Online, anyone can pretend to be anything they like. Social lives get ‘larged’ on social networks, suitors misrepresent on dating websites, resumes get burnished on Linkedin. Some even claim to have self-cured from cancer, blogged on the topic and profited hugely from a book and wellness App based on a BFL (big fat lie). So, is it just PR spin, web entrepreneurialism, shysterism or even a case of a psychological malaise – as is subtly questioned in this useful News Ltd piece...
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.
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?
Alerted by a vigilant PR disaster watcher (thanks JD) across the ditch, ongoing interest in a sleazy case by the media and citizens has resulted in greater PR problems for the Police and radio station, RadioLive.
The Roast Busters case centres around a group of young men who’ve shamelessly boasted online (via Twitter and Facebook) about taking advantage of drunk, underage girls who they intimate are ‘willing’ assaultees.
As interest in the case grew, the police came under fire for knowing of the incidents since 2011, yet being ineffective in taking interventive action. Whispers say one of the boys is the son of a police officer, too.
Now, as media explores the story further, advertisers are (temporarily, I’m certain) jumping ship from RadioLive after two of its presenters joked and quipped about the circumstances surrounding the alleged rapes. The story of the group has made international news, with media outlets in the US, UK and Australia covering it.
Emotional intelligence deficits again the source of another horrid PR disaster that, due to online coverage, will haunt all concerned for years to come.
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