Reputation2.0 and Ricky Nixon's latest PR disaster

If you’ve ever pondered what it’d be like to watch someone publicly hang themselves, then cut free just before the final, fatal asphixiation, only to give an encore petard-hoisting the following day, then Channel 7’s ‘Sunday’ night interview with AFL leper Ricky Nixon provided a comparably grisly spectacle. Instead of the ‘3 R’s’ stock-in-trade of crisis management – Regret, Responsibility and Remedial action, Nixon opted to Refute, Recriminate and Retaliate.
During the vilified footy entrepreneur’s latest, most clumsy – and to date implosive – attempt at PR redemption, there were lessons aplenty for the modern celebrity, politician, public figure and even corporation. Clearly visible lessons included:

  • Don’t do media interviews when you’re tired or easily provoked to irritation or anger
  • Don’t give interviews when you can’t master your ego and emotions or mask your simmering aggression, disdain or sense of hurt and injustice Continue reading
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Coulson resigns, damages PRs sullied reputation

As documented in my book ‘Public Relations Disasters’, Andy Coulson is a major UK media player heavily linked to deceptive and unsavoury media practices. He’s just left the Tories in the lurch after resigning as Comms Director for David Cameron. I’ve long had this bee in my bonnet, that ex-journos are not ideal fodder for top communications roles. But clients often believe ex-journos to be all-powerful – how wrong.

As a former editor of the less-than-sparkling-clean newspaper the News of the World (c2007), Coulson elected to resign when his reporter Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were jailed for hacking messages of personal telephones of the rich, famous and influential. At the time, Coulson said he took responsibility for it happening on his watch but denied knowing about it. If it’s possible to believe that a national newspaper editor did not know that his staff were covertly involved in hacking phones to steal the editorial march on competitors then he was a spectacularly inept newspaperman. If he did know about it, then Coulson has been lying all the while. The truth will out. Either way, it’s a PR disaster for him.

No long-term PR damage after NZ TV host's childish, racist comments

Over in New Zealand: first it was a TV show host’s immature jibes (think 14yr old schoolyard humour) about the name of one Delhi ministerial official, Sheila Dikshik. Then, the same host criticised that the country’s Governor General, Sir Anand Satyanand, didn’t even sound like a ‘proper’ New Zealander (Sir Anand is a kiwi born and bred). Despite the insensitive, opinionated blurtings of the star TV host Paul Henry, Kiwi PR experts believe this has done nothing to diminish Henry’s attractiveness as a media property. Sad, innit?

Gillard, Arbib and the empty chair PR disaster

Apparently, Aussie PM Julia Gillard banned a senior Labour honcho – Mark Arbib – from appearing on the country’s most credible political panel discussion (Q&A) last night. Mischievously, the producers left Arbib’s seat empty thereby creating a risible talking point throughout the show. Having agreed to appear, then pulling the appearance, this looks like another major PR mis-step from the faltering Labour Party.