Breakdown of a clumsy media interview

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

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Donut brand slam-dunked by racism claims

Part 1: How to sell a creative idea; pitch that it will star the daughter of the local CEO, reflect a MadMen-style chic, and tread the line in terms of controversy marketing.
Part 2: How to recover after it has gone to print; watch as the global company issues profuse apologies as snipers shoot down the execution and tonality.
Part 3; wait til the furore dies down and check with satisfaction as you show stats proving that awareness and media coverage for the concept dwarfs the original Ad spend available.

Swimming CEO Nettlefold walks after "ass-inine" comments

With quips, quotes and quick posts frequently becoming the source of modern PR disasters – the latest seemingly involving Swimming Australia’s now departed CEO allegedly asking to be referred to as “donkey” and making jokes about sex toys and condoms – I’m struck by the low levels of emotional and social maturity displayed. While businessmen, celebs and politicians must have hectic lives, not many of them make time (or have the inclination) to work on their self-development. If 45+ yr-old men make ill-advised comments about race, gender, sex etc, I’d venture that their EI (emotional intelligence) quotient may not have not evolved much since possibly school or Uni days. Sure, corporates can invest in media and presentation skills training, yet if not backed by an investment in emotional, social and gender awareness then the professional lives of their Execs can be easily undone – and brand reputation tarnished – by under-developed attitudes and juvenile outbursts.

Collingwood kingpin McGuire in the King Kong of all PR disasters

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.

If your CEO is the actual PR disaster

What does a business do when a PR blunderbuss like Charles Green is its media spokesperson?
As a keen football follower and PR analyst, I’m compelled to rubberneck the PR debacle that is The (newco/sevco) Rangers back in Scotland. The apparent leadership blunderings have caused me to research the role of the CEO in preventing/managing PR disasters. I found this paper from the Institute For PR:
Ken Makovsky, writing in Forbes Magazine notes…”if the CEO is getting mostly negative publicity, it is very hard to get positive coverage on the organization as a whole. “The opposite is also true,” notes Nicole Lee, a master’s student at San Diego State University, “If an organization is regularly bashed in the media, its CEO would likely struggle to maintain a positive reputation.”
In addition to the academic view, reputation practitioners would counsel that the CEO must always be the custodian of reputation, not the imperiller of it.

Social Media "Expert's" Retarded Rant PR Disaster

PR disaster news from The Age (hat tip Asher Moses):
“A Vodafone store employee who describes himself as the telco’s “social media expert” and “ambassador” has been deriding customers on Twitter and Facebook as “mentally retarded” and threatened them with a “pimp slap backhand”.

Yet another reason why social media engagement should probably best be conducted by staff with acute PR savvy. Social media is all about reputation far more than it is about mobile phone smarts. Smart phones don’t make for smart career moves

Energy Watch CEO Ben Polis sacked after Facebook brainmelt

Polis on Facebook

.The job of the modern CEO entails being a leader, a visionary, a community conduit and the epitome of company standards.
Carried out professionally, the job role encompasses board support, community relations, human resources and, essentially, reputation management. Anyone posting on social media, must understand their comments are like Press Releases by them to the entire world!!
Aussie utility monitor company Energy Watch has just sacked its CEO – and lost several leading sponsorship ties as well – after its indecently youthful CEO Ben Polis – dropped the company in a whopper PR disaster re his social media editorials and utterances. They seem to betray a person of either troubled or questionable character.
Following Polis’ posting of bigoted, racist, sexist and sundry other offensive comments on social media – and the backlash from media commentators – the company had to let the self-outed ADD/ADHD sufferer go. His PR comebacks have so far been lame – along the “I can’t be racist, my cleaner is Asian and I once dated a half-Aboriginal woman.” Ugh. Gritty Polis helped form the Energy Watch company, which kinda explains why he got to be a media-attractive CEO. But doing the job of the CEO means more than typing the title on a businesscard and doing the speakers’ circuit. You need luck and grace on your recovery back from this one, Ben. (Ta to The Age for tip and Herald Sun for graphic).