The power – and pain – of agenda-driven social media lobbying has curdled (pun 1) the relationship between the Fleurieu Milk and Yoghurt Company and some of its online detractors, specifically Restore Australia. Anti-Islamisation activists have targeted and bombarded the South Australian Fleurieu dairy company in many prominent social media channels; channels that offer unexpurgated commentary and unedited critiques often prove fertile breeding grounds for a culture (pun 2) of brand-bashing and, oftentimes, personally-biased and uninformed venting.
In posting this, my aim is not to defend nor attack either interest in this incident but simply to illustrate a modern PR disaster dynamic; that what starts small online, can snowball into a capital city news report and eventually move onto our national TV news screens. Social media is all about reputation, as well as stakeholder engagement and influence. Hat-tip (pun 3) to Zazzle for the image.
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.
Sometimes, running a hashtag competition is ill-thought-through and just asking for trouble – check this item for proof.
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.
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:
(H/t to Ken Garner and The Drum)
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 and deleted by pollster firm principal Mark Textor
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.
Here’s a social media disaster I missed – a beauty showing a total lack of Emotional Intelligence.
Thanks to Summer Bridges, Attorney-at-law for the tip.
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.
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.