What are the PR turkeys of 2015?

Public relations can be a difficult game, what with CEOs mouthing off on social media or products going haywire. In observance of Thanksgiving week, here are a few of this year’s turkeys.

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Every year, a few public relations efforts blow up in the face of organizations.

Other crises are caused not by communicators, but by a product failure or shoot-yourself-in-the-foot comment by a chief executive that leaves a mess for PR pros to clean up.

Either way, as Thanksgiving approaches, we rounded up some of the top PR turkeys of 2015.

Citing the year’s PR flops, Robert Barrows, president of R.M. Barrows Advertising and Public Relations, reminds us that mistakes can be costly. He says he often asks clients whether they are looking for more coverage or less.

“If they want me to try to keep their names out of the news, that will cost them a lot more,” he says.

The following are a few suggestions we collected from communicators. We present them as cautionary tales, large and small, and in no particular order.

Volkswagen’s emissions scandal

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