That’s one way to get a journalist’s attention.
A metal briefcase, which turned out to be nothing more than PR swag, caused digital media outlet Quartz to evacuate its New York office on Monday morning after it was thought to be a suspicious package.
"PR people, please stop shipping unrequested things like this," Dave Gershgorn, the publication's artificial intelligence reporter, tweeted about the incident, adding that Quartz’s New York office was briefly evacuated due to the package.
Qz offices were briefly evacuated due to a suspicious package sitting in the newsroom, which turned out to be a PR swag bag that was shipped in metal briefcase— Dave Gershgorn (@davegershgorn) July 23, 2018
PR people please stop shipping unrequested things like this
UPDATE: On Monday afternoon, Gershgorn clarified that the package was sent to a Quartz staffer by a PR firm, but was "waiting to be donated" when it was mistaken for being suspicious.
so this tweet is slightly inaccurate—the case was accepted from someone on staff from a PR firm, was sitting in the office waiting to be donated, and was mistaken for being suspicious https://t.co/6VFXg2JFkT— Dave Gershgorn (@davegershgorn) July 23, 2018
A source familiar with the matter told PRWeek that the swag was sent to a reporter who wanted to donate the box. She left it for another staffer without a note. At this point, a staffer saw the unmarked briefcase, thought it looked suspicious, and then reported it.
Quartz deputy technology editor Mike Murphy retweeted Gershgorn, adding that he, too, dislikes when PR people send "unsolicited stuff."
I get unsolicited stuff all the time, stuff that I always just end up giving away (it's unethical to keep it), which basically means, PR people, you've just given me a chore to do— Mike Murphy (@mcwm) July 23, 2018
which does not mean I will think very highly of you https://t.co/LxFaOFAWm4
It was not immediately clear what was in the swag bag, or what PR firm or marketing department sent the package.