ACCC drugs report
No matter the marketing campaigns, the spin, the apologies and the ‘zero tolerance’ approach, some in the NRL’s playing cohort seem determined to let their personal tastes run riot over their employee code of conduct contracts. Begs the question; can the ‘mongrel’ quality – so needed to make a great NRL star – ever be anything less than a sniff away from dogging the wider code with image and reputation issues?
I wonder if golfer Robert Allenby, or NRL players John Sutton and Luke Burgess can somewhat identify with this theory? I have analysed PR disasters from every angle and it has become all too apparent that:
drink and drugs play a significant part in adversely affecting behaviour; catalysing embarrassing or painful incidents; leading to shame-based denials and excuses; delivering high levels or scepticism and thereafter; scandal plus reduced levels of public trust and respect?
The one-time abuser or inveterate addict alike, will deny, lie or vilify anyone else, rather than come clean about how they have little or no control after imbibing poison that compels them to behave irrationally or inappropriately.
If a picture paints a thousand words, Sydney Morning Herald illustrator Rocco Fazzari brilliantly (look at the shield crest!) summed up the Aussie PM’s predicament (hat tip Rocco for loan of the image). Even over in the UK, scribes are penning the PMs political obituary – but might the out-of-time Tony yet successfully crusade to keep his top job?
First up, I have empathy for those with depression or self-medication issues. But in terms of PR, media reports and reputation management, there’s often not much room for such understanding. That’s why Paul Gallen’s tweet – offensively deriding his defacto NRL employers/governors as female genitalia – is defined as a PR gaffe, any pre-existing issues or circumstances aside.
For a privileged sports role model (with some bad PR ‘form’ re performance supplement use in particular) to fail to accept accountability for the consequences of his wrongs (harder – yet more telling – than just issuing an easy, media mea culpa) puts the gall in ‘Gallen’. Paul may now claim his use of the C-word (below) is innocuous. (Ladies, mums, sisters, daughters; your views on that one?)
This PR disaster is only compounded when the NRL stipulates that this great athlete – yet PR putz – needs to complete a leadership course as part of his rehabilitation. A followership, humility and emotional awareness course might better address some of the issues fuelling Paul’s PR disaster, and fuelling the original drivers that led to it.
Still with empathy and chapeau to SydMornHerald for quip-grabs, G.
Our PR experience suggests you can pretty much coach and train an intelligent person in media performance skills in around three or four sessions.
However, you cannot instill – far less embed – impeachable character and interpersonal maturity in an “unreconstructed personality”, without also addressing the candidate’s emotional intelligence and self-awareness. And that calls for a much deeper investment of effort.
(H/t to SBS for pic)
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?
Forbes magazine’s Cork-based correspondent David Monagan said he feels “horrible” and has readily apologised for a brain snap which saw him proclaim in print that the happily married President of Ireland was a poet and “acknowledged homosexual” (they don’t go hand in hand) in an article for the influential US business bible.
Following a weekend of racial controversy in Australia when a teenage Collingwood fan racially abused Swans AFL aboriginal star Adam Goodes (calling him an ape), the club’s President has inexplicably exacerbated the issue by jokingly suggesting on his morning radio show that the same player (Goodes) be used as part of a promotional PR push for the theatre show King Kong (which for those not in the know, stars a very large ape).
While the sometimes media savvy Mr Maguire has attempted to excuse his behaviour by suggesting that he was “zoned out”…”thinking somewhere else” and the hoary old “slip of the tongue”, the PR disaster backlash continues. Despite protesting that he is not a racist, McGuire’s incidental PR rehabilitation might be better served not just by protesting innocence, but by acknowledging that his comments may point to some unsavoury, sub-conscious attitudes that he’s prepared to work at addressing and eradicating. I’d venture that casual racism is not less hurtful to the recipient than the intended variety.
Rolf Harris theatre poster
While Mr H is innocent until proven otherwise, surely his current show poster strapline is unfortunate at best and, should allegations prove substantial, in horrid bad taste at worst?