While it's not a problem in size or scope of the latest Wikileaks release of intelligence consultant Stratfor's e-mails, celebrity attorney Gloria Allred's e-mail gaffe last weekend does pack a considerably negative PR punch.
In announcing Sunday via e-mail that she and Ginger White—the woman who claims she had a 13-year affair with Herman Cain—would attend an Oscar viewing party together, either Allred or one of her staff members didn't blind copy the 380-person media list, so those on the list were able to see everyone's names and e-mail addresses. Then, of course, the e-mail got out to the press at large.
Allred already has a reputation as being a publicity hound, and when one takes a look at the sheer number of journalists on her list, that reputation gets quite a boost. The majority of online chatter about the mistake shows little sympathy for Allred making the gaffe, or of her propensity for getting her clients in front of the press.
Both corporate and agency PR pros guard their media lists like Fort Knox. In this case, Allred and staff didn't, showing that a moment of brain fade—and one quick press of a button—can have a demonstrable effect on reputation.
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