Our company hired Urban Suite Public Relations to handle our press outreach, and we are very disappointed in the grossly negligent and self-serving behavior we encountered with USPR. We hired USPR to handle our media relations on August 27, 2012 and by September 18, 2012 it became clear that Urban Suite Public Relations did not have the expertise to handle our account.
We are sharing our experience due to the fact that Urban Suite Public Relations' owner, Janelle Langford, is very uncooperative regarding the exit plan as written in our service agreement and is refusing to return our company property. Unless by some miracle she begins to cooperate in scheduling a FedEx pick up of our property, we will be seeking legal action against her. So, buyer beware.
In our situation, Janelle's first task was to plan a private reception for a newly remodeled salon. Our mission was pretty clear: a private reception for 150-200 guests, including our top customers, press, and some local celebrities if she could deliver. The theme of the party was already set by our companies and a co-sponsor, and when we took her on we were clear in what kind of event we wanted. She knew about this event when she begun service on August 27, 2012.
When my associate called her office to talk about the event two weeks before the event, Janelle was short with her and said that she was busy because it was "Fashion Week." Strange, since she did not have any clients hosting shows nor is she a commercial buyer. It became clear to us that nothing was done at that point. My requests for a confirmed press list were met with "I will confirm on our meeting."
Our invitations were not ready to proof until Wednesday, September 12, 2012 which was only 10 days before the event. Because of time constraints, our invitations were e-vites. I had specifically requested that Janelle change the the copy to include our company's brand name in the invitation. That was never done, though she did include our logo. Our logo was 1/20th the size of her logo banner at the top. The event appeared as if her company were hosting the event, which was not true by any stretch of the imagination. She also included a bio about herself and her company that was nearly as long as the introduction about our companies. In her bio, she was trying to sell her company and recruit other clients.
She blasted the e-vite over Twitter. She copy/pasted the same message to any minor celebrity she could with a link to our private event. Then she posted content such as "SUITE event: (link)" again, with no disregard for us as the sponsor and host of a private event. When confronted with this, she claimed that I did not know how Twitter works despite the fact that I oversee all social media outreach on behalf of our company. Twitter is very public and the messages were visible when I was logged in... and out!
On Sunday, September 16, 2012 and only six days before the event, it became very clear to us that Janelle could not be bothered to send the e-vites. Several salon customers complained about not receiving an invitation. The owner of our company called her before 11 am and he did not receive a call back until after 6 pm. By then, he had already created an e-vite himself and sent it out. It only took him 30 minutes.
We decided that having no confirmed press and no RSVPs for our event due to Urban Suite Public Relations' negligence, along with our open bar private reception being blasted publicly on Twitter were grounds to terminate our relationship with USPR. The morning after, Janelle called me with a bunch of excuses... with one of them being that the GoDaddy hack on Monday, September 10, 2012 being the cause for undeliverable e-vites.
The GoDaddy hack happened on September 10 between the hours of 12 pm-6 pm only. All GoDaddy sites and email accounts were fully functional on September 11, 2012. Janelle didn't even have our e-vite proof up for approval until September 12. We checked the domains associated with the email addresses, and most of them were with other servers like GMAIL or YAHOO. Basically, she was caught in her excuse. She just never sent them out.
Currently, Janelle is refusing to hand over our event RSVP lists and confirmed media by claiming that she already sent them. She has not. She is currently refusing to schedule a FedEx pick-up, paid for by our company, to recover our samples and marketing materials she has in her office. If she continues to refuse, we have already confirmed with legal counsel that we have grounds to sue not only for our stolen property but also for the $2,500 fee we paid her for the month of September.
We have extensively documented all claims in this report.
We under no circumstances recommend working with Janelle Langford and Urban Suite Public Relations.