17 January 2008
2007 PR DISASTERS AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED
PR watchdog and blogsite http://www.prdisasters.com has announced the results of its annual 2007 PR Disaster Awards.
The winner is former Australian Liberal Minister Jackie Kelly, for her ludicrous defence of a racist and fake election leaflet, which tried to discredit the Labor party.
The full list of the yearâ€™s most negative PR disasters identified by bloggers, the media and PR and reputation management expert, Gerry McCusker, reads as follows:
1 Jackie Kelly â€“ comments over the racist and bogus election leaflet
2 Ribena â€“ its Vitamin C claims were disproved by two NZ schoolkids
3 Heather Mills McCartney â€“ her interview meltdown on a UK TV show
4 WorkChoices â€“ the policy said to have caused the Liberals’ election defeat
5 Whole Foods â€“ a fake blog praising its CEO, outed as being covertly written by the same CEO
6 Visy Industries/Dick Pratt â€“ fined over a major price-fixing cartel scandal
7 Ben Cousins â€“ the AFL football playerâ€™s publicised spiral into drug addiction
8 FEMA â€“ the US government department had staff pose as fake reporters at a poorly-attended press event
9 APEC/Chaser â€“ An Aussie TV show The Chaser infiltrated international security posing as a Canadian motorcade transporting a fake Osama bin Laden
10 USAâ€™s Cartoon Network â€“ put fake, blinking â€˜bombsâ€™ on bridges to promote a show
As defined in my business book â€˜Public Relations Disastersâ€™, a PR disaster is an incident that catalyses sustained negative media coverage for an individual or organization, and which subsequently damages personal or professional reputation.
Further information and interviews:
PR analyst and author Gerry McCusker
Note to editors: â€˜Public Relations Disasters: Talespinâ€™ is now available in paperback by Kogan Page, 2006. Media review copies are available from the author (contact above) on request.