Corporate ID theft
By the time you read this, you will have probably read that ICOA Wireless is not going to be bought by Google after all. It was apparently a fake release perpetrated by a third-party to try and ‘pump-and-dump’ stock. Identity theft is relatively easy to pull off, particularly when one thinks that all you have to do to be a PR agency is have a computer, a broadband connection and a credit card. Ironically, as a technologically backward industry, we were surprisingly well catered for with PR processes and workflow being part of software-as-a-service from media distribution to clipping moderation and even time tracking.
The timing so close to Thanksgiving was probably specially chosen to capture the minimum amount of staff on duty at wire services, the media, Google and ICOA Wireless. There was no post on a Google corporate blog which should have served as a warning for journalists covering the beat and there was the use of PRWeb rather than one of the regulated wire services that takes care of major business filings like PR Newswire or BusinessWire was deliberate.
Yet another reputational risk that we all have to factor in.