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.
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)
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?
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.
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.