad) of the project he’s working on.

  • @Jim – I have met the guy – his start-up is great and as I said to him when he gave me a call – there is no real reason to employ PR in New Zealand – the space they’re in is reasonably specialised and there’s maybe a handful of industry people that have an interest in what they do. All of these players are eminently approachable and arguably less so with a PR intermediary.

    I got an email from the PR person involved – unfortunately they took my post as personal mockery – which it wasn’t. I’ve not met them and am sure they’re a great person – I was however questioning PR per se.


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