Ministerial advice, lobbying and industry ethics sullied in food ratings fiasco

Health Food Rating Website








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.

House PR's 'Tweets for Tickets' BRIT Awards PR Disaster

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:
TimWalkerTweet (H/t to Ken Garner and The Drum)

PR disaster as tweet exacerbates international diplomacy ructions

Revelations that Australian intelligence sources may have been bugging SBY and wife’s personal phones, the indignant reactions from the ‘phone tapee’s’, the bungling “all governments gather information” interview by Mr Abbott with the ABC’s dogged Leigh Sales and, most recently, the inopportune twitter-sniping from a political research firm owner, marks this as a PR disaster of national and international import.

Offensive Tweet sent by pollster firm CrosbyTextor principal Mark Textor

Offensive Tweet sent and deleted by pollster firm principal Mark Textor

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.

Misleading tweet-vertising from Essendon Bombers

It’s easy to shoot off an unsubstantiated 140-character tweet. But with substantial allegations, findings, charges and penalties awaiting the Essendon AFL team, a hollow tweet looks a lot like false advertising. Geelong seem to be the indisputably greatest AFL club ever anyway, right?
Bomber-tweet (below) has surely been designed only to desperately boost the morale of the most blindly loyal club afficionados? They can’t protect its name now; just like Lance Armstrong or Scotland’s The Rangers, their name is now digital mud – and, like online reputation – it tends to stick on for a long time.

VW recall sees sales slump amid PR disaster reportage

Despite annals and tomes of advice documenting best-practice issues and crisis management responses, Volkswagen in Australia has mostly ignored ’em all, largely kept schtum, expressed little empathy and resisted customer disquiet over its DSG gearbox safety issue. In Australia, anti-VW reportage has run high (in mainstream and social media) following the death of a young VW driver, Melissa Ryan, on a Melbourne freeway in 2011, a coronial inquest into her VW Golf vehicle faults PLUS an attempted class action by another disgruntled customer. Whether it’s arrogance, insensitivity or a calculated, legals-driven risk management strategy (rather than a conciliatory PR strategy) that’s being deployed, the fact is that a 26,00 car recall has NOW seen a significant 20% drop in vehicle sales compared with June last year (1226 fewer vehicles). Whatever happened to the “if only everything in life was as reliable as a…” mentality. Not quite a case of “Aus Liebe zum Automobil’ is it one of “Aus Liebe zum Geld”?
(Hat tip to WellReadHostess for loan of logo artwork).

General advice on a PR disaster almost hits 1million

As social media continues to prove problematic for organisations with suspect elements within their ranks, Australia’s Chief of Army has secured nigh universal salutes for his authoritative and impassioned new media message on YouTube. Watch it; it’s a triumph of scriptwriting craft, audience awareness, key message insertion and a no-BS delivery (tad wooden if I’m being uber-curmudgeonly). Corporate PRs and executives need to pay attention to how to weave these elements together – and how to harness social media to get the viral share effect – next time they have to front up to handle a social media or PR disaster.

Hubris and "social media fail" on menu at Amy's Baking Company

Scratching my head on this one at HuffPost: It’s either THE best “controversy marketing” stunt designed to get the eyes of the world media on a TV show featuring an Arizonan restaurant, or it’s the biggest PR clusterfunk I’ve seen on social for some time. (Anything related to cocky chef Gordon Ramsay is usually tinged with an element of high-profile raising, innit?)
The precis? The restaurant owner calling social commentators ‘pussies’, challenging them to fistfights, threatening hollow legal action – all backed by ‘God’s’ might – and now claiming their Facebook was hacked (possible I guess) and you have a recipe for a tasty PR disaster.

#BoycottMyer PR disaster has Bernie on the backfoot

Shooting-from-the-lip Myer CEO Bernie Brookes has caused a sorta social media stink by saying that Julia Gillard’s NDIS levy will impact retail spending (sic, at his stores). While mainstream media reports mostly on the social media ‘outrage’ (see Addictomatic coverage), Social Mention calculates that the coverage is three times more likely to be negative towards Myer and Brookes; others report a dip (surely temporary) in the Myer share price.