Ironic PR Disaster Strikes PR MagazinePRWeek spends a lot of time telling publicists how to do their jobs. Embarrassing, then, that last week the magazine bombarded thousands in their database with unwanted emails. Bonus feature: the message included the names and passwords of other people! All that time the staff spends writing features about crisis communications is coming in handy now. After the jump, PRWeek editor Julia Hood's apology to readers who are, in the words of a tipster, "piiiissed." [Disclosure: I formerly worked at PRW][PRWeek]

From the desk of Julia Hood, Editor-in-Chief of PRWeek

Date: February 4, 2008

I am writing to personally apologize for the error that caused your PRWeekjobs.com user name and password information to be distributed externally. I am also sorry if you received our job site email multiple times and that your email address was cc'd to other respondents.

I want to provide you with background on how this happened; what we have been doing to fix the situation; and what action you may be able to take to limit the extent of this inconvenience. The error originated with our vendor, Adicio, via a technical error, during their work on our behalf with an automated software migration package. When this problem was discovered, just minutes after the project began, Adicio immediately took mitigating action ceasing the transmission and disabling all user names and passwords. This problem impacted a limited portion of registrants to a PRWeek service. Adicio's explanation and apology is currently on our website:
http://www.prweekus.com/Adicio -issues-formal-apology-regardi ng-PRWeek-e-mail-problem /article/104713/

Unfortunately, I know that some of you may still be receiving emails. If that is the case, it is likely that these emails are being bottlenecked at your ISP. Please refer to the list below for obtaining advice on how to stop this from happening in your individual system.

- Contact your ISP and request they remove the spam emails
awaiting delivery from you (the top ISP contact details
are included below). PRWeek is also alerting ISPs of this
problem
- If your company owns an email server, contact your Systems
Administrator and request that they block the specific
email address in its Spam filter
- Block the senders email address on your system
- For peace of mind, change the passwords for other online
services you use for which you have been using the same
password

I know you have been inconvenienced and, even more importantly, are concerned about the privacy of your information. This error may have also shaken your confidence in working and engaging with PRWeek. Again, I offer my sincere apology, as well as my promise to you that we will do everything possible to ensure that this never happens again. I realize it will take time for us to earn your trust again, but we value our dialogue with you and hope it will continue and that we can move past this very unfortunate occurrence.

Please feel free to contact me directly with further questions and concerns. My information is at the bottom of this email.