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.
When is a Nazi salute not a Nazi salute? Apparently when it’s a ‘Red Hand of Ulster’ salute. While the Aussie army has marched from one PR disaster to another relating to service personnel’s abuse of personal photos, video posted to social media, the British Army (Sah!) have to contend with some provocative poses allegedly featuring British servicemen stationed in Afghanistan.
The irony of British squaddies posing in ways that appear (even erroneously) to endorse the right wing foes their forefathers fought to defeat is at best cruelly ironic and at worse…(you fill out the rhyme).
From a reputation viewpoint, it’s evidence of how the personal beliefs of a minority can easily besmirch the principles and PR profile of a bigger brand or organisation.
(HT to Phil Macgiollabhain for the lead.)
Everyone’s got a breaking point; even PR-aware politicians. In light of Frankston MP Geoff Shaw getting ‘involved’ with agitators in Melbourne, my mind went back to when Brit MP John Prescott jabbed a protestor who’d egg-assaulted him. . So, who might win a fictional bout between Shaw and Prescott, I wonder…?
Wedding in India, study trip to Malaysia,
cycling jaunt to Tour de France (A Labor one) – the reasonable voice of Liberal politics in Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, warns his buddies that a PR disaster this early into their tenure is not a good a good look and, if in doubt, leave it out…
The Aussie political race is sometimes a one-legged one; especially when candidates shoot themselves in the foot by agreeing to TV interviews, yet not knowing at all how to handle even gentle journalistic probing. Today, media performance skills are more telling than political proficiency.
As electioneering begins, we have a couple of pearler PR disasters which display manifold perils; like knowing how to give an interview, bragging on your 6-point plan (but not knowing what the points are), knowing that Islam isn’t actually a country, knowing who your competitors are, knowing that it’s better to stay out of the media limelight, until you’ve done your A,B,Cs in media training. And while older politicians rush to defend these young goats with kind kid gloves, the fact remains that politics is a career that depends on the ability to understand and assimilate complex issues, having a strong position pertaining to key facts, staying on message and knowing how to deliver the sound bites the public will remember you by. Not the PR disaster interviews that become your e-legacy. It’s not easy, but it is a mandatory for those seeking a ridicule-free political career.
As an aggressive social media campaign compels advertisers to withdraw their support of the Alan Jones’ radio show, I read a neat precis by Troy Dodds of WA who summarises the issues neatly.
And for me, it’s not a PR disaster for Jones; this kind of unreasonable rant (and now pained bleating for alleged wrongs done against him), is his stock-in-trade and the exact outburst that shock radio jocks like him the world over need to keep their profile high and their easily-enraged listeners tuning in. Sponsors? They’re’ll always be new ones chasing the audience that Jones so easily corrals.
For me, the most ironic and iconic PR disasters are where there’s a PR person’s actions at the centre of the storm. Without wishing to go over the coals of the recent Canberra restaurant fracas, here’s a succinct recap of the circumstances surrounding the resignation of Julia Gillard’s press adviser, Tony Hodges. Ta to The Australian.