As flacks, we may not be all grammarians and linguaphiles. However, we better be adept at editing. You know, reading out loud, reviewing a document backwards, all those tricks of the trade. Tactics like that make it easy not to do what the University of Texas' Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs did on their commencement program recently.
According to this story from KDFW FOX 4, said school accidentally shaved off one very important letter...on the cover...in the world "Public"...and no one touched it...accompanied with the tagline "Unlimited Possibilities." This stuff writes itself.
To wit, the school of now "pubic affairs" had this to say:
"We sincerely regret that the cover of this year's Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs' commencement program contained an unfortunate typographical error, which has since been corrected, and new programs are being distributed. We pride ourselves in upholding a high standard of excellence and fell short on this time-honored occasion, which we deeply regret."
That's code for: "We just fired an intern instead of our editor. Parting gifts were a bottle of Boone's Farm and some Nair. Sorry we got caught." Turns out there was a skilled thinker in the room and thought this bathroom humor mishap could go viral, so the school took to Twitter with this gem:
"This year's commencement program cover contained an unfortunate typographical error, which has since been corrected and is being distributed." And then there's this one: "Our deepest apologies to our 2012 graduates for the egregious typo in our commencement program. We are working to distribute new programs."
Hey, look at the bright side: A school that delves into PR has figured a way to capture headlines and get featured on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Mazel Tov, colleagues. Oh, before I leave, don't think there aren't a gaggle of PR professionals and copywriters that see the irony in "the JOHNSON school of PUBIC affairs."
So, there's that.