When almost two years of planning goes into a joint food health initiative and the corresponding public information website gets ORDERED off air ON THE SAME DAY IT GOES LIVE one might expect evidence of stakeholder dissonance.
I caught up with a gripping analysis of the Fiona Nash, AFGC and Alastair Furnival furore courtesy of the Background Briefing team of Anna Whitfield and Ann Arnold at ABC – great case analysis. HT SMH for screengrab.
Naughty pee-arr company House PR apparently offered (UK) Telegraph journalist Tim Walker Brit Awards press accreditation in exchange for publishing promotional tweets with the Mastercard Twitter handle and its #PricelessSurprises hashtag. The email requested Walker publish tweets before, during and after the event, and guarantee Mastercard’s inclusion in any post event write-ups, both print and online, with hashtags and URLs included. #PricelessSurprises
In the spirit of PR fellowship and PR disaster recovery assistance, I can offer HousePR some coincidentally hot-off-the-press pointers here:
(H/t to Ken Garner and The Drum)
The Essendon footy club has grabbed the flag at the annual list of PR blunders and gaffes awarded here at PRdisasters.com. After analyzing media monitoring data on sustained and damaging mentions across press, radio, TV and internet sources, the Bombers “performance supplements” saga was easily the year’s most-talked about, and reviled, PR disaster. And in a year where the Cronulla Sharks rugby club plus the sport of swimming were also stained by the stench of scandal, the broader topic of ‘drugs in sport’ created much negative commentary and bad PR.
The Australian PR Disaster Awards – now in their 8th year – highlight the worst examples of business, celebrity, government, media and sports PR blunders. They assess PR problems in both traditional and online media, including social media spaces. To qualify as a PR disaster, the incident must result in sustained, negative media coverage for the brand, business or person at the centre of the story. Here are Australia’s Top 10 PR Disasters of 2013 (biggest disaster first):
1. Essendon supplements scandal – under the direction of controversial sports scientist Stephen Dank, the Bombers were found to have been operating an experimental – possibly illegal – performance supplements programme.
2. Drugs in sport – A year long Australian Crime Commission investigation found widespread drug use in Australian professional sport, with criminal networks being actively involved. At publication, one former ASADA expert dubbed it the “blackest day in Australian sport”.
3. Indonesian relations – Australia’s ‘SBY’ presidential phone-tapping scandal escalated with Tony Abbott’s reticence to apologise and Indonesia reactively downgrading the relationship between the two countries and withdrawing co-operation on people smuggling operations.
4. Waterhouse/Singleton spat – Businessman John Singleton sacked trainer Gai Waterhouse following a clash on live television. After “Singo” claimed skullduggery over the fitness of his beloved horse ‘More Joyous’, a Racing NSW inquiry fined Singleton and saw trainer Gai Waterhouse charged on two counts relating to reporting and record-keeping.
5. Media regulation reform – Communications Minister Stephen Conroy was assailed by many sections of the media over his proposed News Media reforms. Many outlets railed at the mooted, binding, self-regulation scheme that also sought to remove a news organisation’s exemption from some provisions of the Privacy Act.
6. Mining tax repeal – The Abbott government started to repeal Labor’s controversial Minerals Resource Rent Tax from July 2014; by pitching how it would impact on families and small business, major – and conflicting – media coverage for this new policy was secured.
7. Craig Thomson – The saga of allegedly using Health Service Union credit cards to pay for porn and prostitutes rumbled on, revealing avaricious appetites for raunchy films, sexual services, ciggies and cross-country flights and expenses.
8. Collingwood Football Club (re Adam Goodes) –When a young Collingwood fan sledged Adam Goodes with an ape slur, the media meltdown was compounded when Collingwood President Eddie Maguire jokingly alluded to Goodes’ ability to publicise the in-town musical King Kong.
9. Royal Commission into child sexual abuse – As the 2012-established commission researched, interviewed, questioned and challenged institutional representatives from education, religion, sports and state interests, claims of abuser protection and failure to stop the abuse provided media flak for churches and their office bearers.
10. Politician expenses – Not long into office, Tony Abbott encountered his first scandal over his and other politicians’ misuse of entitlements. With four cabinet members – plus the PM – having to repay money for faulty expense claims, the furore also targeted Labor pollies similarly loose with their expense accuracy.
Reviewing the candidates and numbers for 2013’s Annual PR Disasters Awards is proving challenging; the feeling is that sport may very much dominate the field rather than previous years which saw government and corporate PR disasters abound. Just to whet your appetite, prospective candidates (in no particular order yet) for the Awards include:
Political expense abuse claims
Tom Waterhouse/Gai Waterhouse/John Singleton snafu
Essendon Bombers* performance drug scandal
MP Geoff Shaw court and stakeholder skirmishes
Collingwood boss Eddie Maguire’s King Kong gaffe
Myer’s Bernie Brookes NDIS pronouncements
VW car recall
Australian government phone spy scandal with SBY
Mark Textor tweet
Cronulla Sharks doping allegations
Young political candidate media gaffes
What stands out for you as the Aussie PR blunder of the last year?
The hidden side of impression management in the Essendon supplements scandal now revealed by the Herald Sun and The Australian.
Subbed from their media release:
“Advocacy group The Parents’ Jury today named the Coles ‘One Direction’ campaign as winner of its Shame award for Pester Power. The Coles competition encouraged shoppers to try to win tickets to an exclusive One Direction concert through purchasing a range of mostly junk food products. The Fame and Shame Awards also delivered a smack in the face to KFC’s ‘Snack in the face’ app, awarding it the Digital Ninja award. The app featured a game where players win vouchers which can be redeemed for a range of KFC snacks or can be passed onto friends through social media. Milo was awarded this year’s Smoke and Mirrors award for its ‘Official Drink of Play’ TV commercial featuring popular TV personality Shelly Craft. Continue reading
Successful media interviews are as much about context as they are about content, agreed?
Sydney-based media trainer Geoffrey Stackhouse asked me for my take on a clumsy media interview (from some years back), asking for my analysis of what went wrong. Here’s my armchair punditry on this one:
Analysing the recently posted media interview/PR disaster, my observation is that it went wrong because of El Presidente’s emotional intelligence deficits. In short, his inability to listen effectively (perhaps through nerves or rote-based media training) simply derailed the interview. Continue reading
Wedding in India, study trip to Malaysia,
cycling jaunt to Tour de France (A Labor one) – the reasonable voice of Liberal politics in Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, warns his buddies that a PR disaster this early into their tenure is not a good a good look and, if in doubt, leave it out…