Bad PR: When Good Intentions Go Horribly Wrong

February 16th, 2011   •   Comments Off on Bad PR: When Good Intentions Go Horribly Wrong   

I’m not sure what made Dell Computer’s sales director think this was a good idea, but it landed him in jail and scared at least 400 employees. To say that this was an internal communications stunt gone awry is an understatement. Full article from below. Your thoughts?

ROUND ROCK (February 14, 2011)—More than two-dozen Round Rock police officers responded Monday after a series of 911 calls from staff members who reported a masked gunman was inside offices on the Round Rock campus of computer giant Dell.

The first calls came in at around 10:45 a.m. Monday.

By just before 11 a.m., Round Rock officers determined that two members of Dell’s sales team had staged an in-house promotional stunt “with little or no notice to co-workers, internal security or office executives.”

One member of the marketing group wearing dark clothing and a skull-pattern mask held small metallic items aloft as he ran through office areas yelling, “Go to the lobby,” police said.

Many of the 400-plus witnesses to the incident told police they believed they were under armed threat.

The man in the mask was identified as Bryan A. Chester, 48, of Austin, who police said, “was apologetic and cooperative.”

Officers, “confirmed Chester’s account, and were able to determine that the incident was simply a poorly timed series of misperceptions and miscommunications,” Round Rock police said in a press release Monday evening.

Chester was charged with misdemeanor deadly conduct and was taken to the Williamson County Jail.

Officers also arrested Daniel Rawson, 36, of Yuma, Ariz., who was charged with misdemeanor interfering with public duties, stemming from what police said was a refusal to comply with police directions or to “provide officers with the location or identity of his cohorts until other colleagues intervened.”

No one was hurt.

The incident is under review, police said.

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