LAST CALL: Honda's reliable, but so is Murphy

Murphy's Law ruled when American Honda PR recently staged its Detroit media introduction for new car and SUV models. First, invitations from sponsor Automotive Press Association didn't get printed on time and the back-up voice-mail message failed to get on the APA's telephone line.

Then, hurried fax invitations failed to reach fax-less APA members, not to mention many - including PRWeek's correspondent - who had fax numbers listed.

On the day of the event, construction contractors at the venue (the prestigious Detroit Athletic Club) elected to close down the parking garage where new car shows and ride-and-drives are traditionally held. So dozens of attendees were caught in a massive traffic jam, causing many to be late or simply give up in frustration.

But Murphy still had a couple of tricks left in his bag. After the luncheon presentation, media members gathered at the club's street-side valet parking site to test-drive new Hondas - just as the heavens opened up with a downpour.

And did we mention that the supply of press packets wasn't large enough to go around?

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