You would think a company that is in the business of helping individuals and corporations improve their public relations efforts would have known better than to send out an email chiding a basketball team for losing in the NCAA basketball tournament, but apparently someone just couldn’t resist.

The email was sent out to various PR professionals with the subject line of  Don’t be like Wichita State.

That was immediately followed in the body of the email with this:

…and not seize a big opportunity like $300 off a PR News subscription. Take your PR game and know-how to a championship level with proven communications tactics that you can implement today. This is your last chance to score big. This limited-time offer expires this Friday, March 28.

Now for those that don’t follow college basketball, Wichita State was the only undefeated team in the country, having won 35 games this season and was picked by many to make the Final Four and maybe even the championship.  That came to a screeching halt on Sunday when the Shockers (how appropriate) lost to Kentucky 78-76 ending their dream season.

That stab at Wichita State, however tongue-in-cheek in its intentions apparently upset fans of the school, causing the publisher to issue an apology:

Dear Readers,

On behalf of PR News, I wish to apologize to Wichita State University and its many basketball fans and supporters across the country for the reference to the university in our March 26 email solicitation. The subject line was inappropriate and reflected poor judgment on our part. We have taken steps to ensure such statements made in our email solicitations will not happen again.

Thank you for understanding that mistakes happen, even to those who serve the PR trade. We are humbled by the incident and appreciate your continued support.

Sincerely,
Diane Schwartz
Senior Vice President & Group Publisher, PR News

I guess that means no more basketball references.

Instead of a clever attempt to get recipients to open the email, PR News received a lot of grief instead and learned a little about PR in the process.

Chalk another victory up to the PC police.

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