Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Associated Press Got it Wrong!

News is buzzing on the Internet today about the Associated Press falling for a press release hoax. The fake press release appeared to be from GE, claiming that the company would repay a $3.2 billion tax refund to the Treasury Department. Once the AP learned the press release was a hoax, they pulled the story immediately.  Read the details of the prank here.

I'm sure GE's PR rep went into crisis mode as soon as the story hit the wire. This issue brings to light one of the problems with media today. While citizen journalism and social media are great tools to get your message out, the ability to publish breaking news within seconds has a downside. Every outlet from bloggers to mainstream media wants to be the first to break a news story. Unfortunately the AP fell victim to a prank in its haste to get this breaking news out the door.

This is a good reminder for all of us, especially PR pros, to check facts on our own release and pitches, ensuring the information we have - whether it is from clients or our own research - is accurate. You never know when you might be the victim to a prank such as this. Remember, just because you Google something doesn't mean it is accurate!

This post was contributed by Leah Ekmark.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Seeking Summer Intern

C. Pharr & Company is seeking a dynamic intern for summer 2011 to assist with a variety of accounts ranging from real estate and construction services, to retail and healthcare. Junior and senior-level students studying journalism, public relations or marketing communications are encouraged to apply.

Candidate must be a resourceful self-starter with an understanding of media relations and AP style. Outstanding written and verbal communication skills, along with an eye for details and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment, are musts. This is a great opportunity to work in a client-focused team setting, interacting with all disciplines within the agency to gain real-world experience and view the collaborative nature of the agency environment.

To view a list of responsibilities, click here.

If interested, please send a cover letter and resume with current GPA to

Company Overview

C. Pharr & Company is known for generating meaningful results for its clients through creative public relations and marketing. Focusing on business-to-business communications, the agency specializes in media relations, crisis communications, marketing, advertising coordination, planning and research.

We devise communication strategies that help clients achieve their goals through communications, increased business opportunities, higher brand awareness, changed attitudes and greater stakeholder support. Doing so, we build strong and trusting relationships with clients, communities and the media. Our clients value our counsel and support in meeting daily communication challenges as much as our help with long-term communication strategies.

C. Pharr & Company is built upon more than two decades of public relations and marketing communications leadership – a Texas leader known nationally for its business insight, strategic counsel and creative work with the highest of integrity. To learn more, visit