There are countless parody Twitter accounts—some good, some bad or tasteless.
Among the fakers are numerous feeds associated with public relations. It seems that when people decide to parody a company, person, or even idea, they assume “PR” should be attached to the account name.
Most of these fake PR accounts are dormant, dusty, or generally ignored. But a few have gone viral, not only grabbing the attention of the institutions or people they mock, but also of the tweeting public at large.
Here we collected a handful of PR parody accounts that are worth your attention. Some of them have large followings; others are a bit obscure.
It’s the Twitter feed that launched a thousand parody accounts. @BPGlobalPR, which opened shop two years ago during BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, ripped the company’s disastrous response to the crisis and grabbed headlines along the way.
We’re not blocking all reporters from the gulf – just the ones who aren’t going to say nice things about us. #goldenrule
— BP Public Relations (@BPGlobalPR) June 15, 2010
Media outlets from The New York Times to Mashable wrote about the fake Twitter feed, helping it accrue more than 50,000 Twitter followers in a week—far more than the actual BP account. And remember, this was way back in 2010, before Twitter was hard-wired into our brains. (It now has more than 156,000 followers.)
Ultimately, BP persuaded Twitter to tell “Terry,” the person behind the account, to indicate it was a parody. And while the @BPGlobalPR has gone silent for long stretches of time, the account recently posted a link to its Facebook page, where it’s holding a tongue-in-cheek caption contest.
As @BPGlobalPR made headlines, another Twitter account took flight in June 2010—from the kind folks at the Death Star’s PR department. Their first tweet offered a mission statement:
Here at Death Star PR, our ongoing mission is to spread the word about the great things the Galactic Empire is doing for you, the people.
— Death Star PR (@DeathStarPR) June 19, 2010
Since that maiden tweet, the account has attracted nearly 200,000 followers through a continual flow of tweets that “set the record straight” about the Death Star…
If you use the word, “Swag” on a regular basis, you’re the reason why we want to blow up your planet.
— Death Star PR (@DeathStarPR) April 19, 2012
…and provide timely updates for employees of the Death Star…
If your name is Darth Vader or you happen to work on a Death Star, you MAY want to avoid Take Your Child to Work Day.
— Death Star PR (@DeathStarPR) April 26, 2012
…and offer life advice to followers:
The easiest way to have a good day is to ruin somebody else’s.
— Death Star PR (@DeathStarPR) April 26, 2012
Robbie Boland, a freelance writer based in Sydney, Australia, authors the Twitter feed. Last year, Mashable called Boland’s effort one of the top 10 fictional Twitter feeds. Guess that means he won’t be getting a death choke from his boss any time soon.
In the interest of fairness, you might want to follow @JediOrderPR. Although the Empire must pay its PR professionals better because the author of this account isn’t nearly as dedicated—nor as clever—as his counterpart on the Death Star.
Although the fake PR folks at AT&T have been tweeting since June 2010, their efforts have attracted less attention than their faux peers at BP or the Death Star. The account @ATT_Fake_PR has about 2,680 followers, and it offers a steady stream of criticism about the cell carrier that so many iPhone owners love to hate.
The tweets are often mean-spirited and off-color. Here’s a recent one:
— ATT Parody Relations (@ATT_Fake_PR) April 18, 2012
The real PR people at AT&T might bristle at such a comment, but there are a number of jilted customers—or ex-customers—who probably get a chuckle from it.
@ATT_Fake_PR launched shortly before Apple rolled out its first version of the iPhone 4. Perhaps it will see a flurry of interest when the highly anticipated iPhone 5 hits stores in the fall.
Rupert Murdoch, the CEO and chairman of News Corp., was front-page news this week when he testified for a British judicial inquiry about his company’s phone hacking scandal. Along the way, the Twitter feed @RupertMurdochPR offered a steady stream of commentary:
— Not Rupert Murdoch (@RupertMurdochPR) April 26, 2012
The account—which offers this bio: “@RupertMurdoch is his own best parody now, but we still try”—has more than 8,000 followers and tweets constantly about Murdoch and News Corp. (and just about anything else).
BREAKING: An entire weekend has passed with no Murdoch employees being arrested for police corruption or hacking.
— Not Rupert Murdoch (@RupertMurdochPR) April 9, 2012
It’s not the only fake account that borrows the media mogul’s name, though it is the only one claiming to be associated with his PR handlers.
@SrWhOfficial (short for Senior White House Official)
Technically, Senior White House Official doesn’t refer to himself as a PR professional or spokesperson, but these unnamed advisors and aides regularly serve as sources for stories in the media. Often, it’s the press secretary or a member of his staff providing the info without attribution. So, for the sake of this list, we’ll assume @SrWHOfficial works in the office of the White House press secretary.
The Twitter feed, which has nearly 3,000 followers, launched in June 2010—once again, shortly after BP’s fake PR account took off.
The mostly partisan tweets from @SrWHOfficial mock the Republican field:
Santorum did well with his base, but never broadened his support to include non-insane voters.
— Sr. WH Official (@SrWHOfficial) April 10, 2012
Although it does offer updates on government actions:
Later, the House GOP will conduct hearings on where Steely Dan got their name.
— Sr. WH Official (@SrWHOfficial) February 16, 2012
And some not-for-attribution assurances from inside the White House:
If the power for POTUS to kill Americans is codified into law, we swear to just use it against jerks.
— Sr. WH Official (@SrWHOfficial) December 15, 2011