PR Fish Bowl

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TGIF: It’s April Fools Day, Watch Your Back!

PR.aprilfoolsI don’t know about you, but on April 1st I instantly get nervous.  I have a sense of humor, I love laughing, and I don’t fall for jokes that easily, but the possibility of being Punk’d at any time during a 24-hour period gives me a little anxiety.

Last year, HARO had a “reporter” by the name of “April Phules” post several queries; some funny, some outrageous, some directed to PR folks.  In response to Ms. Phules’ request for information for a last-minute story on “Why PR People Don’t Listen,” HARO was flooded with emails from PR people – some angry, some curious – all apparently fooled! But I hope we proved that we do listen, at least to HARO.

Google has a sense of humor, too. This year it released  Gmail Motion. On a realistic-looking beta site, it was touted as the newest, most convenient way to check email, powered by simple body motions and the webcam on your computer. Check out the video.

Some  businesses make their pranks public, and when you’re Google, well, why not? But the best April Fools jokes might be with office colleagues. Workplace humor is a tricky thing, so I recommend keeping the hoax within the office, where it’s private and can be every bit as funny (or more so) than a public joke.

One year our office manager sent a memo about a recent robbery at another company in our (9-floor) office building, with instructions that our access would have to be restricted to specific hours, per the direction of the building management. It basically informed us that we would need to get in at the crack of dawn, according to a complicated schedule, but was couched in such “official” language – properly flavored with annoyance – such that many of us fell for it.

I’ve seen many well-played pranks that have made me laugh out loud. Has a co-worker every played an April Fools prank on you?  Tell us all about your successful – or unsuccessful – April Fools jokes.

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