Tech PR Dummies: Don't Use Ferguson to Sell Your App

Some good ground rules for public relations: never call people the n-word. Never attach a virus in your pitch email. And definitely do not use the hideous race tragedy in Ferguson, MO as an angle for your fucking app.

Today's very bad terrible no-good PR pitch comes via Trey Ditto, of Ditto Public Affairs. A

Here's a real thing that happened: Tony Ditto looked at the events unfolding on his TV screen, thought about an app called "Vizsafe," and then thought This thing should be used to promote this other thing. The fruits of his labor, below:

————— Forwarded message —————

From: Trey Ditto<trey@dittopublicaffairs.com>

Date: Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Subject: App for Ferguson riots

Hey, [redacted]! I think I have a really good technology story revolving around the riots in Ferguson…

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has been Tweeting and encouraging others to document the protests in Ferguson (see here). Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal just reported on a police department that wears body mounted cameras to record everything (see here). Let's not forget the choking death in Staten Island was filmed on a phone.

Technology security expert and entrepreneur Peter Mottur has created an app and platform called Vizsafe, a community alert app that allows residents to post geolocation based photos and notes of crimes being committed and police to monitor posts to respond as quickly as possible. In the past couple years, they have worked with everyone from NY/NJ Port Authority on the Super Bowl to Boston PD for the Boston Marathon. As Peter says, "If you see something, snap something."

Thought you may be interested in talking to Peter about how important technology is becoming for residents to document crimes, for police departments to create transparency, and how Vizsafe is playing a role in this process.

Thoughts?

Trey

DITTO Public Affairs

Strategy.Execution.Relevance

Brooklyn, NY

Email: trey@dittopublicaffairs.com

Cell: 512-619-1343

If you ever write the sentence "I think I have a really good technology story revolving around the riots in Ferguson…," stop what you're doing, delete the sentence, turn off your computer, and then walk into the ocean.

Photo: Getty

To contact the author of this post with other stupid PR pitches, write to biddle@gawker.com